Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Ode to Louise

I have mixed feelings about these types of farewell posts... they seem so impersonal and disingenuous but since I had been planning to post this photo of Louise anyway (I was stalling b/c I had to scan it) I thought why not. It is the most amazing photo of her! Her person shines right through.
The copy on the bottom reads...

Louise Bourgeois in a Helmut Lang ad (1997) "Helmut Lang asked me to take a picture of Louise. I asked if it was important to show any objects or clothes, and he said, 'No, but I made a little crown for her and maybe she'll wear it, maybe she won't'"

I first came across Louise's work at the Louisiana (how apropos) in Denmark. I was dumbfounded, I just kept thinking... 'Why have I never heard of this woman before? By God she's in her 90's and I've never heard of her!!!'
I felt a bit angry about that.

I also felt her put into form and words similar pains I had carried. The pain of finding out your father was unfaithful to your mother. The pain of having to grow up before you were ready because of the unraveling of your family. The urgent need you feel to protect your mother even though she is a couple decades older than you. The anger you feel at being betrayed by it all. Perhaps she is one of the first artists that allowed me to make the connection of the ability to channel that inner chaos into a creative instead of a destructive outlet. I'm still learning how to do this. And in her words...

Art is a guaranty of sanity.


wishful nals said...

it's an awesome photo. speaks for itself!

jamie said...


RAD photo.

Stephanie Hoff Clayton said...

what a sensitive and thoughtful tribute. i'm so glad to have stumbled across this.
of all her work i've seen (alas none in person yet), the spiders are the most profound to me.

K said...

Thanks everyone!

Stephanie the spiders are absolutely amazing. We had one right outside our school in Denmark and I so loved in the mornings when all the little kids from a nearby school would come out for lunch... each one would take a leg and spin spin spin around the sculpture that was at least as large as all the surrounding buildings. I wish I had a picture of this.

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