Lucian Freud

June 9, 2010

A certain highlight, dare I say, life-changing experience that I had in Paris was seeing the Lucian Freud Exhibition at the Pompidou. As I consider my upcoming paintings, I return to the captivating paintings of this London native. I was recently in a situation where an art curator that I deeply respect offhandedly said that painting is dead. Struck to the core by this statement, I was not sure he wasn’t right until I saw this exhibition. It not only inspired me to paint real work, but to fall in love again with the raw material of paint. The paint transfers the viewer to a deep part of the subject’s essence. The figures in Frued’s work speak to a deep human need and longing. They also speak to the universality of flesh and pain. I will spend the rest of my life learning to paint in this way.

 

Reflection (Self Portait). 1985. 56.2 x51.2 cm

Each room of the exhibition began with a quote from Freud.

“My horror of the idyllic, and a growing awareness of the limited value of recording visually-observed facts has led me to work from people I really know.”

“My idea of travel is a downward travel really. Getting to know where you are, better, and exploring feelings that you know more deeply. I always think that thing ‘knowing something by heart’ gives you a depth of possibility which is more potential than seeing new sights, however marvelous and exciting they are.”

“The way that you present yourself, you’ve got to try to paint yourself as another person. With self-portraits ‘likeness’ becomes a different thing. I have to do what I feel without being an expressionist.”

“Now the very least I can do is paint myself naked”

“In art you take risk. It’s actually a deliberate thing. You are on the diving board. Ans in life it’s even slightly difficult to define what is a risk. Unless you are playing, like I used to, Russian roulette with motto cars. You know: dashing across the road with your eyes shut to test your luck. In working, one of the things that make you continue and is a stimulant is the difficult surely?”

“I want paint to work as flesh… I would wish my portraits to be of the people, not like them. Not having a look of the sitter, being them. As far as I am concerned the paint is the person, I want it to work for me as the flesh does.”

 

Drawing from the wisdom and work of Freud, I plan to spend the next season of life focusing both on self portraits, and paintings of those friends and family close to me. I want to compose raw paintings that capture the essence of the person, or group or people, while offering an uncompleted component of the piece. I want certain parts of the painting to be in clear focus (faces, hands, curves), while the unimportant parts fall into the canvas, creating layers of wash and ambiguity. Color, texture, and paint will be transformed into brief stories of a life, uncompleted, carrying on.

 

 

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One Response to “Lucian Freud”

  1. Thank you for your contribution. YOUR INSPIRATION IS NOT UNLIKE MY OWN FREUD INSPIRATIONS/CONFIRMATIONS pAINT ING ONLY THOSE i KNOW WELL HAS MADE ALL THE DIFFERENCE …THIS WORK CONFIRMS MY LEANING.

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