Most Expensive Living Artist – Lucian Freud

Lucian Freud has become the most expensive living artist at auction with his “Big Sue” painting. The large naked woman painted on a couch is called “Benefits Supervisor Sleeping” and sold for $33.6m or £17.2m at Christies last week. The sitter is Sue Tilley and she sat for Freud over a four year period.

most exspensive living artist

I’m so glad that a painterly painter now holds the title of the most expensive living artist at auction. Big shiny hearts and pill cabinets might be interesting but how can they compare to a painting by a living master?! Of course I’m biased as I’m a painter too, but who isn’t biased?

The London based Russian oil billionaire Roman Abramovich is said to be the buyer of Lucian Freud’s Big Sue and Francis Bacon’s triptych (which sold for $86.3 million or £43 million)

About Dion

Australian artist and observer of things.. all kinds of things. I like a wide variety of art, from the weird and wonderful to the bold and beautiful.. and everything in between.

Comments

  1. I tried to explain to dh why I thought it such a fab painting, but he couldn’t get past the size of the model or the sale price. lol!

  2. Oh, the size of the model is one of the interesting things about the painting! Society isnt made up of super thin models, it’s made up of people of all shapes sizes.

    Should big Sue lose some weight? Sure, if she wants a better quality of life. But I don’t think the painting has anything to do with being fat. I think it’s about a painting of a person.. a person from our society.. one that happens to be fat.

    Lucian Freud could paint potatoes for the rest of his life and I would still find him one of the most interesting artists alive. He’s not only the most expensive artist at auction, but I think he is also the greatest painter alive!

  3. Big money for a painting – almost like buying a building. The surface of Freud’s paintings are very tactile it’s like he has found a way of emulating the flesh of things – especially human flesh. The body rolls out of this picture in great dollops of flesh. When in Sydney a few years back I visited Rex Irwin’s gallery at Woollahra. Rex showed me his upstairs offices and holding galleries where he had a quantity of Freud’s work. Apparently Rex Irwin is one of the few major sellers of Freuds work in the world. While I was there, I overheard a phone conversation, about a shipment of art that was coming into the country – it was all big boy stuff so I started to make preparations to go to the next gallery. The big money, big artist thing is anathema to the way most of us live and work. But it is a great painting none the less.
    P.S. I am not the dh mentioned in Jafabrit’s comment.

  4. Totally agree, but some people can’t get past the image (including a few artists I know). I think its amazing that one can get the sense of muscles and bones through the cloak of flesh. That to me is where the skill is, as well as the luminosity of the flesh. I love his work and this one no less.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Freud paints everything as ugly as one could possibly make it, imbued with an overarching cynicism towards humanity — thus making his own work a perfect representation of the valueless nature of his own haughty and vapid consciousness.

    Who needs this “reality?” The world is ugly enough without artistic skill bent so low.

    Where have truth and beauty gone, when the majority of so-called artists fail to see it any longer? They (those divine attributes) remain – UNWITNESSED.

    It is for us to see them and express them in the world for the benefit of those who can’t.

  6. I disagree Anon. I think Freud makes things more beautiful than they could be in life. “Truth and beauty” is all I see when I look at a Lucian Freud painting.

    Maybe we should all paint like Thomas Kinkade and make the world a more beautiful and truthful place?

    I would rather an ugly truth than a beautiful lie though.

  7. I disagree with your argument too anon. Just as beauty is in the eye of the beholder so is ugly and while you may think something is ugly others think it beautiful.
    There is room for all sorts of artist expression of humanity in this world, and thank goodness it is not limited to one genre, one mindset, one view.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Please describe what you see in Freud’s work that you would describe as an expression of Truth and Beauty.

    Kinkade is not an artist, but a franchise.

    Beauty is not in the eye of the beholder. That cliche describes mere attraction.

    The beholder of Beauty is one who can see It. The Artist is one who can paint It. There are precious few Beholders and even fewer Artists. It is not simply anything you like.

  9. In many ways Freud is a great painter who has helped revive the grand tradition of figurative painting. Freud’s portraits are a match for contemporary conceptual art, cold & unsentimental. Very modern, depicting the human body laid bare and stripped of pretence…but to reveal what? A mirror to depict the misery & anguish of today’s society? The naked human body can be beautiful, even in its imperfection, but Freud seems to emphasize the ugliness. What would his grandfather say about it all?

