LOUIS ARMSTRONG - BLACK HEROES 1999
Signed and numbered on the jacket: Niki de St Phalle 6/8
H. 64cm, W.64 cm, D. 28 cm
Niki Charitable Art Foundation (NCAF) registration certificate for Niki's "Louis Armstrong" 6/8 sculpture under N° 06-1998A-056.
The foundation has confirmed that "despite the fact that the signature and edition number (on the belly) are barely legible, no restaration is necessary"
Louis Armstrong, the jazz genius is one of the symbols of the success of the American dream. However, when Niki de Saint Phalle began her Black Heroes series in 1998, it was to honor these sports and jazz celebrities whose role she felt had been minimized because of their skin color.
It's in her blood: "I identify with all the people who are outsiders, who have been persecuted in one way or another by society. The black man is me, they are me!"1 Her father, Count André de Saint Phalle, contributed as much as he could to the education of the black American community. And the arrival of his great-grandson Djamal, a half-breed, rekindled this feeling of injustice.
Her meeting with Bertrand Lavier gave a new dimension to her project of artistic revolt. He suggested that she include Tiger Woods in her series and organized the exhibition "The Gods of Sport and Music" in Cluny (Burgundy) in July 2021, for which Niki created a monumental version of the great names of Afro-American culture. Since then, Louis Armstrong and the others have been invited around the world. In 2012, they paraded down Park Avenue in New York City (fig. 1).
The first version, painted, was made in eight copies. This one is number 6.