Queen Califia’s Magical Circle is a mosaic paradise

Niki de Saint Phalle

Iris Sankey Arboretum in Kit Carson Park
N Mary
Escondido, CA
Mosaic environment

She was well known in the field of contemporary art. Influenced by figures such as Jean Dubuffet and Antoni Gaudi, she made her reputation in the Sixties with a series of giant female figures, the “Nanas.” Visitors could walk inside “Hon,” which was installed at the Moderna Museet in Stockholm in 1996.”

“She collaborated with sculptor Jean Tinguely on large scale sculptural projects, and since 1979 worked on the enormous Tarot Garden in Tuscany. Financed by the sale of her art around the world and built with the help of local artists and craftsmen, the structures have strong steel frames designed by Jean Tinguely and are overlaid with sprayed concrete, then covered in shimmering mirror and ceramic mosaics.”

“The High Priestess represents the feminine principal of the universe. The huge blue-lipped mouth is a fountain whence water cascades down the steps to a pond. The elaborate interior of the Magician has been richly painted by Scottish artist Alan Davie. Inspired by the 22 Major Arcana of the Tarot, these colossal architectural sculptures serve as a lasting monument to Saint Phalle’s creative energies.”

For more images and info, visit the Niki de Saint Phalle Home Page and The Joy Of Shards. For images and info on Queen Califia’s Magical Circle in Escondido CA, USA, visit the Queen Califia’s Magical Circle Home Page.

Find this site and others with the iPhone app, “Best Road Trip Ever!”

(Photos © Copyright 2006-2013 Kelly Ludwig, all rights reserved)

Bibliography & Links:

“Detour Art—Outsider, Folk Art, and Visionary Folk Art Environments Coast to Coast, Art and Photographs from the Collection of Kelly Ludwig” by Kelly Ludwig, Kansas City Star Books, 2007.

“Rare Visions and Roadside Revelations Coast to Coast Travel-o-Pedia” by Randy Mason, et. al., Kansas City Star Books, 2009.

On DVD – Rare Visions and Roadside Revelations, “Cali-Zona, Here We Come,” KCPT, Kansas City Public Television, 2007.

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