Niki De Saint Phalle: Who Is The Monster -- You Or Me?

  • 1995
  • 1 HR 33 MIN
  • NR
  • Documentary

The way you feel about the work of Niki de Saint Phalle will pretty much determine your response to Peter Schamoni's reverential portrait of the artist. This high-fashion model turned widely commissioned artist first gained notoriety in the early '60s with her series of "shooting paintings," in which various paint-filled objects were fixed to a canvas then...read more

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The way you feel about the work of Niki de Saint Phalle will pretty much determine your response to Peter Schamoni's reverential portrait of the artist. This high-fashion model turned widely commissioned artist first gained notoriety in the early '60s with her series of

"shooting paintings," in which various paint-filled objects were fixed to a canvas then shot through with a rifle, resulting in an explosion of color. But Saint Phalle soon turned away from this artistic dead end and began producing the sculptures for which she is best known: brightly colored and

often oversized abstractions of maternal figures, sheathed in polyester and burnished to a high gloss. Schamoni's film offers maddeningly little insight into Saint Phalle's life, particularly her relationship with her aristocratic family, which seems to inform so much of her work. He makes the

unfortunate decision to let the artist and her art speak for themselves: Charming as both may be, they don't have much to say. What amounts to a survey of the artist's work begins to resemble the works themselves: highly -- often dazzlingly -- decorative, but ultimately free of substantial

ideas.

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