Thursday, June 3, 2010
It's kind of crazy how is seems like so many people we've grown up with (but never really knew) have passed away lately. From Ronnie James Dio to Gary Coleman, it all seemed so sudden. I'm not a fan at all of celebrity worship though, and I think of all the humble, quiet heroes, and how they come and go peacefully and not so peacefully. One such hero, though quite well known to many, was Louise Bourgeois, who died last Monday in Manhattan at the age of 98. This is my little tribute to Louise, who I remember most from seeing an artist interview several years ago on the ART 21 series. I was blown away by this intelligent, independent-minded old woman who made some of the most amazing sculptures I've ever seen. Despite her serious style and subject matter, she didn't at all strike me as the typical self-absorbed type who took herself too seriously, like many artists (both well-known and not-so-known) are prone to do. Known by many as the "spider lady", Louise seemed to possess an honest, open sincerity when she spoke, and a slow, determined fire informing her work. Perhaps these qualities had finally arrived with time and age. Even though her art, at least by mainstream public standards was "dark" and "disquieting", it displayed a radical beauty of sorts - something I find incredibly appealing in both art and music - a brilliant balance of opposites. Louise was primarily known for her organic, abstracted three-dimensional forms, influenced and inspired by the natural world as well as Freudien psychology. Her famous, monstrous spiders represented female strength and power and were attributed to her biggest role-model, her mother.