Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Public Art: Niki de Saint Phalle

Several years ago, in San Diego’s Balboa Park, I fell in love with the mosaic work of Niki de Saint Phalle. She has inspired me in so many ways and I’m delighted that Artsy now has a Niki page and encourage you to check it out.  

Niki’s work is playfully and magically mythical and mystical. Her huge installations overwhelm our senses, but you can look at the tiniest piece of any one of them and find absolute perfection. If you’re ever in the Escondido area, I highly recommend checking out Queen Califia’s Magical Circle.  Here’s a description and an image from the Escondido city site
Snake Wall ... Queen Califia's Magical Circle
Queen Califia's Magical Circle is the only American sculpture garden and the last major international project created by Niki de Saint Phalle (born France, 1930-2002). Inspired by California's mythic, historic and cultural roots, the garden consists of nine large-scale sculptures, a circular "snake wall" and maze entryway, sculpturally integrated bench seating, and native shrubs and trees planted within the interior plaza and along the outer perimeter. The garden bears the brilliant, unique mosaic ornamentation that is an unmistakable part of Saint Phalle's later work.

Queen Califia's Magical Circle is situated within a 12-acre natural habitat in the Iris Sankey Arboretum in Kit Carson Park on a parcel of land donated by the City of Escondido. The park's entrance is located five minutes from I-15 (Via Rancho Parkway Exit) at the corner of Bear Valley Parkway and Mary Lane.
There are repairs going on in the garden so be sure to check the site, to make sure it’s open.
Coming Together

Coming Together: This huge piece of hers at the San Diego Convention Center became part of a montage I did called City Dreamtime. 
City Dreamtime
Thank you Niki … and thank you Artsy for honoring her. 


  1. Her work is wonderful. A number of her pieces were placed just outside the National Museum of Women in the Arts in D.C. not so long ago. They truly spoke to women's power.

  2. Hola, Maureen ... I have no idea how the transport her work ... they are HUGE. Hope all is well with you.