Niki de Saint Phalle: Google Doodle celebrates French sculptor's 84th birthday


Elisa Criado
Wednesday 29 October 2014 01:00 GMT

Google has celebrated the 84th birthday of Niki de Saint Phalle, a French sculptor most famous for her “Nanas”; the colourful, curvy female figures that form the Doodle in her honour.

Born to a French father and an American mother, Niki grew up in New York, attending a convent school from which she was dismissed for painting the fig leaves of the classical sculptures red.

In addition to her “Nanas”, Niki de Saint Phalle is also known for her “shooting paintings”. Using a pistol, rifle, or even canon fire, she would shoot at a complex set-up covered in white plaster, underneath which she had hidden containers of paint. The gunshots would release the paint, creating the image.

As a result of inhaling toxic polyester fumes whilst creating her artwork, she suffered from emphysema, from which she died in 2002 at the age of 71.

The Doodle appears to depict Les Trois Grâces, three public sculptures in her characteristic voluptuous style, which form part of the National Museum of Women in the Arts New York Avenue Sculpture Project.

Niki de Saint Phalle is reported to have said: "I'm condemned to show everything. That is my task".

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