It’s entirely appropriate that Maman – by the splendidly named French-American artist Louise Bourgeois – sits alongside Frank Ghery’s singular Guggenheim Building in Bilbao.
They could have been made for each other.
Arguably the pairing looks at its best at night time. The monstrous sprawling bronze spider, measuring some 30 feet high by 33 feet wide, is one of the largest such installations in the world.
Says the artist: “The Spider is an ode to my mother. She was my best friend. Like a spider, my mother was a weaver.
“My family was in the business of tapestry restoration, and my mother was in charge of the workshop. Like spiders, my mother was very clever. Spiders are friendly presences that eat mosquitoes.
“We know that mosquitoes spread diseases and are therefore unwanted. So, spiders are helpful and protective, just like my mother.”