My World #21: Spidey No More?

16 Mar

In August of 2008 while driving along The Embarcadero, I noticed this giant scupture.  Who would miss this huge spider?  The sculpture is named Crouching Spider by artist Louise Bourgeois.  Crouching Spider weighs 4,333 pounds.  Then in February of this year, I walked up and down Embarcadero and did not see it. It was no longer there.  Then I remembered reading about this structure in the March-April 2008 Via Magazine. Here’s what Via said about this structure:

“A 4,333-pound spider inspired by the artist’s mother?  The New York City-based Bourgeios, born in France to a family of tapestry restorers, has written that, like a spider, here mother was “deliberate, clever, patient, soothing, reasonable, dainty, subtle, indispensable, neat, and useful.” Intended as a temporary installation on the Embarcadero until June 2008, with a possible 10-month extension, this arachnid stands poised within steps of the Ferry Building’s gourmet food purveyors and about a quarter mile from Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen’s giant bow-and-arrow sculpture. “We’d love to make it a permanent,” says Jill Manton of the San Francisco Arts Commission, which contracted teh spider, “but the city simply can’t afford the $6 million price.” Any deep-pocketed archnophile art patrons out there?”

That article was from March 2008, I shot the picture in August 2008. Is it possible that I was not paying attention when I went out walking in February 2009 and missed the installation?  Is the spider still there?  Any SF/Bay Area people know if the Crouching Spider is still there.  For the giant bow-and-arrow photo, click the embarcadero link above.

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Posted by on March 16, 2009 in My World


46 responses to “My World #21: Spidey No More?

  1. seniorhiker

    March 16, 2009 at 6:26 pm

    It’s hard to believe that a spider that large could escape notice if it was still in San Francisco! But this is a great picture.

  2. Louise Cannon

    March 16, 2009 at 7:10 pm

    That’s a cool sculpture. Too bad it had to go!

  3. Carver

    March 16, 2009 at 7:11 pm

    I like that sculpture. Too bad your town didn’t get to keep it. Good that you photographed it while it was still there.

  4. Janie of Utah

    March 16, 2009 at 7:29 pm

    As a mom, I’m not sure I’d like being an inspiration for a spider!
    Amazing that the sculpture weighs so much. I wonder where it is now?

  5. sylvia

    March 16, 2009 at 7:35 pm

    Glad you photographed it so we could all see it! Have to admit I think it’s kind of funny that it was inpired by a mom! Gee, I hope my kids don’t ever get into making sculptures, no telling what giant monster would appear! Sorry the city didn’t get to keep it! It is kind of unusual, isn’t it???

  6. FickleMinded

    March 16, 2009 at 7:48 pm

    wow! that’s a creepy looking giant spider!

  7. Jennifer

    March 16, 2009 at 7:54 pm

    Cool sculpture and I like how he described his mother, I would definitely feel honored to be compared to a spider like that.

  8. Mojo

    March 16, 2009 at 7:57 pm

    It’s a great photo and an interesting story — and a fascinating sculpture. But somehow I think having lunch in the shadow of a 2-ton spider would creep me out a little. Odd that a spider that large could slip away unnoticed, but then again it is San Francisco, where “odd” is just part of the local charm.

  9. nadia

    March 16, 2009 at 8:27 pm

    It is huge and odd, yet a very interesting work of art. Too bad they had to take it down. And you’re lucky to have captured it on camera. Thank you so much for sharing your part of the world with us. Have a great week!

  10. Gnome at the Bottom of the Garden

    March 16, 2009 at 8:32 pm

    I would have thought that there were enough arachnophobes out there who might have protested this artwork! Maybe it was off chasing a 1 ton fly down at fishermans wharf when you last visited…

  11. Antigoni

    March 16, 2009 at 8:39 pm

    I hate spiders. I can’t stand them. But your post is very good.

  12. SandyCarlson

    March 16, 2009 at 8:51 pm

    Nice to meet the $6 million spider! That is amazing. I love the connection to the idea of mother.

  13. Rob Inukshuk

    March 16, 2009 at 8:52 pm

    Just a tad creepy, but magnificent all the same. I wonder where it is now?

  14. Jennifer

    March 16, 2009 at 8:53 pm

    You asked about Ook: I’m a fan of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld novels. The wizard’s university there, Unseen University, has a librarian who is an Orang Utan since a magical accident and all he ever says is Ook. Or maybe Eek, when someone returns a book with pencil markings. Since I’m a librarian myself, so he’s my favourite character.

  15. kayleen

    March 16, 2009 at 9:39 pm

    A most unusual sculpture!

  16. Martha

    March 16, 2009 at 10:05 pm

    Interesting sculpture. It reminds me of the waterfront in Wellington, NZ. Lots of quirky sculpture there.

  17. Starnitesky

    March 16, 2009 at 10:06 pm

    Good photo but I wouldn’t go near it!

  18. Today's Blah...

    March 16, 2009 at 10:30 pm

    Yay! That is so big…I find it funny that the good traits of the artist’s mom was likened to a spider…how useful, dainty, reasonable, indespensable spiders can be? hahahah…I’m not sure of it though. As for artists, they have this wild, sometimes weird imaginations that I do understand why some people (like me at times) can’t appreciate their concepts… I’m giving good complements though for the artist’s very fine work on the sculpture. Nevertheless, your photo is very very good…Thanks for sharing. 🙂 Have a Happy Week ewok! Mabuhay!

