21 July 2011

genius painter

This evening I read that Lucian Freud has died, aged 88.

One of the few painters to have a profound affect on me, not painting-wise but emotionally, was Lucian Freud. In this article you can read more about him.

When I walked through the exhibition in Venice in 2005 I was both drawn in, completely captivated, and repulsed, wanting to avoid the powerful naked images. I say naked images because, while the figures were obviously nude, there was something more. Freud did really expose the soul, take you into the private places where you became a voyeur, no longer an appreciator of art but an intruder in the lives of his subjects.

How powerful the brush and some paint can be.

Earlier this month Cy Twombly died. Another highly respected painter. I appreciate his contribution, but his art is of academic and mark-making interest to me only.

Two great names. Twombly has been described as a genius. For me, though, only one was a truly great painter. Lucien Freud, every time.

And other artists I admire? Yes, there was one in particular, and we lost him a while ago too. In 2009 Andrew Wyeth died.

Sometimes I think I should be doing other things. Get a "real job" perhaps? Today I am very happy to be a painter.

This evening I spoke with an intense, broody and often discontented artist who devotes his life to his art more than I could ever do. Do balance, contentment and comfort create great art? Perhaps I will never know. And if I don't reach great heights, does it really matter?

But intense or not, I hope that these great artists all left this world feeling happy with their lot too.

RIP, Lucian Freud. Thank you for your powerful, honest works.

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