New York has MoMA and Nice has MAMAC, Musée d’art moderne et d’art contemporain. Although it’s just plain azure at the moment, the facade often features brilliant light installations turning the entire entrance into a work of art.
The French artist Niki de Saint Phalle spent quite a bit of time in Nice and donated nearly 200 of her distinctive pieces to MAMAC.
We were already familiar with Niki de Saint Phalle’s work. Her Firebird (L’Oiseau de Feu sur l’Arche) is a giant mirrored piece that has been in front of the Bechtler Museum in Charlotte, North Carolina since 2009. About 60 pieces of her enchantingly colorful art were exhibited there several years ago.
The museum has lots of other art as well. Some of it, we just had to ask, “This is art?”
Interestingly, this use of plastic in artworks has led to a whole new field of POPART: the Preservation Of Plastic Artefacts in museum collections. How long will this art last? How do you keep it clean?
How do you keep this one clean? It’s a Poubelle (trash bin) by Arman. (Click on the image to enlarge. You might have the makings of your own piece of artwork in your kitchen trash right now: Coke, Pepperidge Farm, Marlboro…)
Some of Arman’s other pieces are intentional decomposition, a little less yucky. We saw the guitars cut apart at the Picasso museum in Antibes. Here he has cut brass instruments in half.
Finally, the museum has numerous paintings and sculptures in blue by Yves Klein. In this piece, he slathered paint on nude women and supervised their movement across the canvas to create a work of New Realism.
It was good to have a day of culture, whether we understood it all or not!