    Interesting that Kinkade is mentioned in this series of post. Kinkade’s art and artistic products have proven very popular for a specific reason: they respond to people’s need for security and comfort. An interiorly lit cottage, warm & inviting, offers succor to us all. Even on a night light or room freshener. Kinkade is a grand self-promoter & businessman like Picasso.

    I’m not a fan of Freud or Kinkade although I can understand the popularity of each. Kinkade has more basic or traditional paint-handling skills than Freud. Freud is heavy on the impasto and shoves the paint around with little regard for form or color. Kinkade’s landscapes are hazy but realistic, while Freud seems to fragment the human form.

    As always, a pleasure to visit Art News Blog.

    MadSilence

  10. Addendum:

    Dion, I don’t understand how you can label Freud a “painterly painter.” Granted I’m not an artist, but it seems that Kinkade can handle a brush better, has a better grip on form & color. I’m not keen on Freud’s palette. What am I missing here?

    MadSilence

  11. She is one big babe – thats for sure. I like things more conventional. Art can be more beautiful than reality. Take a look at Nicola Slattery’s paintings of hefty girls looking good and even wearing clothes! Really remarkable that clothes wearing aspect in this day and age. I’ve put link to her site if any one interested in looking

  12. “The beholder of Beauty is one who can see It. The Artist is one who can paint It.”

    How do you feel about Grunewald’s Crucifixion or Hieronymus Bosch, etc whose images reflect anguish, pain, tortured bodies?

  13. Interesting quotation JafaBrit. The contemporary art world holds that beauty is very much in the eye of the beholder. Can “beauty” exist as an independent attribute?

    Should we hold contemporary artists to a high standard? Doesn’t society need images that inspire & uplift?

    As for Bosch, we’ve all marveled at his images, but I wouldn’t want to hang them in my living room. His high degree of technical skill & draftsmanship is obvious.

    Munch is another artist whose images have become contemporary icons. The Scream seems to speak to many.

    After much thought I nominate Andrew Wyeth as one of the 20th century’s greatest painters. Wyeth combines technical skill with amazing imagery. Not kitschy emotional stuff, but real & gritty images with emotional depth.

    MadSilence

  14. That wasn’t my quote madsilence, it was anon’s but interesting how it served to support my view lol!

    In regards to your question madsilence: “Doesn’t society need images that inspire & uplift? “

    I think society needs lots of things, but why should an artist deny their own expression to cater to a publics need, especially when there is already so much out there to inspire and uplift.

    I agree about wyeth for the same reason I view Frued, he painted what he saw and what he thought was beautiful.

    Freuds ability to paint flesh, the foreshortening, the nuances of flesh tones and the luminosity, the veins, to get a sense of the bones underneath, the muscles, his handling of the brushstrokes, these are what makes him painterly and a master of examination of the human form. Some may not like the image, but the handling of it is brilliant. Would I hang it over my fireplace? no! I would however hang it in my own private gallery and spend hours trying to figure out how the heck he manages to paint flesh like that.

  15. The trick is not to put any limits on art – there are enough problems in the art world without creating a construct of worth and appreciation. I would never try to paint according to someone’s model of what society needs or what is valid – that is a quick road to totalitarianism. But I do believe I would like to be apart of my generation and speak through my art to my generation. Freud is speaking loud and clear – but whether we have the eyes to see or ears to hear is another thing.

  16. Anon, he paints things as he sees them and makes them beautiful with paint (he may not flatter the subject but the paint is beautiful). Truth and beauty are not how I would usually describe Freud, but you brought up the words and suggested Freud was neither, but I think he’s both.

    MadSilence, I think of a painterly painter as someone that doesnt hide paint. They dont try to make the painting look like anything but a painting. You can’t mistake a Freud painting for a photograph. He also knows what he’s doing with a brush.

    And yeah, I dont think the poor old artist should have to save the world or make everyone feel happy about life. I like the way that an artist like Matisse makes the world a happier place but I also like how others paint the more ordinary or negative aspects of life.

