So many people are asking – why? why this painting? I have heard (and read) people saying that it’s ugly, that they wouldn’t accept it for free, let alone pay the highest price yet paid for a living artist. so why did this painting fetch this price?
I could go into the fact that the actual piece is huge, that it took two years to paint, that it’s a work by a modern master who has dedicated his life to his painting. Or I could mention the market fluxes such as the fact that Lucien Freud is huge in the market at the moment, that his works have been seeing a surge in prices in the past few years – but what I really want to talk about is the feel of this work and why it is actually beautiful rather than ugly.
Some of you may remember back in the dimdarks when I waxed on at great length about beauty. I quoted my favorite Heinlein quote and I think in this case it applies. Freud painted here, a woman exactly how she is. he pointed out every flaw, every shred of humanity and forces us to acknowledge that – but to also see that that reality is what is beautiful, those flaws are what makes her a person and that as a person she is beautiful. he is saying look at this woman, she isn’t perfect, she has her flaws but she is a work of art – every person holds within them a work of art because we all have beauty. This piece, quite frankly, makes the world a more beautiful place.
…at least, that is what I see in it – what do you see?