• Elfrid

Maman


"Maman" by the French artist Louise Bourgeois is one of the most beautiful sculptures I know. It is very likely that you are now thinking "Okay, it is a spider". And yes, it for sure is; a massive, tall spider with long, thin legs, made of bronze, marble and steel. The sculpture has something majestic and frightening about it at the same time. Wrapped inside something that resembles a cage made of steel, you can see several white eggs, well protected inside of the spider's body. Bourgeois created the sculpture as a tribute to her mother, who according to the artist, resembled a spider in many ways. First of all, her mother was a weaver, which obviously makes for a good comparison. But in a wider sense, Bourgeois saw her mother as a strong woman, a person who dedicated her life to protect her family. Just as a spider catches unwanted visitors in her web, the artist's mother did everything in her power to protect her closest ones from dangers from the outside world. Despite this strength though, the sculpture also bears witness to a certain level of vulnerability. The spider's thin legs appear almost too fragile to carry the beast's massive body. Regardless, the spider stands up tall and keeps the eggs safe high up in the air. A brilliant representation of the mother figure as such, if you ask me. There are few things in this world as strong as the maternal instinct. A mother is someone who is caring and protective; a safe haven for her children. But the same time, as all you moms out there probably know very well, nobody is as fragile as a mother. If she can sense a danger appear, she will attack. Just like a spider. Beautiful, simply beautiful. What do you think? xx Elfrid

Sources: - The home pages of Tate Modern and Guggenheim - The documentary "Louise Bourgeois: The Spider, The Mistress and The Tangerine" from 2008 Xx Elfrid

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