Flesh, portraits, and Lucian Freud

Detail, portrait by Julie Galante
Detail of a work in progress, oil on canvas, ©2011 Julie Galante.

Another big-name artist died this week: Lucian Freud. Figurative painters are in the minority in today’s art world, especially ones creating truly new, interesting things. I tend to seek them out and study their work; they comfort me against fears that nothing new can be done with paint and a visual reference. Freud is especially inspiring in that way: his portraits and nudes depict such a a glorious, unique duality of fleshiness and globs-of-paintiness.

Just last month I spent a good deal of time ogling one of his self-portraits at the National Portrait Gallery in London.

(As an aside: I really wish more countries had national portrait galleries.)

(As another aside: Did you know that Freud holds the record for highest price paid for a painting by a living artist?)

I have read a lot of obituaries and recaps of Freud’s career since his death. They’ve mostly made me wish to be an artist who can afford to pay models properly and have them sit for extended periods of time. Another effect they’ve had is on the skin I’ve painted this week: I’ve noticed a bit of a turn towards the fleshy in my portraits-in-progress (of which there are currently about six). I’m not exactly sure how this fits in with my style. I’ll be sure to show you the results.


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2 Responses to “Flesh, portraits, and Lucian Freud”

  1. nancy t. says:

    This is very compelling! I’m looking forward to seeing more! nancy

  2. Jul says:

    Thanks, Nancy. Lots more portraits coming up in the next few weeks.

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