And, I am back to Paris with just enough time to visit the Stravinsky Fountain, between the Centre Pompidou and the Church of Saint-Merri. Tucked behind it, a massive graffiti called Chuuuttt!!!, made by Jef Aerosol.
There are many fountains in Paris. But, if I had to choose one, it had to be this one. I still remember the first time I saw it from one of the windows of the Centre Pompidou. I just looked outside the window – and there it was. A totally unexpected crazy mix of vibrant, bright, moving elements over a pool of water… In a Summer of many surprises, this was one of these perfect moments which stayed with me. As it stayed seeing Monet’s Water Lilies in the Orangerie, a chocolate mousse eaten in the stairs of the Opera and almost fainting trying to see the Mona Lisa (still haven’t been brave enough to try it again).
About the fountain itself, it was commissioned by the Mayor of Paris, Jacques Chirac and was inaugurated in 1983. Igor Stravinsky‘s The Rite of Spring served as inspiration to Tinguely, who did the black mechanical pieces, and Niki de Saint Phalle, who did the coloured sculptures (as usual, Wikipedia has a good explanation.)
For bonus points, I walk almost every day under Nikki de Saint Phalle’s Guardian Angel in Zurich Main train station. Also, I worked for some time next to the Tinguely Museum in Basel (very good reasons why it made it this and probably never will). Heureka, his first public found its place Zurich, not far from the one in Zurichorn.