Art &Technology
- Pop Art - Saint Phalle

Niki de Saint Phalle is an artist, who is often identified with her Nana sculptures. Less well known are her much more radical shooting performances. Saint Phalle made a big leap from her career as a model posing for Vogue, Harper's Bazar, Life magazine and other magazines to the art clubs and museums of the 60ies and 70ies..

Niki de Saint Phalle. Shooting Action 1963

Fig.: Niki de Saint Phalle: Filmstill from a movie by Peter Schamoni

Fig.: Niki de Saint Phalle: Shooting Action. 1963
Click here to see what she was shooting at.


In her shooting performances she symbolically took revenge on her father by setting up an over-life size human sculpture which held invisibly bags of colour. By hitting the sculpture with the bullets of a rifle and thereby opening the colour bags the visitors of the show were enabled to put colours upon the formerly white sculpture.

"In 1961 I shot at: Daddy, all the men, small menr, tall men, important men, fat men, men, my brother, society, church, school, my family, my mother, all the men, Daddy, myself, men again."

(Niki de Saint Phalle)

Fig.: Niki de Saint Phalle: Portrait of my lover. 1961

At the age of 24 Nike de Saint Phalle suffers from a nervous breakdown. This also marks the starting point for her fight against her former identity. An outbreak of creativity following this breakdown reinstitutes her energy to continue living and points towards her change of style, which has been described by her as replacing "from outside to inside" by "from inside out". Saint Phalle tries to express her fears and horrors explicitly in her paintings and her actions.