    I would happily hang big sue above my bed and wake up to it every morning. I might even hang it upside down so that I’m looking at the paint more than the subject. Just need a few more million in the bank to get my hands on one.

  17. The trick is not to put any limits on art – there are enough problems in the art world without creating a construct of worth and appreciation. I would never try to paint according to someone’s model of what society needs or what is valid – that is a quick road to totalitarianism. But I do believe I would like to be apart of my generation and speak through my art to my generation. Freud is speaking loud and clear – but whether we have the eyes to see or ears to hear is another thing.

  18. Hey Artnews, I seem to have a comment triplicity going down – can you fix it up at your end – Jafagirl must think I am duplicitous – she left me a note on my blog asking why I deleted a post. Jafa, I changed ‘you’ to ‘we’ because it sounded too self righteous. I know I am pompous but it’s meant to be private and not for the public – HA!

  19. Hey David, I think Blogger was freaking out earlier.. comments seem to be normal now.

    And yeah, art would lose its appeal if it did have too many rules.

  20. Wow! Totally amazing!

  21. … I share Freud’s love for both art and fat… fascinating!

  22. I find the last name interesting, considering the type of work.

  23. Anonymous says:

    David wrote:

    “The trick is not to put any limits on art – there are enough problems in the art world without creating a construct of worth and appreciation.”

    That would be a trick indeed.

    Then you might consider a recording of ambient room noises in a city apartment to be “art,” when it is merely noise.

    Or that random words on a page could create a poem.

    No — if there is no form or standard of worth or validity, there is no meaning. What is the artist’s purpose in creating more meaninglessness to with which to populate the world?

    Limitation is inherent in the physical world. Its value is that, when its connection with higher or divine ideas is thoroughly understood, the limitation appears to disappear, enabling the transcendent to be shown for what it really is.

  24. I believe there are limits in art as there are limits in all things. I said “NOT to put limits and not to CONSTRUCT” I believe in moral limits for art eg. I don’t think Hensons photos of teen girls is acceptable.
    I believe in absolutes and absolute truth but do think some things are culturally set and artificially constructed for various reasons and motives. Also some art work seems to push the limits for valid reasons and others are just provocative or even immoral.
    This is also about how an artist paints by avoiding constricting artificial constructs versus having a thorough understanding of limits.
    I don’t believe all limits will appear to disappear when we meet God, this seems to be a contradiction. Some things won’t be a hindrance any longer but fundamental ethics issue from the character of God – there will be total freedom within perfect form.
    Haven’t you been trying to impose you artificial construct in your comments.

  25. Anonymous says:

    I do not understand what you mean by an artificial construct or how it applies to what I wrote. Would you please explain?

  26. Problem is, art HAS lost its appeal, it is now for a very narrow portion of humanity, most simply dont care. Art has always had purpose, and how you get there is important. The individual must know his subject, as Cezanne knew his. Freud knows his, and is revealing a loss of soul. For all art has always been, and will always be, about defining who WE are as a people, and about our conception of God. Simple really, yet it has been completely lost. Freud doesnt do alot for me, but I think that is his point. The hollowness he feels in life, a detachment from God.
    It is legit, but just reflects what others feel, no what is or can be. He has no real ambition or feel that life is a gift, but a loss. And has never really developedin style, which makes him easily marketable. And in a time of few if any artists, he reigns supreme.
    Times are changing, we now have to begin to validate life, to embrace it for waht it is, now what we want it to be. The loss is from teh expectation of happiness and individual importance, when it should be about WE, and contentment for fulfilling our abilities and role in life. The model shows the vanity and emptiness of the pursuit of individual happiness, it is fools gold. Only society, and our contribution to it, matter. This has been lost in art. And wil soon be needed as the world comes to grasp with the future of limited energy and the primacy of things over joined passion.

  27. In some ways I agree with you Donald. A very large part of society couldn’t care less about painting and that’s fine. It isn’t going to stop painters from painting though.

    I think Freud’s art reveals an intimacy.. moments of contemplation.. or downtime that aren’t meant to be captured.. rather than a “loss of soul.” Just because his figures aren’t smiling and looking heroic doesn’t mean they have lost their soul.

