Review of Louise Bourgeois Spiders at SFMOMA

Louise Borgeois Spider at SFMOMA
Louise Bourgeois Spider

Oct. 7, 2017
Sept. 4, 2018

Floor 5

By Clifford Bell


So after drivin around for an hour and finally parkin in one of the overpriced parkin garages, I dropped a twenty and offloaded the Honda. That’s OK I’ll just hand it in with my monthly expense report.

But twenty bucks, man!

Then I get in and it’s another $22 for a ticket, damn, what a clip joint. Luckily, I look like a senior citizen or it woulda been another 3 bucks. OK, so I’m walkin around on the ground floor and I ask where the spiders are.

Some snotty little intern with purple hair says, “You mean the Louise Bourgeois exhibit, sir?”

“Yeah, that’s it.”

“It’s on the 5th floor.”

I get off the elevator – I’m not walkin up 5 flights o’stairs with this ticker. I see the first one. Huge it was. I walked under, through and around the thing. All I could think of was, why the heck does she make these giant spiders?

Who cares this much about a bug?

How does this broad make any money doin’ this?

Who has the room to have these big bugs in their house?

Why doesn’t she just make a nice paintin’ of flowers? Then when people come over for some mostaccioli, and man, my Sofia makes the best, ummm, I’m getting hungry just thinkin about it. Anyway, when the family comes over and you’re sittin around havin some Lemoncello afterwards, well, they can look up and see your paintin of some nice flowers and yap about it. But bugs? Whadda ya say about that when uncle Tony is sittin there with his after dinner Amaro, no wait, that’s Uncle Vinny, Uncle Tony loves his Grappo. Of course! How could I forget?

Anyway, Uncle Tony and Uncle Vinny sittin there tryin to digest their mostaccioli, lookin at some giant spider. Who could choke down food lookin at that?

So, I’m typin away on this art review, here, the one I’m doing right now and my editor walks in. She’s readin over my shoulder right now. I’m getting pretty uncomfortable here, startin to sweat.

“Did you sleep through your English classes, Mr. Bell?”

“Ah, that’s Bello, Ms. Blaisdale.”

“Your resume said Bell, Mr. Bell.”

“Well like I said, it’s Bello.”

“OK, did you sleep through your high school English classes, Mr. Bello?”

“Uh, I didn’t really finish high school.”

“It shows. Let me give you a very brief grammar tip.”


“Every inflected verb has an ing at the end. It could be a present participle or a gerund, but it always has an ing, not just an in. Do you understand, Mr. Bello?”

“Uh yeah sure.”

What the fuck is she goin on about?

“There, you see? It’s right there, Mr. Bello.”


“You’ve typed goin when it should be going. Do not make that mistake again.”

“OK, OK, hold your water.”

“Moving on. Were you actually planning on discussing the formal principles of Bourgeois’s spiders at some point?”

“Uh, yeah.”


I couldn’t think of nothin to say. She had me cold. I was outed before my first column was done. Shit she’s good. I think I might –”

“Mr. Bello are you listening? Did you even read the SFMOMA blurb on her work?”

“The what?”

Picking up the brochure, the editor read it to me.

“The artist saw spiders as both fierce and fragile, capable of being protectors as well as predators. For Bourgeois, the spider embodied an intricate and sometimes contradictory mix of psychological and biographical allusions.”

She looked at me expecting me to say something, but I couldn’t think. I was frozen. It was like I was in a trance or somethin.

“Reading is power, try it sometime Mr. Bello.”

What a bitch.

So I looked up the lady’s spiders.

“Spider stands so far outside the standard notion of sculpture that to call it sculpture is to say there’s no such thing as sculpture.”

What the hell does that mean?

“Its mixed-media egg case between huge bronze legs: the spider is female, of course, her egg case a house, a woman-house.”

A woman-house?

“As within a womb, house, or dream Spider.”

What a load of crap.

I have to say, I did like the spiders though. They were really cool when you got there and actually saw them, walked under them. Did I mention how big they are? But 42 bucks, I mean really. Ah, who cares, it all goes on my expense account.

“You don’t have an expense account Mr. Bello,” my editor said and walked out the door.


DISCLAIMER from the Editor: At The STORY, we in no way endorse Mr. Bello’s conclusions about the work of Louise Bourgeois or SFMOMA in general, or the cost of parking in San Francisco. San Francisco is a wonderful city to visit and SFMOMA is a superb art museum that you should patronize often. The work of Louise Bourgeois is a favorite here at The STORY. I would encourage everyone to see her show, up until September 4, 2018. We will have a more intellectually stimulating review of this exhibit at a later date. Mr. Bello is a new reviewer and may not be asked to review anything, ever again. Please accept our sincere apologies for any distress. Further, there is far less expensive parking than $20 in San Francisco.

Clifford Bello Written by:

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