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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

Alexander McQueen: savage and beauty by Misha Lyuve

Jun 2, 2011
My Alexander McQueen suit took me on a journey (see When art gets personal)

 

Alexander McQueen

“There is no way back now. I am going to take you on journeys you’ve never dreamed before possible” -Alexander McQueen

Fashion had resonated to me more with commercialism, vanity and superficiality than with art – till I saw Alexander McQueen’s Savage Beuaty at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Gallerly? Theater? Catwalk? — all of it and none. Music, lighting, set up of the rooms, McQueen’s quoatations created an intense medium to experience his creativity, passion, drama, angels and demons, and allowed to immerse into his intensity. Faceless static manequens were such better carriers of art than flickering models; they gave time to experience, to process, to feel.

So here is McQueen: a son of a cab driver, described by othersbeer gut, shaved head, bad teeth and thick glottal cockney accent“, “foul-mouthed“, “hooligan“, “shy“; described by himself “I just want to be a wallflower. Nondescript. Just not anything. I don’t want to see me.” And that person created all this???

And suddenly I felt that maybe I am just getting a glimpse of how it was to be this man; when there is so much vision inside and such a huge gap with the outside — how intense that might feel? And the two ways out — death and madness — become reasonable and tangible. 

I want to be the purveyor of a certain silhouette or a way of cutting, so that when I’m dead and gone, people will know that the twenty-first century was started by Alexander McQueen.“ 

I want to be the purveyor of a certain silhouette or a way of cutting, so that when I’m dead and gone, people will know that the twenty-first century was started by Alexander McQueen.“ 

It is important to look at death because it is a part of life. It is a sad thing, melancholy but romantic at the same time.”

“It is the end of a cycle — everything has to end. The cycle of life is positive because it gives room for new things.”

When art gets personal by Misha Lyuve

May 19, 2011

There is nothing as effective in taking a career of an already successful artist to the next level as a sudden death or a suicide. One’s label can get selected for design of a royal wedding dress or get an exhibition in Metropolitan Museum of Art or even draw enough attention of a fool like me to buy their suit.

Yes, I own an Alexander McQueen’s suit.

We know art as something behind protective screens, shielded from daylight and flashlights of cameras or thoroughly wrapped from the touch of dirty fingers of movers.

But just because something can be worn every day, has to be adjusted to fit my size, and carries stains of my morning coffee, does it have to lose qualification of art? In fact, one thing is to have an experience in a museum or even see a painting hanging on the wall at home, but another to put an object on, having it envelope your body and touch your skin.

Is it the reason that I inadvertently avoid wearing my very artfully crafted suit, so that I don’t feel the weight of the dead body over my shoulders?

Has art got that personal with you?

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?