March 05, 2011

Joseph Donadello, Le jardin de Bépi Donal/Bépi Donal's garden


picture (2009) french journal la Dépêche du Midi

Sponge Bob is known in France too.  Here he is, Bob l'éponge, in an outsider environment in the Toulouse area in the south of France.

Life and works

Joseph Donadello was born in 1927. I came along a text saying that he is of Italian descent, so quite probably, like other Italians, he migrated to France to work there as a mason. 

He has been doing this job for many years, but due to an accident, he had to find other work. So he had all kinds of professions, like postman. shoemaker and truck driver.

Being retired in 1981, around 1985 he began decorating his garden, producing a variety of creative constructs.

The garden has a lot of sculptures of persons and animals, made from concrete, painted in bright colors. You will find Adam and Eve, Mickey Mouse, Romy Schneider. Laurel and Hardy, and so on, all together over 200 representations. The sculptures have a somewhat two-dimensional character.

But Donadello also has made kind of frescoes on walls and  small scale monumental structures, like this Panthéon.


The environment is named the garden of Bépi Donal,  the name Donadello likes as his nickname.

As can be seen on next picture, Donadello also has been making a lot of paintings, which completely cover the walls of his interior (together with the prizes won in jeu de boules competitions).

this picture (2008) also by Bruno Montpied

More pictures and documentation
* weblog by Sophie Lepetit, articles on august 9, 2011 (description, pics), on january 17, 2012 pics of (interior works) and january 18, 2012 (pics of garden elements)
* article in la Dépêche du Midi, 30-12-2009 ( in french)
* posts of Bruno Montpied on his weblog le Poignard Subtil of 5-9-2008, 13-9-2008 and 21-9-2008 (in french, with a lot of nice pictures).
* a movie by Noémie Dumas, Le Jardin de Bépi (2007, 17')

Joseph Donadello
le jardin de Bépi Donal
Saint-Lys
31470 Saiguide, France
can be seen from the road,
visits only on appointment

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