by Salvatore La Lota di Blasi
The magical side of Tuscany.
From The Lovers to The Sun, from The Emperor to The Pope and to Temperance. All the Major Arcana are here, those that Niki de Saint Phalle, a Franco-American artist, created at the Tarot Garden at Garavicchio in the whereabouts of Pescia Fiorentina, a district of Capalbio. A multi-coloured park, inaugurated in 1998 joining art and architecture in one idea: to create the artist’s magical and spiritual dream. Niki got her inspiration after visiting Parque Guell by Gaudi in Barcelona and the Gardens of Bomarzo. Thus a real and true Tuscan citadel was born with twenty-two imposing figures inspired by the Major Arcana, made of steel and cement, covered in coloured glass, mirrors and ceramics. A place appealing not only to tourists and art historians but mostly to fortune tellers and esoteric experts who, upon reaching the Gardens, are captivated by a strong and mysterious energy. Last lap of an artistic itinerary, the creation of the park at Capalbio marks the artist’s distance from Nouveau Rèalisme and the multi-material assembling to delve deep into a spasmodic widening of shapes and in the radiance inspired by the masters of chromaticism, from Matisse to Picasso, from Kandinskij to Klee. The visits, spread over a period going from April to October of each year, bring thousands of visitors to carry out a real and true initiating itinerary once in there where the silence is only broken by the creaking of the mechanisms which start off the various sculptures making them become living symbols. An itinerary recalling previous famous sites such as Bomarzo or the ideal Palace by Ferdinand Chevalen in the Drome, the Geull Park or the Watts Towers by Simon Rodia in Los Angeles. The difference is that in the Tarot Garden, art and architecture together express “a maternal and powerful female trait, loaded with symbolic complexity of no casual connection (…) with the artist’s psychic and physical “calvaries”.
Open from 1st April to 15th October,
from Monday to Sunday, from 2.30pm – 7.30pm