London Calling — Art Of The Day
For today’s art of the day, I wanted to take it back to the London Calling exhibit I saw at the Getty last summer. I loved his exhibit, all the artists were incredible. But what really grabbed my attention are the changes I noticed in Lucian Freud’s work.
The painting of Kitty Garman with her cat was painted in 1947, one of Freud’s earlier works. The portrait of Bowery was painted in 1991. Lucian Freud was a painter who questioned sexual identity and chose subjects whose sexuality was inconsistent or ‘fluid.’ Leigh Bowery was a gay icon who died shortly after this painting was made, from complications from AIDS. Freud himself was involved with both men and women throughout his life. What all of this says about Freud’s own sexuality is something his grandfather Sigmund would have to answer.
What grabbed my attention is the insane attention to detail in the portrait of Kitty, versus the harsh rendering of Bowery. The first painting was done in 1947, and other paintings of Kitty in the years to come were also done in the same style as the portraits of Bowery. It could be argued that Freud was just discovering his style. However, I think this was something more; perhaps another question for Freud’s grandfather. The ‘unflattering’ way he drew his later subjects is in direct juxtaposition with the almost manic attention to detail in his earlier works. I wonder what goes through an artist’s mind when they make these kinds of changes.
I can say that London Calling was one of the best exhibits of modern art that I have ever seen.