The world's most incredible art destinations
From a glittering sculpture park in Tuscany to the former home of Louise Bourgeois – this is your guide to 11 of the most spectacular art sites across the globe!
A mosaic-based sculpture park. Homes-turned-museums. An island in Japan populated by pumpkins. A spider tucked away in the attic of a minimalist haven. A dinner table honouring the most groundbreaking women in history. Dear Readers, this is your guide to the most incredible – unmissable – art destinations worldwide. This is part of my new series for paid subscribers. Want in? Sign up now. Let’s have a look!
I visited this magical site a few years ago, and it is one of my favourite places in the world. Set in the Tuscan hills, the Tarot Garden is a glittering paradise constructed by legendary French-American artist, Niki de Saint Phalle, between the 1970s and 1990s.
“My life-long desire is to live inside a sculpture,” Saint Phalle once wrote to a friend. Setting her artistic ambitions high, she built a live-in sculpture park filled with colossal “Nanas” (her brilliant, bulbous-formed women) erected in the form of Tarots, with their vibrant mosaic cladding glistening in the sunlight.
There’s The Empress, whose insides hold a bedroom and fully functioning mirrored kitchen:
…The Emperor: a climbing structure, which is often teeming with children (below right); The High Priestess who spouts water into one of Jean Tinguely’s kinetic iron machines, The Wheel of Fortune (below left). Tinguely was Saint Phalle’s longtime lover and collaborator, and his iron sculptures feature throughout the Tarot Garden:
Saint Phalle, who referred to herself as the garden’s ‘architect’, acknowledged the contributions of others who had brought the park to fruition. We see this in the pillars in The Emperor’s courtyard (below middle) that are adorned with the names of those who helped contsruct it – from glass-cutters to iron-welders, ceramicists to cooks. There’s a chapel, too, on the edge of the garden. Here, we find a more personal shrine stands to her longtime assistant, Ricardo Menon, who died of AIDS in 1989.
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