if you miss this, you are a philistine

there are very few things that i have experienced that leave me absolutely unable to come up with some sort of sarcastic remark when i decide to post about ’em on one of these here blog thingies…..but last night i took in the niki in the garden exhibition at the atlanta botanical gardens and to put it mildly i was absolutely spellbound.

the exhibit features several sculptures by fench artist niki de saint phalle who died recently in 2002.. the sculptures themselves are amazing. colorful, vibrant and celebratory; in a time when art tends to dwell so deep into the negative and the grotesque in an attempt to shock the viewer saint phalle’s sculptures which celebrate the good in humanity are a welcome treat.

what really makes this amazing is that the sculptures are set amidst the backdrop of the immaculately maintained botanical gardens. sculpture and flora blend together to create an amazing affect. and it gets better. on thursdays (like last night) the garden stays open late for ‘niki nights’ and the sculptures (most of which are made of colored glass and stones) are lit magnificently from above and below by perfectly placed spots creating an almost magical fairy-tale world.

saint phalle loved kids too, and many of her sculptures are designed to be played on, climbed on and crawled through by kids (in fact the subtitle of the exhibit is ‘come play’) and it was too cool to see all the kids there experiencing the art not with cries of boredom but shrieking in delight.

you absolutely owe it to yourself to go see this. thursdays under the lights if you can. it’s in town until October 31.

4 Comments so far

  1. Jesse (unregistered) on August 4th, 2006 @ 5:53 pm

    Agreed! I went last week and was equally impressed. More Flickr love for Nikki here.

  2. Garth Johnson (unregistered) on August 7th, 2006 @ 11:33 am

    Oh jeez. Family friendly? Fun? Sure. Philistine? Don’t make me laugh. I’m not usually much of a hater, but does anyone realize how much of a commercial juggernaut Nikki de St Phalle is? They’re trying to implant the same little chips in our heads that have made Europeans with no taste buy cheesy Nikki figurines and prints for years. Every dollar-type store there is loaded down with knockoffs. I’d sooner go see an exhibition of Keith Haring Swatch watches or Andy Warhol totebags. I’d sooner have the freakin’ sculptural cow plague visit us again. Yargh.

  3. james (unregistered) on August 7th, 2006 @ 11:48 am

    wow. i can’t really agree with you (obviosuly since i wrote the post) just because something is popular does not mean it isn’t good or artistic. charles dickens was the most popular author alive during his time. monet died a rich man, selling his paintings for fortunes. it is certainly possible to make art that appeals to the masses and at the same time entails tremendous creativity and talent.

    i personaly could not look at these sculptures set against the back drop of the gardens, lit up like they were and not be taken aback.

    of course i am not about to set myself up as the arbiter of anyone else’s taste and if millions of people choose to buy thomas kincaide paintings in malls or read john grisham novels (both of which are crpa in my mind) so be it. their money, their choice. i refuse to put a value judgement on it.

    all of which leads us to the conclusion that my philistine title was more than a bit tounge and cheek.

  4. Rich (unregistered) on August 7th, 2006 @ 7:30 pm

    I went to this a couple months ago and thought it was great. Not really concerned how popular the artist is here or elsewhere. My only regret was forgetting to grab my camera.

Terms of use | Privacy Policy | Content: Creative Commons | Site and Design © 2009 | Metroblogging ® and Metblogs ® are registered trademarks of Bode Media, Inc.