Nana Mamacita is caretaker of the Live Produce Homing Home at Royal Doll Town (A sort of orphanage for fresh produce creatures). She is a clay maquette (conceptual scale model) and was apparently created by the evocative and vibrantly indefatigable Franco-American artist Niki de Saint Phalle in Paris in 1965 during the early days of her “Nana” phase. It happened quite fortuitously that Niki was preparing orange flesh sweet potatoes for a haphazard artist’s supper when she discovered a potato that looked remarkably like the Venus of Willendorf with her pendulous oolitic limestone breasts. Tweaking the enigmatic potato here and there, for the clay reproduction the incipient Nana Mamacita came into being. Brimming with inspiration Niki enthusiastically set to work sketching ideas while the rest of the potato dinner burnt to a crisp, a common ending for many an artist’s cooking ventures. Obsessed with the full figure Earth Mother archetype, Niki spent decades prolifically producing umpteen voluptuous colourfully patterned "Nanas" from the small conceptual clay ones to the massive mosaicked plaster over mesh frame installations which energetically and gaily posed in parks and gardens around Europe and Central Park in New York City. The first Nana I met was in Paris in 1989 while walking through the Jardines Tuileries. It was a lonely and low point in my life. Her powerful and enormous presence naturally attracted my attention and when she winked at me, I succumbed to her glorious blue eminence and stood admiring her for ages. Then when no one else was looking she purposefully bent forward, looked me directly in the eye, paused and cryptically whispered: “Un jour…” And that was all. She immediately regained her frozen pose and ignored me. It was most puzzling but strangely somehow what she said was fortifying, as if the blue lady had an inkling of navigating through the viscous quagmire of the blues and how to get to the other side alive and kicking. Those two words have kept me comforted. I've no idea what she meant exactly, but one day… Who knows? Maybe, one day.
And in her day, Niki also trudged a time bogged down in the blues producing: “crezee” according to Nana Mamacita, art works. Her pieces were large scale conglomerations of plaster, paint and all manner of ‘objets trouvés’ (recycled objects) from broken old toys and doll parts (fortunately mostly soulless plastic ones) to discarded household items and artefacts. Some of her collage works had paint concealed within plastered-over plastic packets so when she staged a literal shooting of her artwork the paint would explode and ooze ominously out in multi-coloured splotches and streaks. What Nana Mamacita could not stomach about Niki’s corporeal collages was the maiming of dolls and their body parts. It made her ill, especially the ones swathed and shrouded in thick white plaster and paint, mummified for good. Not good at all according to her, downright “Orreeble!” As for her practice of blasting cocooned paint from her artworks with a shotgun it was all the more nerve shattering for Nana Mamacita. She simply had to escape “zee crezeeness” of the studio.
Her opportunity arose in 1966 when Niki collaborated with Jean Tinguely, a meta-mechanical kinetic artist famous for ‘Le Rotozaza’ concept, which essentially entailed welded scrap iron works into cog and wheel machines. The artists fell for each other and in the electric early days of their relationship Niki and Jean were flirting around with a rouage (wheel works) style contraption and some objets trouvés consisting of bits of broken toy cars, old plush toys and tin robots they’d scooped from a scrap yard when they playfully hybridized a cute concoction on the side. The creation made by the love birds had a large Japanese kitsch bear head and a body which was an old mechanised walking doll’s torso which they attached to a cog-traption made from old toy wheels as she had no legs. The eclectic creation became known as Rouagine. The cog-traption was some sort of perpetual motion device so when she got started, her drive was ceaseless and she could keep going for ever she reckoned. Nana Mamacita recognized the brilliance of this and inveigled Rouagine into her grand escape plan. She hitched a ride on the back of Rouagine and the two rode full speed away into the sunset like a predated Thelma and Louise. Their Euro road trip went on for years. They hid out on farms and forges and took a keen interest in misshapen vegetables and interesting metal works. They also visited as many museums and art galleries as was possible until they retreated to a cosy dark corner in a clockmaker’s workshop for a lengthy hiatus. Whilst resident at the old clock tinkerer, they met a cuckoo bird who'd come in for repairs. He told them of the secret Royal Doll Town and hinted of how to get there. Of course they set off forthwith and paid Mrs Studebaker a handsome sum to be ferried across the channel. Nana Mamacita with her great love for anthropomorphic vegetables that resembled creatures found her place at the Live Produce Homing Home. You see, on account of his own vegetal countenance, Count Mandrake has an affinity for weirdly misshapen fruits or vegetables that look humanoid or animal like. He employs his magical skills to imbue the anthropomorphic featured beings to life and then they are taken to the Live Produce Homing Home run by Nana Mamacita to be appropriately homed with someone at Court. Rouagine who had become well versed in clockworks and an expert eclectic tinkerer was assigned to work in the Royal Metal Works Studio with Metabert Mécanique to create all kinds of ingenious metallic contraptions.
The Cybiography of Queen Marcheline CLICK HERE:
AND HE SAID:
"Truly I tell you,
You're NEVER too old to be young at heart
P l a g i a r i s m is
a plague D O N ' T
S P R E A D I T ! ! !
R e s p e c t