April 12, 2008

"Abundantly, gloriously fleshy, the paint gathered in great gobs and whorls..."

The highest price ever for a painting by a not-dead-yet artist is about to be paid for this luscious painting of an extravagantly nude woman.

36 comments:

rhhardin said...

says of the 85-year-old painter.

I suspect price speculating on its entering the higher value dead-painter category.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Bleeeech!

Omaha1 said...

OMG!!1! She's OBEEEESE!!

David said...

She looks like a melted banana split.

Palladian said...

Wow, I knew Freud's prices were high these days, but not that high. I'm not terribly fond of his later work; it's a rather dismal world-view and so color-phobic, but they're fine if taken on their own terms. But for abundantly, gloriously fleshy, I'd rather have Rubens or even Soutine.

Jeff with one 'f' said...

My eyes!

john said...

Is it really the most expensive painting, or does it only seem so when not factoring in the price per pound?

Other than that, it hardly looks like she's sleeping, with her left hand grasping the couch to keep from pitching forward onto the floor.

On the other hand, I still slow down to look at those velvet paintings being displayed along the road near our house, so who am I to judge?

john said...

Is this a "couch size painting"?

Bob said...

Well, this certainly won't be replacing my Boris Vallejo/Julie Bell calendars.

vet66 said...

Say what you want about the subject matter but this painting does speak, nay, shouts at the viewer who is drawn into the many splendiforous folds and cushions on display.

The right hand cradling the right breast is poignant and a nice touch.

john said...

Vet66-

You are correct, and even I, whose artistic tastes run to 1950's Matel model box paintings of battleships, grant that it is interesting for the same reasons. I still think, however, that the model is exhibiting a Wyeth-like anxiety from that couch being too small for her. Cradling right hand, clutching left hand.

Like that ("Wyeth-like")?

Dust Bunny Queen said...

The right hand cradling the right breast is poignant and a nice touch.

She's just trying to keep her enormous flabby tit from dragging on the ground. The first thought that comes into my mind when looking at this painting has nothing to do with art and more with get this obese pig a gastric bypass!

ricpic said...

Er, the Rubens and the Soutine, each in its own way, has beauty. The Freud? None, That's why the lifehaters love it so.

Trooper York said...

You can never know what love resides in the human heart. A person physical appearance is just the smallest measure of what is the essence of true beauty. What one man might find repugnant would bring another man joy. The cruelest critics are those who are most afraid of being charged with the faults they so violently denounce. Since time began, an abundance of flesh has denoted wealth and health and has been subject of art since the first cave drawings of a plump lovely dining on a mastodon haunch. Rubens was just the greatest of the many artists throughout the ages who have saluted the joys of feminine pulchritude. It takes a real man to handle a real woman. Some cars are just too much for some people to handle. Mr. Frued, I salute you.

George said...

He also did a rather droll painting of her sleeping underneath a carpet which shows two lions hunting.

And, also for mature audiences, he does men and their pets, too.

Freeman Hunt said...

A person physical appearance is just the smallest measure of what is the essence of true beauty.

While I do agree with that...

Gross me out.

That was the first thought that came to mind upon viewing this piece.

It is a painting. It is a depiction of the physical appearance. The painting is not a person; the painting has no soul of its own to appreciate. All there is is physical appearance. (Unless you want to argue that the painting is indicating some deeper point besides reveling in this appearance, and if you are, I'd like to hear what that point is.) And on the basis of pure appearance: ick.

tjl said...

On first glance Freud's painterly technique wasn't what was uppermost in my thoughts -- it was "This is what happens if you don't hit the gym."

Trooper York said...

Well Freeman, I see some affection in the painting. Some feeling for the subject. It's certainly not comic and not really gross (at least that's my opinion). There is a serenity in the quality of her repose which is appealing. She lies there vulnerable and alone, in a tight spot, asleep and at peace. It's reality, not an idealized air brushed Vanity Fair cover of skinny skank with fake boobs and a sucked out face. It's what America looks like at rest. At least that's what I see.


But to be fair, I love chubby chicks so don't go by me. Fire away if it makes you feel better.

Freeman Hunt said...

if it makes you feel better.

?

Why would criticizing a painting do that?

Michael_H said...

Rosie? Rosie O'Donnell is that you? Were you napping just now? My heavens, you've been living near the refer again, haven't you?

Trooper York said...

Well Freeman maybe I misinterpreted your critique. I thought you are saying that the woman is gross in her appearance, in what she looks like as a human being. The painting itself seems to be technically very well done. A canvas covered in cow shit might be gross, but a normal painting in of itself would not be considered gross, only the person it depicts. If I misunderstood you, I apologize.

