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Louise Bourgeois. Torso, Self-Portrait. 1963-64 100

Plaster, 24 3/4 x 16 x 7 1/8" (62.3 x 40.5 x 18.8 cm). Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Slifka Fund. © The Easton Foundation/VAGA at ARS, NY

Artist, Bernadette Daroux:  What is your first impression when you look at this sculpture?

My name is Bernadette Daroux. I’m an artist. This is a sculpture by Louise Bourgeois called Torso, Self-Portrait.

Narrator: Try putting your hands over your chest and stomach. This part of your body is called the torso. And a self-portrait is an artist's depiction of themselves. Bourgeois has made many self-portraits where she depicts herself in unexpected ways.

Artist, Bernadette Daroux:  I think this work looks like the strange exoskeleton that a bug abandoned on a wall. It has these petal shapes that I imagine as ribs. I found myself touching my own ribs trying to understand the shape of what she was doing here.

In the very center, what you would think of as the spine, almost looks like a handle. What would it look like if you pulled that open? Do you think there’s a beating heart under there? Are there more bones underneath? Are there worms?

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