My Heart Belongs to Marcel
Niki de Saint Phalle, French, 1930 - 2002
Beneath an intricate array of miscellaneous objects, drips of pink paint disrupt the evenly coated surface of Niki de Saint Phalle’s “Shooting Painting.” From 1961 to 1963, Saint Phalle staged performances in which she shot her relief sculptures with a rifle, puncturing paint pellets hidden within. Through chance and violence, the artist transforms otherwise delicate materials, such as lace fringes, fake flowers, and miniature plastic figurines. Initiated in Paris, Saint Phalle’s performances were also staged with artists in New York such as Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg. The work’s title and use of readymade objects pays homage to Saint Phalle’s friend, the artist Marcel Duchamp.