12/26/2007

Giant Spider Sculpture


Do you have a 12-year-old boy who thinks spiders are really, really cool? Here’s an introduction to art that will get his attention. The National Gallery of Canada recently acquired Maman, a 9.27 metre (30-foot) spider sculpture, which is now on display at the Gallery’s Plaza. The gargantuan bronze spider, by Louise Bourgeois, weighs 8,165 kg (or 18,000 lbs) and carries a sac of 20 pure white marble eggs under her belly. Spiders, with their ability to fabricate complex and calculated webs, serve as a natural metaphor for creativity. This artist intended this sculpture to be an ode to the artist’s mother, who was a restorer of tapestries. Called "Maman", it is the last of six spiders cast by renowned Franco-American artist Louise Bourgeois as a tribute to her mother. It was created in 1999 and cast in 2003. Bourgeois was born in France in 1911 and has been working as an artist for nearly 70 years. She immigrated to the United States in 1938.
Maman's $3.2-million price tag could raise a few eyebrows. Rather than being concerned about gallery-goers turning into Miss Muffets, Franklin says the giant spider is already doing what it's supposed to do – inspire people to talk about art. "The very elegant structure of the spider will certainly enhance the entrance and hopefully draw people to the entrance who maybe have not come to the National Gallery before, but who will be fascinated by this piece," he said. Maman joins several other Bourgeois sculptures in the gallery's collection. The 93-year-old artist – whose work is featured in institutions such as the British Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and Florence's Uffizi Gallery – is considered among the world's most important sculptors living today and will be celebrated with a retrospective at the Tate Modern in 2007.

2 comments:

Jenny said...

eww yuck!! little ones are bad enough.

LadyBanana said...

The stuff of nightmares!