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28 October 2008

Many, Many Pounds. . . . . .as in British.




Lucien Freud paints people, has for decades. At 85 years young he is still at it, influencing modern figurative painters around the world. In May, a painting he did during the mid nineties shattered the current world record for the most expensive painting done by a living artist. It sold at Sotheby's for $35 million dollars. It's title is: Benefits Supervisor Sleeping. Ok, I'll give you time to pick your jaw up off the floor. Alright, you ready, I'll continue. However, you do have a little bit of drool that you'll want to clean up.

I too was floored to read about this. It may be old news for those on the forefront of what's happening in the World Art Market but it hit home for me as a painter perpetually fascinated, perplexed, stunned, annoyed, and every other negative and positive superlative in the dictionary that describes our efforts in life.

I feel figurative painting has been shunned by the vast majority of the art world for being concerned with only beauty and therefore presiding as more illustration than fine art. However, slowly it is finding its way back into being placed alongside the other leading areas of contemporary art which makes me extremely happy to see. Not for the price paid but for the subject matter and medium.

Below is a portrait done by Freud in 1947 of his first wife, which is also brilliant.

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