blog > Posts tagged "aging"

You are a Rock Star, old lady… by Misha Lyuve

Mar 25, 2012

So I am walking on my street and I see an old lady with a walker crossing West End Avenue. The traffic light is turning from green to red, and she is right in the middle of the road. The wind blows and you can see how it rips into her small body while she is holding on to her walker. She has these really big glasses, but I don’t think she can see much. As I help her to get to the other side, we chat and I find out that it is her first time out after the hip replacement surgery. She is on the way to McDonalds. She is in excellent spirits. In fact, she is thrilled.

Now I am done with my errands and on my way home. The lady is still stubbornly pushing her walker – she is a bit more than half way through the block where I left her off…

I set goals. I am in action. I question myself daily, annually and lifely whether I have accomplished enough. I use comparison to others to judge myself… or them. But what’s really an accomplishment? What’s enough?

And all I want to do is scream at the top of my lungs – Good for you, old lady! You are a rock star! - For getting yourself dressed and out of the apartment, walking against wind and traffic. Keep pushing that walker!

Thank you old lady for letting me see how differently a definition of an accomplishment is written for each of us. Thank you for allowing me to appreciate the efforts people around me make to live their lives and push their walkers; how those efforts vary in size and scope; how they are not always seen and, if seen, not always noticed and, if noticed, not always acknowledged.

And what are you pushing?

p.s. Unfortunately I didn’t take a photo of the original lady, but the one here is one of the local troopers.

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

Aging fools by Misha Lyuve

May 11, 2011

For ages, aging created contradictory attitudes: wisdom or deterioration? Bliss or burden? But regardless of potential differences in our opinions, one of a few things that we can be certain in this life is that we are aging. Given the inevitability of the fact, I wonder whether the “it’s an enemy” attitude towards the process of aging, its meaning and assessment of our bodies serves us any good.  

Recently visiting Metropolitan Museum of Art, I bumped into the Naked Man  by Lucian Freud, a contemporary artist that happened to be a grandson of infamous Dr. Freud.  

Sleeping by the Lion Carpet, 1996 by Lucian Freud

Sleeping by the Lion Carpet, 1996 by Lucian Freud

 

And if you wonder how deep the preconception of aging is engraved in you by our culture, just try to give it up. Even for a minute. Because without that preconception, our bodies with wrinkles, hairs, saggy skin, fat and scars actually carry profound beauty that represents the process of living and thus aging.   

The painter working. Reflection, 1993 by Lucian Freud
The painter working. Reflection, 1993 by Lucian Freud

So how is that we let a photoshopped picture of a anorexic model on an over-promising advertisement of some facial cream represent anything about aging? Aren’t we aging fools?