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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

Two deaths in London by Misha Lyuve

Jul 24, 2011
Listen to Amy while reading this post 

 

Lucian Freud and Amy Winehouse are the two names that aren’t likely to show up in the same sentence. But as they both died in London last week, the pair had me think about them together.

As different as they might seem – Freud (the Dr. Freud’s grandson) who shocked the world with his nudes that showed more flesh that most could handle and who lived till 88, and Winehouse whose brief, dense and volatile career and life, and now death at 27, rocked the world – the two seemed to have much more in common than one would think.

"Reflection", by Lucian Freud (self-portrait)

Reflection (self-portrait), by Lucian Freud

Kate Moss'a portrait, by Lucian Freud

Kate Moss's portrait, by Lucian Freud

Naked man with a rat, by Lucian Freud

Naked man with a rat, by Lucian Freud

So what is in common? – Raw, real and honest art. Fraud spent days with his models, in order to get into every detail of their bodies – and by the way, all kinds of bodies: young and old, skinny and fat – and discover details more intimate than a lover could see. I think the only reason why we would want to turn away from his paintings is because behind pretty and shiny pictures in magazines we forgot what real bodies look like.

And Amy wasn’t there to be nice, cute and clean or for someone to like her. Whatever demons that troubled her, with authentic roughness in her voice and from the depth of her chest, she made it very clear – she ain’t going to rehab. Yeh, rehab might’ve saved her life. But I think I get it now, maybe she was worried if there would be Amy left after rehab.

Now everyone is screaming about wasted life and lost talent – what do you know? – look at your own life and talents and see what you are waisting. No reason to judge Amy. Thank you very much

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?