I would not have known about Louise Bourgeois if it had not been for the SF MoMA and my sister, who did know about her. Hence, she is my favorite date to the SF MoMA, with her own musings about art, artists and and her own particular observations on life woven in between the chatting ... Walking into this exhibit, and the playfulness of the font design, I think it was one of those moments where I follow my sister anywhere, a kind of sister-trust. ("Huge metal spiders? Okay if you say so.") She was read-up and curious about Louise the artist and artwork, if only I had taken notes of her story telling ... Since then I’ve run into more articles, including this by Karen Kedmey, (here), and am trilled to learn that Louise left behind art and writings about her process.
My ‘emotional entry’ into Louise and her art come through these pathways ::
In this first photo she is only 71 years old (lived to be 98) holding a 2 foot metal sculpted penis, which I’m guessing she created in her home studio, where she created her spiders. Photographed by Robert Mapplethorpe. And yet (and yet? is this my puritanical upbringing?) there is a dignity, elegance and humor about her. Sure, French culture has more of a sexual permissiveness to it than does puritanical America, but in any case, I’d love to read more of what she thought when she made this … Her process and inspiration, her sense of rules or social parameters. The smile. What a fantastic photo and moment in time, the humor, the collaboration, and maybe most of all, that she didn’t let age define her, or stop her from making art.
Reading her idea that “Art is not about art, art is about life”. ! Yes. What a relief. This gave me the inspiration that my logo and brand has to be connected to my life. I knew a few years ago that my “art project” is my life, and that at some point an overall thread of meaning became more clear to me. Not just my life path - creating beauty out of mess, or that there is beauty in the actual mess, and renewal after deconstruction - but in general this ‘life according to anne’, which is now my website, a holistic view of me, including my design work, works in progress, photography, the stories connected to what I see, my blog, with more personal stories of what I feel, my cooking world and this inspiration page, which are the solo people who have followed their own inner compasses to an unusual extent, and/or unusual circumstances.
Reading more about her and her spiders, through Sarah Roberts, I’m searching for information beyond the facts, the emotional layers … The courage it took to depict maternal bonds as something more complicated and dark than beautiful unconditional love. The courage it took to portray the negatives, not just the positives. Louise was connecting the life of s spider with the construction and destruction and renewal of a web, to her own creative process.
The perfect ending words from the article, that Louise made her "experiences and and emotions tangible." Okay, now, I understand the spiders. I love that I am / we are inspired from her life and art even beyond her death. I didn't miss it ...