Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Lucian Freud at The National Portrait Gallery

I have always felt a very special connection to The art of Lucian Freud. I discovered it by accident on the same holiday, as an 11 yr old, as I sat reading the Biography of Leigh Bowery.

It was the 1st time I'd really learnt about most things - Cottaging, Night Clubs, Michael Clarke, Performance Art, Taboo, Minty & Smashing. Little did I know I was about to embark on my own artistic journey with some of Bowery's greatest collaborators; Matthew Glamorre, Richard Torry & Les Child.

I've been lucky, living in London to have witnessed quite a few presentations of Lucian Freud's work. However, this recent retrospective at The National Portrait Gallery contains some rare & late works by Freud.

It also contains two incredible rooms; 1 dedicated to Performance Artist, Leigh Bowery & the other to his nightclub cohort Sue Tilley.

The gargantuan paintings of Leigh Bowery are a reminder of his omnipotent presence & influence on Art Culture. The size of the paintings also serve as a powerful reminder that these were life changing events for both painter & sitter.

'He was still in a sense performing because of his physical awareness which was extraordinary.'

Freud commented on Bowery's 'remarkable intelligence,' while Bowery returned the compliment by describing his sittings being, 'like receiving a university education.'

The room curated with the 'Big Sue,' series aka Sue Tilley was a chance to realise Freud's occupation with Human Flesh in all it's glory. I wasn't thinking about the infamous prices one received at auction but how the mass of flesh looked almost like abstract sculpture.

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