    Real life society may have lost its soul, but that’s another story. Art won’t save society and it shouldn’t be expected to. Religion won’t save it either, even though many foolishly expect it to.

    I must confess that I do put Lucian Frued on a pedestal and think he is above criticism though. So I’m not much different to a catholic defending the pope.

  28. I am talking about more than just this painting. I am no expert on Freuds work, but all I have seen are depressed, lacking vitality, broken, downcast, empty inside. This woman is a symbol actually, one of the seven deadly sins, gluttony. She eats to feel better, but as with all sins, does not feed the soul. Now, I am no religious nut, an ancient history major and so know how all religions develop from previous ideas, none revelations at all.
    But are stepping stones in human development, and enlightenment. I see none of this in Freuds work, just resignation to the “is this all there is?” syndrome.

    Many of us feel there is more, though again, not talking afterlife nonsense, which I feel proves a lack of a conventional God, as what could be more self interested than living forever? Who knows? I sure dont, and neither does anyone else. And it is irreleveant. Art, as with all of life, is not about answers, but asking the right questions. As with Science, this leads to more questions, most cant handle that, I find it exhilirating. AND proof of god in some sense. But without the afterlife nonsense, cant we just be grateful for what we have?

    As Cezanne said, art is a priesthood. In modern art, it replaced religion AND philosophy, things built on guesswork, and wishful thinking. Art was a way to test theories, a battle on a two dimensional plane, if painting is the subject. It reflects truth, not reveals or embodies it. WE must react to it and come up with our own truth, by asking pertinent questions that lack self absorbed ways of thinking.

    Contemperary art rejected this, and is simply complete and total individuality run rampant, self absorbed meanderings and whinings. Freud does show the pointlessness of this, but not the relevant questions as to what IS Important. he leaves one feeling hollow. Bare, Strictly one of gods rejected. And perhaps we are. But I dont believe so, and have much body of work in others to show otherwise. He is legit, but minor. Who isnt these days? The lack of ambition is astounding, except in monetary and fame. Sorta a present day Caravaggio. Where are the Michelangelos? If they are there, our present system of galleries and control by the rich will make sure they never see the light of day. Mediocrity is worshipped, as all is materialism. And reflects the society we are in. Times are changing, how, we will see.

  29. By the way, love you site. Cuts to the chase, tired of nonsense. You must put alot of work into it. Thanks. Hope you make a little out if it, a lil $, I coached basketball of for travel AAU for years, but only as long as my son played, and made no $. The head of the organization is finaly making some and deserves every penny. Or ha’penny, what do you call yours down there?

  30. Yeah, I think a lot of contemporary art has lost its way too Donald. I thought Freud was the lonely old man still rooting for paint and hope though ;-)

    He’s mirror to society, which should be just as worthy as someone that inspires hope. If we are gluttonous and self obsessed, we should know about it.

    A lot of art today makes me feel cold though. People looking to pursue a career in art today should study business and marketing rather than fine art. It’s all about ideas and nothing else matters now (just get someone else to manufacture your ideas if you have no skills). The romance of art is disappearing.

    I like questions that create more questions too. I feel sorry for people that know everything.. they must live very boring lives.

    I try and stop myself from being too critical of religion, but theyre designed to stop people from questioning things. Theyre anti-evolution and anti-change which is anti-god in my eyes.

    Automatically people think you dont believe in god when you criticize religion, but it’s man that I criticize, not god. I see god in all life.

    Also, it is just a “little” that I make from the blog. I probably should start selling insurance and cashing in on the visitors.. lol.. but I do it to keep up with what’s happening in the art world rather than to make a lot of money from it. The conversations, contacts, and debates are priceless, so I can’t complain.

    We used to call them pennies and pounds a long time ago, but theyre dollars and cents down under now.

    Dion

  31. Hey Dion, got a website for your work? Take heart, things are gonna be rough, in many ways over the next decade, the soft and spoiled days of cheap energy are over, decadence is about to implode. And nothing has been more decadent than the arts. I am a jazz fanatic first off, but it really stopped being creative after Miles quit for seven years, not a hip as rumored, coke habit. With Coltane and the rest of the big dogs gone, it became more rock like in the fusion bands, and then reactionary under the new lions, wtih Wynton Marsalis at the head. I know his brother Branford, my old brother in law went to Berklee with him. And like he said, try as he might, there was no way he could be the next Coltrane. Society and change forms the big names, as we reevaluate life, with more information and change our attitudes completely. That day has come again.

