July 23, 2011

Several works by Lucian Freud

Nationality: English
Born/Died: 1922-2011

Media: Oils on canvas

Lucian Freud died yesterday. He was a great artist in the true sense of the term and his work will be rationally valued and appreciated for centuries to come. From an aesthetic point of view his work powerfully embodies his metaphysical assessment of man and of reality in the form of concretes with extreme clarity. Artists and audiences of any stripe can learn volumes about art and about art-making from his brilliant work and studio practices.

Lucian Freud
Lucien Freud was a great artist, but he was a truly disgusting human being. It would be accurate and fair to call him “Kant’s artist.” From an ethical point of view Freud's work embodies an acutely nihlistic view of life and particularly of self. It is impossible for someone who holds such a sharply realized anti-man, anti-self philosophy—and his was a very philosophical mind—to be happy. Now that he has died biographies will be published that reveal just how dark his psychological state was. It should be recognized that such a psychological state is not to be envied or mimicked, but to be judged and possibly pitied. Such a state is not inherently artistic, virtuous or “true.”

Despite having many children with a huge variety of partners (it is rumored he has fathered as many as 40 children!) Freud's work embodies a vehemently negative, totally unhealthy view of sexuality and of the body. While most art-industry intellectuals hold this view as the proper one for artistic depiction, few people actually have such extremely unhealthy views. Freud obviously practiced what he preached though and he cared nothing for his own sexual being and the consequences of his sexual acts. If Freud had any other profession he would be admonished for his behavior, but because he was an artist, many people believe it is acceptable to let reason lapse.

While no subject in Freud's work is presented as having a remotely attractive body, true to form, he reserved his most severely negative depictions of the body for his self-portraits. These are the Freud paintings with the most ravaged surfaces, the ugliest flesh.

Much more can and will be said about this man. My final word here on him is this: a rational being will consider him to be one of this centuries greatest artists and most unethical men.

Lucian Freud

Naked Portrait Standing

Lucian Freud

Self Portrait

Lucian Freud

Leigh Bowry

Lucian Freud

Below are detail photographs of the above painting taken by me.

Lucian Freud

Lucian Freud

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for an objective evaluation of the man and his art.