Niki de Saint Phalle, The Tarot Garden

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"What Saint Phalle, who died in 2002, left behind in Tuscany is dazzling or deranged, transcendent or tawdry, depending on whom you ask. Amid peaceful olive groves and ochre fields grazed by horses and sheep sits a house-size sculpture of a sphinx, with mirrored blue hair and a bright-red crown, a flower blooming on one of her breasts and a lavender heart on the nipple of the other. The interior is covered in shards of mirror, as if a colossal disco ball had been turned inside out. (During the two decades that Saint Phalle worked on the garden, her bedroom was inside one breast, her kitchen in the other.) A sprawling, fantastical castle, with a rainbow mosaic tower, sits near a blue head some fifty feet high, sprouting a second, mirrored head crowned by a huge hand. Downhill, the Devil stands amid some shrubs, a rainbow-winged hermaphrodite with a sweet face, womanly hips, and three gold penises. It is as if a psychedelic bomb had exploded in the most picturesque part of Tuscany." — Ariel Levy, The New Yorker 

 

This beautiful, dewy paperback includes images and texts by French-American artist Niki de Saint Phalle (1930-2007), centring on her The Tarot Garden. Situated in Italy, The Tarot Garden is a sculpture park, planned and created by the artist. It is her very personal vision of the personalities of the tarot-game: the world, the fool, the hermit, death, the wheel of fortune.

Published by Benteli, 2017 (originally printed 1997).