    We will become more self sufficient, AND relying on other as the same time. There is no more excess, the future belongs to the most efficient, not the biggest consumer. We have consumed far too much. My kids are raised, back into art again after a fifteen year layoff. Checking almost all the galleries here in LA, nothing has changed, except for the worst. Same crap, in rich boy galleries, vanity gallerees. I truly believe Arts main role IS definng who we are, and there is much to redefine in the coming times, and our condcept of god, which is the eternal, Gauguins questions, Whooare we? Where do we come from? Where are we going? Science has answered much, though too few use it or want to know it. But the passion in us, the need to grow, to know, to feel life instensely. Art can give this, but in the time of rampant consumerism, got lost. It is again needed.

    How it wil come about, I have no idea. But it wil. But NOT through the system of galleries and museums as we know it, it is the new Academy, the Pharisees of art. The Academies the Post Impressionist tore down, were rebuilt while we werent looking, too busy trying to make it as professionals, instead of priests. Now stupid self help gurus evereywhere to fil the void, and the result is this rolling tub of lard above. Sadness, loneliness, purposelessness. My wife works as a graphic designer for one such gropup, Agape, in LA, guy was the only semi sane one in the idiocy called The Secret.

    After the feeding frenzy of the rich in the Bush Administration, this absurd war, got one sone who graduated from The Naval Academy, Annapolis, and will be in Iraqistan next year. With a new commander in chief anyway, even McCain would be a huge improvement, but stuck in the past and hates too many people, Iran, China, Russia, gotta live and let live, but kick ass to DEFEND. Not force ideas that are always dated and not relevant to everyone, onto the world. If we ARe correct, people wills ee it and want it, and come of their own FREE will.

    But we are in transition also, and must get back to the home front, to redefine WHO we are, and what we truly NEED, not want.
    Art can help, it DOES have purpose, and must be filled with that ideal, that drive, that need to make sense of the chaos before us, but there never really is any, just things we have not learned and dealt with yet. Art does this, and can give comfort and inspiration to those who blaze the trail, not the crap for and by the weak we got now. For art must be for and by the Strong.

    Sorry as a historian and lover of life, I can rattle on a bit. Got a l0ng article I ahve trie3d to get published, something I wanted to write for years but only after seeing Newsweeks absurd New Years edition about how the wonderful art schools will fulfill all our needs did I put it on paper. But I have always known it would never be publsihed. Grew up in art, loving art, hating artistes. Individuals are NOT important, life is, humanity is, growing and thriving is. The sense of Sacredness is, for that is what god is, the life force that drives us to build for the betterment of Man.

    Anyway, nice site, I hope it grows, there is a huge opportunity ahead. Go for it, you have talent, I love the links, ones I have been searching for months for, you got em. Keep on doing, you are needed. Times are changing. The days of magazines like Art forum are numbered, realy jsut decadent designs in it, been ragging on them dummies on the talkback for a few weeks.

    Times are changing, I feel needed now, like when my kids needed me. they were my creation for years, now, back to the outside world, the one we must all live in, and add too. The Strong must stand up, and learn what msut be done. No one knows, but the wrold is huge and will take many, in many new ways. But not what we have now.

  32. I have some work online here Donald. It doesn’t enhance or validate life in any way, but I have fun doing it ;-)

    I havent updated it in more than 2 years though as I havent had a studio (until this week). I’m looking forward to see if my paintings change as I feel I have definately changed as a person in that 2 years.

    A lot of jazz cats seem to think outside the square. It’s interesting how many jazz musicians paint too.

    And yeah, society is in a transitional period where many of the rocks that we thought were solid are suddenly moving around on us. They can be interesting times though if we don’t get caught up in the fear that our governments and the media try to burden the masses with. For a person that likes observing and questioning things, the challenges we face as a society can almost be too entertaining. Theyre not boring times.

    Good luck with the new government at the end of the year too. I would feel very uneasy about having a son in the Navy with the current president. It’s in man’s very nature to fight wars though, so I’m not expecting peace anytime soon. It sure will be nice to have some new blood in that whitehouse of yours though.

