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luís soares

Blog do escritor Luís Soares

Freud does Bowery


Lucian Freud - Leigh Bowery (1991)

This is a small portrait of the maverick gay performer and nightclub personality Leigh Bowery (1961-94). It portrays Bowery’s head and naked upper torso framed against dark red upholstery. His bald head rests against his raised left shoulder, his eyes are closed and his cheeks and mouth hang loosely as though he is asleep. Freud’s manner of painting emphasises the fleshiness of Bowery’s face. This is achieved through the application of paint in different textures – in some areas relatively smooth, in others thickly but delicately built up. Apparently unconscious of the artist’s gaze, Bowery has a vulnerable appearance which belies the bulk of his physical form

Naked Man, Back View


Lucien Freud - Naked Man, Back View (1991-1992)

For more than half a century, Freud has concentrated on depicting the human face and figure in paintings, drawings, and etchings. Earlier examples are smaller in scale and crafted in a distinctive, meticulous style with extreme precision. Freud's major compositions of the last thirty years are considerably larger, with heavily worked and impastoed surfaces. The model for this picture, Leigh Bowery (Australian, 1961–1994), was a performance artist in London.