Brea Artwork: La Lune by Niki de St. Phalle


Californians are big fans of French artist Niki de Saint Phalle, whose work can be seen at the Brea Mall.

Internationally renowned artist Niki de Saint Phalle created a whimsical public piece which sits in the center of a fountain pool at Brea Mall. Drawing inspiration from the 18th card of the tarot deck, the polymer creation evokes attention from passersby with its brilliant primal colors: red, blue, green and yellow. La Lune (French for “The Moon”) features the slender profile of a woman’s face in a double-image silver crescent moon. The moon is then clasped by a startling red and orange lobster, which is supported by a wolf and a dog. The dog implies domesticity, the wolf signifies the wild, the lobster represents the sea and the moon symbolizes man’s highest achievement. The artist’s work is known for searching the unknown and the mystical in feminine themes.

The piece is one of over 20 quality public installations throughout the city of Brea you can see during a visit.

About the artist: Born as Catherine-Marie-Agn├Ęs Fal de Saint Phalle, she lived from October 1930 to May 2002. Multi-talented, she was recognized not only for her sculpting and painting but also her film-making. Her striking features and figure also provided a career during her teen and young adult years as a fashion model for the French Vogue magazine, and she also appeared on the cover of Life magazine circa 1949.

Niki de Saint Phalle moved to the U.S. from France with her family and lived on the East Coast. Expelled from one school for painting fig leaves red on the school statuary, the budding artist had only begun to explore her creative side and fortunately, was not deterred from pursuing one of her many talents as painter.

In California you’ll find four of her sculpted works — all in Southern California, from San Diego to Brea.

EscondidoQueen Califia’s Magic Circle, a sculpture garden in Kit Carson Park, Escondido, California.

San DiegoSun God is a fanciful winged creature next to the Faculty Club on the campus of the University of California, San Diego as a part of the Stuart Collection of public art.

San DiegoComing Together is showcased at the San Diego Convention Center.

BreaLa Lune, a sculpture located inside the Brea Mall in Brea, California.

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Photo: La Lune. (City of Brea)