Thursday, July 21, 2011

Rest in peace, Lucian Freud

Naked Man, Back View, 1991–92 by Lucian Freud
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Oh, this is a huge loss. The New York Times has reported that British painter Lucian Freud has passed away at the age of 88. His unapologetic presentation of the human body has always been a huge source of inspiration for me. As my interest in thick, fleshy surfaces continues to increase, Freud was someone who's been on my mind more and more lately.

Nude with Leg Up (Leigh Bowery), 1992 by Lucian Freud
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My favorite works by Freud have always been the Leigh Bowery portraits.
Bowery is a character out of Renaissance art - perhaps Silenus, the companion of Dionysus. His flesh is a magnificent ruin, at once damaged and riotously alive. Who knew skin was so particoloured? To count the hues of even one of his feet is impossible: purple, grey, yellow, brown, the paint creamy, calloused, bulging. In a velvet chair tilted down towards us on the raked stage of the wooden studio floor, his mass looms up and dwarfs us. Walk close your eyes are probably the height of his penis. Bowery's violet-domed, wrinkly tube hangs between thighs marked with sinister spots or cuts his knees are massive. Bowery is a painted monument who quietly contemplates his existence inside this flesh. - Jonathan Jones / The Guardian

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