Nakedness: Lucian Freud @ Metropolitan Museum of Art by Misha Lyuve

Oct 8, 2011

If you want to hang out in a room full of naked people, the Lucian Freud’s exhibition at Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City is a very special opportunity to do that (it runs through December 31, 2011). In fact, I suggest that this time around you skip Roman sculptures and Asian decorative art as well as other rooms in the Modern Art section – go straight to Kimmelman gallery and allow yourself to fully immerse into the rich world of Freud’s paintings.     

Lucian Freud's Exhibition @ Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Lucian Freud's Exhibition @ Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

We live in the world where body image is a cause of emotional distress and psychological disorder, and an image of a body as a symbol of sex has become the strongest marketing weapon. The concern for how we look is now on a critical path of our pursuit of happiness. It is engraved into youngsters with clearly defined standards of pretty and ugly, acceptable and not. It has a flavor of despair, shame and guilt.     

And all that is a great reason to come and visit with Lucian Freud – he will challenge your points of view and have you questioning. What bodies do you consider beautiful? What do you think about your own body? Does nudity have to be sexual? Is it shameful? His paintings will confront stereotypes that have been passed on to you and the ones you developed throughout your life. What do you find repulsive? What are your thoughts when you see a body of an old person? What are your judgments of fat bodies?     

There is a good chance that after seeing this exhibition you will come out a better person.     

Naked Man Back View, by Lucian Freud at Met Museum, New York

Image credits: Lucian Freud (British, 1922-2011). Naked Man, Back View, 1991-92. Oil on canvas 72-1/4 x 54-1/8 inches (183.5 x 137.5 cm.) The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Purchase, Lila Acheson Wallace Gift, 1993 (1993.71) © The Estate of Lucian Freud

Also read:
- Two Deaths in London
- Aging Fools

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  1. Oksana Zharinova-Sanderson

    The picture in this blog really brought back the memories of re-thinking naked body…My husband and I have spent a few summers on a Baltic sea beach in East Germany, where most of people were naked. This is a part of beach culture stretching back to pre-war times, which got particularly strong during the Soviet era. It is not a “nudist” beach – the “normal” beach was where people wore nothing, and the non-nudists had to go to a special place as they were a clear minority. This is when it occurred to me that most people are not “pretty” when they have nothing on. But after a day or two I got so used to it and more than that, I was astounded at finding out what people really look like. Another astounding thing was that it really hit me there that sexuality is only one tiny part of our bodies’ life…whilst most of the time we see nude bodies in media etc is when that very function is being discussed/described/questioned/savoured…Finally, it really opened up a different feeling I had for my own body when naked, particularly when naked next to other naked people, men and women, children and adults…

  2. donna mcgovern

    Thank you for continuing to open my world – I didnt know about Lucien Freud. I would have never known about this if you didnt write about it!!

  3. Rubiya

    I suppose it denpdes what inspired you in the first place. For me, photography was a way to capture what I did not have the talent to draw, or at least draw quickly. So I would take pictures, then try to draw those pictures in multiple modes, suhc as the Van Gogh mode (and if you don’t know what I mean, maybe you should go to an art museum for inspiration). Also, I’ve found that (literally) not having my equipment for a few months while starting to feel that lack of inspiration is giving me tremendous inspiration, as I just got it back this evening, and can’t wait to go take pictures tomorrow! So, take a deep breath, put down the camera, pick out your favorite pictures and try to draw them, or go to museums and try to capture the feeling you get from a drawing or painting in your camera, or possibly you just need to ask a friend to hold on to your equipment indefinitely. When you find your hands itching for a camera, it’s time for you to go get it back.