  19. Guy D

    March 16, 2009 at 10:36 pm

    Wow very intriguing photo, the guy that is lying down looks like he’s in some trouble…lol. Great post!

    Have a great week!
    Regina In Pictures

  20. maryt/theteach

    March 16, 2009 at 10:44 pm

    ewok, oh my scary!! Great shot though! 🙂

  21. Joann and Jack

    March 16, 2009 at 10:44 pm

    You say the Eency Weency Spider left town because of the economy. Well, bless my soul. What a web this economic downturn weaves.

  22. maryt/theteach

    March 16, 2009 at 10:46 pm

    Want to know the truth, ewok? I’d be glad the spider made its way to another venue… 🙂

  23. Fishing Guy

    March 16, 2009 at 11:35 pm

    Ewok: How wonderful to share this giant sculpture. That is a true monster.

  24. Leanne

    March 16, 2009 at 11:51 pm

    Great sculpture I like the way the guy is laying on the concrete along side of it. I’m sure my kids think I’m like a spider some days but not because I’m dainty or reasonable.

  25. babooshka

    March 17, 2009 at 12:08 am

    Wow! Not one for aranaphobe but cool for me.

  26. babooshka

    March 17, 2009 at 12:09 am

    Or even arachnaphobes.

  27. Müge

    March 17, 2009 at 12:26 am

    Interesting sculpture! But it’s more interesting to learn that this spider symbolizes the artist’s mother! 🙂

  28. Lilli

    March 17, 2009 at 12:27 am

    What a great sculpture sorry it didn’t get to stay a nice conversation piece along with many great photos i am sure

  29. Carolyn on Haida Gwaii

    March 17, 2009 at 1:59 am

    Thank you for your interesting post and what a great photo. Crouching Spiders relative is living happily in the cold north of Ottawa, Ontario Canada. You either love them or …….
    If you follow this link you go to a live webcam of our spider by the same artist! Thank you for sharing your world and my birth place.

  30. Arija

    March 17, 2009 at 2:26 am

    A delightful sculpture with nice sentiments about the artist’s mother as well. It would be a pity for the city to lose such a landmark!

  31. marites1034

    March 17, 2009 at 3:43 am

    i wonder if that spider sculpture was there when i visited SF in Oct 2007. It’s quite interesting and it’s too bad it can’t stay there for long.

  32. Alicesg

    March 17, 2009 at 5:18 am

    Yikes, I am afraid of big spiders. Did that spider came from the sea? lol

  33. magiceye

    March 17, 2009 at 6:01 am

    lovely installation…
    sad it could not last!

  34. soulbrush

    March 17, 2009 at 9:45 am

    what a fabulous photo. yikes!

  35. Awang-Malaysia

    March 17, 2009 at 11:35 am

    Big spider..look cool and nice shot.Thanks for drop by my World.

  36. Mariz

    March 17, 2009 at 2:51 pm

    Cool sculpture! Would love to have a photo taken with that spidey. Great photo you have here.

    Mix Pix
    Reflections by Mariz

  37. 2sweetnsaxy

    March 17, 2009 at 2:57 pm

    That’s kind of creepy looking. Can you imagine if the artist had incorporated just a little technology in it, just enough to make one leg move periodically. It looks like it should move and frighten people just a little. I don’t konw how you could have missed seeing it but then sometimes we’re so distracted we do miss things. A 6 million price tag. Wow!

  38. Gmirage

    March 17, 2009 at 5:08 pm

    Quite a big one! Where do you think are they keeping it now?

  39. bw

    March 17, 2009 at 7:47 pm

    that spider is a nice piece of art work 🙂 Great imagination for placing it in the embarcadero .

  40. John

    March 17, 2009 at 9:02 pm

    That is a cool sculpture!

  41. Erin

    March 17, 2009 at 11:16 pm

    my goodness…quite a hefty price for spidey. i think that the price is outrageous actually.
    thanks for sharing a piece of bay public art with us.
    have a wonderful evening.

  42. SusieOfArabia

    March 18, 2009 at 2:52 pm

    Wow! Now THAT’s quite a sculpture! But six million dollars??? That pricetag stings a little bit!

  43. mymy

    March 18, 2009 at 3:02 pm

    nice view love it. thanks for commenting on my blog.

  44. annie

    March 18, 2009 at 8:35 pm

    Sorry I was not lucky enough to see this during one of my roadtrips to the city. Not a great fan of spiders but I LOVE cheesy sci-fi movies with big spiders and the main characters so this has a lot of appeal for me. My daughter, on the other hand, would freak out. LOL

  45. Pagan Sphinx

    March 18, 2009 at 10:12 pm

    That is very cool! I’ve never seen anything of Louise Bourgeous that is outdoors. She has intallations at MoMA that I’ve seen. Always amazing to see what she’s capable of. I really dig
    art in public spaces. Thanks for this!

  46. rosadimaggio63

    March 30, 2009 at 9:01 pm

    Beautiful shot !
    Beautiful spider !
    Happy monday 🙂


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