Trooper York said...

I have a great deal of respect for both you Freeman, and Dust Bunny Queen as commentors and as pretty smart chicks. So I am sorry that you find this lady repellant. But as a man of the world, I must say that are great many things that many of us cherish that other people find abhorrent. And I certainly would joke about anything in this world as you well know. But I must always stand in defense of my well upholstered ladies, a Don Quixote tilting at a windmill of ridicule for the pleasingly plump.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I don't see that there is any affection from the painter towards his subject oozing through to the viewer. In fact I find just the opposite.

Benefits Supervisor?? The woman looks uncomfortable and is placed in a tortured position, the colors are not flattering and she looks like melted cheese that has gone bad with gravity taking a very unflattering toll on her rolls and rolls of fat. It is a harsh harsh painting with no love or humor or kindness in it. Unlike Peter Paul Reuben, who painting his zaftig ladies with some obvious appreciation of their ample charms, I feel that this painting is exploitative and mean.

Speakign as a somewhat zaftig female myself, I find the Reubens paintings a flattering portrait of real women (which was the standard of his times). This picture I find completely offensive.

Trooper York said...

I grant you that the Rubens painting is much better, but he is one of the greatest painters who ever lived. This is a painting of a more realistic and naturalistic nude, something much closer to real life. I have a lot of experience in talking with ladies about their body issues, and even though I am just a dumb guy, I get that size and weight are a tremendous and very painful issue that makes many women hate themselves. If art can portray such a body in a realistic and sensual way, perhaps it might assuage just a little of the secret shame of the pleasingly plump. She has a gentle and angelic look on her face and she is resting in an awkward position it is true, but she sleeps not huddled up in shame and fear, but in repose and peace as one of Gods beautiful creations. That is why it is art.

Also because we all see something different in it. Hey, but what do I know, I just like it.

Trooper York said...

From the clipping:

Of course it was a different thing for the paintings - four were produced during their four-year working relationship - to go out into the world, and to be gawped at by all and sundry. "The first painting he ever did of me [Evening in the Studio, 1993] was finished while there was a big show of his paintings on at the Whitechapel gallery," she says. "So they put it up for the last week of the exhibition. I went in there one day and there was a man giving a talk in front of the picture, saying, look at this revolting woman, she's so fat and disgusting, there's obviously something wrong with her skin. I just started laughing. The man stopped and asked if there was anything wrong. I said: 'That's me you're talking about,' and he just looked like he wanted to die. After that I didn't really mind what people said."


Sounds like a lovely lady to me.

Freeman Hunt said...

Unlike Peter Paul Reuben, who painting his zaftig ladies with some obvious appreciation of their ample charms, I feel that this painting is exploitative and mean.

That's how I feel about it too. This picture seem to accentuate every flaw. It even looks as though he's had her pose on a grody, old couch. I would never want to be painted in this way.

But as Trooper has obviously found something entirely different in this piece, I suppose the impression here is in the eye of the beholder.

Fatmouse said...

York, dude, we get it, you dig the fatties.

And I wouldn't describe this subject as remotely "chubby." She's reaching the level of obesity where one is unable to wipe one's own ass.

Middle Class Guy said...

I agree with Trooper. who are we to judge what or who is beautiful? It is all a matter of personal taste; I think Kate Moss is a skank. So what.

But I would go further. It is not just the subject herself, but the painting as a whole that makes it astonishing. One must look beyond the subject and look at the piece of art as a whole.

I saw a self portrait of a naked Freud when he was in his sixties. It was as real as it gets; sagging flesh and all. At first I thought it grotesque. The more I looked at it, the more I appreciated his art. He has a flair for the grotesque until you look at it for awhile.

spudchuker said...

There's a buxom young wench in Lamar
Who has mammae too copious by far
One luscious bazoom
Fills up half a room
And you can't go around her in par

Andy said...

It's not bad for a Freud painting- it's one of his more interesting compositions. The best thing about it, though is that the $$$$ record it potentially can break is currently held by Jeff Koons, whose art "compositions" are so ridiculously overvalued as to make sub-prime mortgages look like A-grade investments.

reader_iam said...

Wow.

knoxwhirled said...

I don't see that there is any affection from the painter towards his subject oozing through to the viewer. In fact I find just the opposite.

I would tend to agree. Not a flattering portrait, and not just because the lady herself is so obese.

LarsPorsena said...

He should'a done it on velvet.

downtownlad said...

That's cool that Palladian is posing for paintings now.

bearing said...

I like the painting.

(And I think you should have called her not "extravagantly nude" but "nudely extravagant.")

Palladian said...

Portrait of downtownlad.