Part 6: Bigging up Bourgeois and her Maman (1999-2000)
Back in the 50s, when Nev and Shaun were young and we were glints in our own Maman’s eyes. Louise Bourgeois, A French-American artist who reached world wide acclaim in her 70s (there’s still hope yet), began creating an artistic concept that would later scare the hell out of millions of unsuspecting Londoners in the new millienium. Yes, Madame Bourgeouis was the creative genius who manifested and delivered a bloody huge spider sculpture to London and plonked it outside the Tate Modern.
But, mocking aside this is, in my humble opinion, one of the best art sculptures of all time. Maman is a monumental steel spider, so huge in scale that it can only be installed outside or perhaps in a very large shed. Held up on eight long, thin and rickety legs, its body hangs high above the viewer, enabling them to walk underneath it (would you dare!) and all around it. Each of the eight legs finishes in a cutting point and are made out of two crafted pieces of steel. Balanced below the suspended body of the giant spider is an egg sack containing seventeen marble eggs that hang above the viewers head in a mesh sac. Most charmingly Maman actually demonstrates the strength and beauty of Bourgeoius’ own mother. This paired with the fact that Maman is so disgusting it’s quite beautiful, is why it is the greatest sculpture of all time.
So, let’s all take a moment to appreciate the giant spider with a little song: