Search This Blog

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Louise Bourgeois and the Spider, 1995

Louise Bourgeois and the Spider 1995
copyright Peter Bellamy 2010

I was Louise’s photographer from 1985 to 1995.

I waited in the shadows for ten years for this shot, shooting Louise’s work. Through the eighties, and into the nineties.

Countless hours, days, nights, weeks, months, years, I spent shooting her work from 85-95, this the time of her rebirth into greatness,

I shoot only a couple of portraits during this period because she would never pose.  She was much too distrusting of uncomplimentary untrue images.

One day some visitors came and Jerry (her devoted assistant) posed every one by the spider for a shot, I set up a simple soft light and the camera hung barely in focus.

Louise was the last to pose and was very nervous, the more Jerry posed her, the more awkward the situation became.

Exasperated, she looked at me and said, “Say something, Tell me you like me.”

I said, “Louise I love you, We all love you very much”

She smiled from the heart and said, “Thank you Peter."

I realized that is what her work is about to some degree, the search for and the containment of love.

And that is the art of portraiture! Endless patience and the perfect understanding of the subjects needs at the given moment. Love is always the strongest emotion between two people. It is divine


  1. Wow. What a spectacular image. I admit: I couldn't be that happy and relaxed that close to a giant spider, but then I wouldn't have been the artist to create such a piece, either. My loss, on all counts.
    And a beautiful insight into the nature of her art, as well.

  2. That's really freaky but I agree a powerful image - and fantastic story!