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Louise Bourgeois

American-French artist. 1911-2010.

Because of the very practical approach of the Europeans I always felt that you are what you can be used for. You only exist if you are useful. If you are not useful you are going to be dispensed, and since my parents were repairers of tapestry, nurturers, lovers of the past and connoisseurs, I not only got the best education but also had to work just like everybody else. But artists are not made, the are born!


I came from a very promiscuous family - promiscuous upper middle class - and that carried great danger. It is much more dangerous for a child to witness promiscuity than for an adult to experience it. This is my background, and this is why almost all my work has sexual overtones. But in the sexual pieces I do not try to be sexual at all.  It’s the opposite. Sexuality depends on the quality and accuracy of your imagination, the intensity of your imagination.


Baudelaire, Rimbaud and Verlaine, they are my world. The people who touch me are the poets, because poets, like sculptors, work with images, they do not theorize or philosophize.


I don’t dream. My dreams could not outdo my waking life but the élan has to be there, the energy has to be there, which collects little by little during the night and when I wake up early in the morning, I’m ready to go. At one o’clock I’m finished. I have enough work for the next 100 years.