Thursday, June 03, 2010

Good bye, Louise.

I want to veer slightly away from the "norm" of this space a take a turn towards the serious for a moment. On May 31st the woman in the picture above died of a heart attack at age 98. Her name was Louise Bourgeois and she was a defining influence on me as a young artist.

I think that it's safe to say that almost everyone has heard of Picasso, Monet, and Van Gogh. There are some 20th century artists that are so recognizable that they have become part of the crossword puzzle lexicon of our lives. We know the Beatles, we know Picasso. It makes us well rounded consumers of popular culture.

Name some 20th century women artists. If you can get past Georgia O'Keefe and Frida Kahlo then more power to you.

It might get a little lost in the shuffle here at the old D. P. but I (sometimes) am an actual (really, I have credentials) artist. There are times when I whine a bit about how my chosen medium (fiber) causes people to take me less seriously than some, but I have the privilege of living in a time when my gender doesn't immediately disqualify me as an artist with important things to say. Even though many of you haven't heard of her, I owe that honor in a large part to Ms. Louise.

I'm finding it unexpectedly difficult to write this (Manimal came home a few minutes ago to find me teary eyed over the keyboard). I hope that you will all take a few minutes to honor the founder of "confessional" art. (Is there another kind? Really? I had no idea...). sometimes an artist who owes a lot of her bravery of self expression to one L.B. dead at 98.