His portraits are different. You can see despair or exasperation or deep sadness or weariness on the people’s faces yet their bodies have all the curves in the right places to be reminiscent of the good old master artists of generations ago. He reveals the depth of character in his paintings just as his grandfather Sigmund Freud was able to do through talk.
His paintings have flesh so real you can feel like a voyeur getting a nude glimpse of someone in their most unattractive pose. Then you see their eyes that seem to tell it all about what is going on in the soul of a person. Yes , it used to be just a white canvas but now it is a portrait of a life. In 2008 a portrait of a nude obese woman sleeping sold for $30 Million dollars, the highest price ever paid at the time for painting by a living artist.
He didn’t care and his goal like my daughter’s was not to please his subjects so he did not care if he got paid or not. He loved to paint nudes. He said that anyone can put on clothes but the naked body is more permanent, more factual. Many of the women who posed for Freud became his lovers. It is rumored that he fathered dozens of children. There are 14 known children of which he had little or no relationship with.
The people he painted were his wives, lovers, children and friends. It was a way to be in the world without having to go out into the world. Lucian died at 88 years old. He did not just paint a body with perfectly proportioned arms and legs. He painted humanity with all the worries of their world in their eyes. How do you put emotion on a flat piece of canvas? Not easy to do but he did it.
It is so ironic that his grandfather dealt so much with the actual human emotions. This guy was able to paint what it was to be human. To be alive.