"Art making is a form of alchemy, in a way, because you are trying…to make gold from nothing. When it works very well is when you manage to turn the ordinary into the extraordinary."
From "Art in the Twenty-First Century" Season 1 (2001)
Featured in this video
The final segment "Identity" focuses on Louise Bourgeois. Active since the early 1940s, Bourgeois has consistently plumbed the her own biography for subject matter and inspiration. Working with delicate stone sculptures in public spaces and plaster casts of hands, Bourgeois explores memory, emotion, and strength through works that reach viewers on a visceral level. "A work of art doesn't have to be explained," she says. "If you do not have any feeling about this, I cannot explain it to you. If this doesn't touch you, I have failed." Bourgeois' work challenges viewers to make connections between their own lives and the lives staged in the artist's installations, drawings, and public sculptures.