    Also, let me know if you want to publish your article on Art News Blog.
    info @ artnewsblog.com

    More people would probably read it online than they would if it was published in a magazine! I only buy art magazines now if I like the pictures inside (I no longer subscribe to any of them).

    Dion

  33. The ancient Hellenes(greeks) did say, every generation had to go to war to discover how terrible it is, some things never change.

    I will send the article, The New Yorker the only ones to show interest, and needs an appendage as the world has changed just since I wrote it at the New Year. Believe, writing overblown diatribes come as second nature to me, as if you couldnt tell already.

    I will look for your work, mine is at dfimagery.com as my wife is a designer and set it up for me. I am a lucky man, she is fiiiine and talented. Cooks great too, I grow it, she delivers it. Cant wait for my avocado tree to start bearing fruit, you got those down there? Heaven. I make the best mexican food in Cali, freaks out al the Latinos I know, many from other countries too, inclduing one Cuban kid who is opening a restaurant, though I cook with a Mediterranea flair to our local crops, California Cuisine.

    We do have great produce here. Hear your wine country is dryinbg up, they have been pushing your wines for the last two years, but global warming is messing with you guys bad. We are literally burning up as I write, over a thousand fires in Cali rigth now, and Schwarzeneger is going terminator.

  34. thank god masters like Freud sell for this much, re strenghtening the values of real art!

  35. “Where have truth and beauty gone, when the majority of so-called artists fail to see it any longer? They (those divine attributes) remain – UNWITNESSED.”

    So many myths involving what it is to be an artist. Excuse me while I call on the devine and shoot magic from my finger tips. :P

  36. I myself would not even try to explain the value of this painting or the supposed beauty to anyone. And yes,… every ones eyes do work differently in this supposed wonderful world of fine art of ours.

    I do believe Damian Hurst, a Dutchman, may have already surpassed this living artist price tag, with his diamond infested skull, which I believe is now being self promoted by him and his cohorts and will more than likely sell if it hadn’t already sold,… for 100 million dollars.

  37. First off let me say that I call myself an artist. I am a ceramics Major and also a Cultural Anthropologist Major with my main focus on art. I love art and I agree that for so long mediocrity and self-indulgence has plagued the art world. I haven’t seen much of Freud, but I like the painting.

    Everyone has their own interpretation of what is “Art”. Art is subjective, sure, but often times the people that make the most money are the ones who catch on with the rich bourgeoisie. It’s the same today as it was in the past. People keep asking “where are the michaleangelo’s?” Well, you know what “the Great Masters” were just as profiteering as those of Damien Hurst. DaVinci, Michaelangelo and the contemporaries of his time were driven by patrons. The patrons told them what to paint, sculpt, throw (pottery) etc. Nothing was done for the sake of the artist. I think the big difference today is that the artist is in control of what they want to do.

    I am pretty vocal in my social circles of what I like and what I think is bunk. Freud I like. Damien Hurst, I don’t. I think Hurst is chief among what is wrong with the art world today. He is beyond self-indulgent, self-promoting, and it has been proven that he has plagurized. His Saachi show, in my opinion, was abhorrent. I don’t understand much of this extremist “art”. Even though I am an art major, I can honestly say I don’t get it. And, I think a lot of people also don’t “get it” but pretend they do so they don’t lose face with the “in” crowd. Unfortunately it has been this way for the better part of 300 years.

    BTW, I am also not a Pollock fan. I’m sorry anyone can take cans of paint throw it on a canvas using a fan and call it “art”. I read some of his earliest interviews and he said he did it “just because”. That, I feel, is really the problem, some of this stuff in the contemporary art world is “just because” not thought, no attention to detail, the short-attention span way of art.

    Paint thrown on canvas, clay soaked canvas painted white, molded doll heads with pins in them, slab of clay with garish colors, a box with a word on it, a canvas with a dot on it, I could go on, we’ve all seen some variation to these, but where is the skill? Where is the time put into these? That’s the trick folks there isn’t. At least with Freud you can see that there was time put into it, a certain skill, and a love of his media.

    Sorry for the rant, but most modern art just really burns my ass.

  38. Abstract art is ART.It is the “State of the Art”. Pictures,representations of people, landscapes,etc. no matter how well done are fine , but do not reflect new thinking. In my opinion art is a combination of intellect and emotion and should show a NEW and FRESH way of expression.Intelligent, Abstract Art is truly the pinnacle of art.A true artist is a teacher, not a pawn of patrons. The artist leads, not follows.He(or she)uncovers and graphically demonstrates a thinking process in his art that brings new and joyful appreciation to the viewer, because it comes as a revealation.

  39. vanrijngo says:

    Jackson, I do agree with what you say,.. and not so much of the rant above your post. Art is great, no matter what form it takes, as long as there is a definite message to the art appreciators,.. created by its master. This is the main reason why copyist’s are looked down on so much in this MFA world by art connoisseurs, for the copyist’s have no idea on the messages or how they were even created.

    Now,… after saying this, while I myself believing this very much to be the absolute truth,… I asked myself; Why in the heck is our museums and private collections so full of copied works of art of the masters. There seems to me to be a lot of sheep wool that has been pulled over the eyes of the so-called MFA experts. Do you suppose all this could have been caused by dollar signs?

    There has to be a reason why the art experts today are coming up with the figure of almost 50% of everything being fake. They are talking of all the fine art in collections and in the museums, including most all art now coming up and being offered at auction in most all fine art establishments.

    Do you all supposed that this humongous art deception which has been present in this 8 billion dollar a year industry for years is about to come to its end? Computer science now along with newly written software programs by researchers are harnessing digital technology to help differentiate original works of art from forgeries.

    My own little rant here I feel pretty much will not be published, due to its unfavorable content while having to be approved by the blogs author. As most know, it has always been said,… “The Truth Hurts”.

  40. Vanrijngo, the only comments I delete are those that are offensive, abusive, spammy, or marketing their own website. I’m not afraid of opinions that differ from my own. I thought the point of allowing comments was to encourage different views.

    Theyre moderated because I’m continually hit by scumbag scammers and spammers daily.

  41. This is thrilling that Freud has captured this title. I have been an admirer for decades and in my opinion no other living artist that I know of can capture the luminosity of flesh like Freud.

  42. For those of little realisation, Lucien Freud is probably the richest artist in auction. I mean, he sold a picture of a fat old women for.. what? 33.6million pounds?

    HOWEVER, these paitings are ugly, stupid and quite a waste of money. I would of bought the REAL picture of that fat old lady for minimum 1pound, maximum 7.

  43. This painting by Freud interests me: some of the more obvious things about it are the fact that the artist, and thereby also the viewers, are looking down at her; she is grotesquely obese, and in many ways her flesh mimics the forms of the piece of furniture on which she lay; she is naked and as suggested in earlier comments, her flesh is obviously constructed by Freud’s usual masterful moving, shoving, piling, layering of paint on the surface of the canvas. Also, she isn’t merely a woman sleeping, but a “Benefits Supervisor Sleeping,” defining her anonymously by her bureaucratic-sounding profession instead of as a human with a name. On the one hand Freud overemphasizes her humanity partly by the sheer size of her body, while at the same time erasing it. In truth, I don’t think this makes it a painting portraying a pessimistic outlook, but a painting suggesting a profoundly ambivalent one. And yet, in her sleep she unconsciously seems to offer us all her breast.

    I think there’s a very complex and extremely interesting message here.

  44. This isn’t art, it’s like a Marx Brothers spoof of art by someone who can never become a Western artist. It’s just not his nature to appreciate the beautiful.

  45. After reading all the comments Lucian Freud’s work, I have come to the conclusion there is no such thing as true ugliness nor beauty. It is an individual’s opinion based entirely on their own perception of what the words mean to them.

    Unfortunately, each viewer feels that “every piece of art” should be only as they view beautiful art to be. What a boring world that would be…and would it not be considered ugly to other individuals? So what would be gained?

    I was taught in art school to appreciate the artist’s work and base their work not only on what he/she was trying to say, but also to base it on where they originated from and what they were trying to say. And maybe…only maybe….would the true message come across, and it would have nothing to do with ugliness or beauty.

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