Art Hero: Lucian Freud

As you all may know, Lucian Freud died on Wednesday at the age of 88. I've only discovered his work fairly recently (about 5 years ago) and I would love the opportunity to dig a deeper into his work. Freud paintings really amaze me. To me, his work is very illustrative. Each portrait he paints tells a seemingly sad story.  I could look at his work for hours and discover incredible new aspects each time. As an artist, I would  love to thank him for bringing back respect and passion for figurative work to the overly abstract and conceptual art world.

Lucian had such a talent for capturing quiet emotion and really gorgeous flesh. Here are some of my favorite  Freud paintings:

Large Interier W. 11,  1981-1983

             "The painter makes real to others his innermost feelings about what he cares for.  A secret becomes known to everyone who views the picture through the intensity with which it is felt."
Lucian Freud
Hotel Bedroom, 1954

Ib and her Husband, 1992
"The aura given out by a person or object is as much a part of them as their flesh. The effect that they make in space is as bound up with them as might be their colour or smell ... Therefore the painter must be as concerned with the air surrounding his subject as with the subject itself. It is through observation and perception of atmosphere that he can register the feeling that he wishes his painting to give out."
 Lucian Freud

Girl with White Dog, 1952
Girl with a Kitten, 1947

"The longer you look at an object, the more abstract it becomes, and, ironically, the more real."
                                                                                                Lucian Freud       

Self Portrait, 1985

Benefits Supervisor Sleeping, 1995

Rest in Peace, Lucian...Thank you so much for the inspiration.

Art Hero...Edward Gorey

 I've been thinking a lot about Edward Gorey this week. To me, his work invokes the feeling of a  winter wonderland. His black and white ink drawings wrap me with a nice homey eerie feeling. Perhaps it is a simple as fashion. His characters always seem so perfectly cool as the do the most dreaded things. They seem to always be outside in bleakness of nature delightfully wrapped in furs and wraps and big o' hats.  The stories make me shiver(in delight, of course) and seem to be made to read in front of the roaring fire.
Edward Gorey by Michael Romanos
This man does the Victorian  and Edwardian world proud (funny that he had never even been to England). I have been a fan of his for many, many years. Sometimes I forget what an amazing influence he has been on my life and the lives of so many artists. I'm sure he was one of the best stokers of my morbidity. To me he was the father, or perhaps grandfather of the Goth crowd. Do you think Tim Burton would  be as twisted as he is with out him? I'm not sure.

Here are a few of my favorite drawings from the over 100 books that he illustrated:

from "The Blue Aspic"

The three above from "The Gashycrumb Tinies"
from, "The Hapless Child"

from "The Doubtful Guest"

from "The Object Lesson"
from "The Fatal Lozenge"

Lovely gruesomeness...

If you are curious, my all time favorite Edward Gorey book is "The Hapless Child".  It must be one of the most weirdly depressing illustrated books I've ever read. It just keeps hitting you in the gut. You think things would improve for this cute angelic little girl. Nope... it just keeps getting worse. I suppose that is why I love it so, no mercy...

Do you have a favorite Gorey book? Which one is it...and why?

By the way, I have to admit, one of the things that got me on my Edward Gorey kick this week is this.   Are you dying for yellow dyed coyote fur coat,  bizarre stuffed bat or a nice little signed copy of a book? Then make a bid at the auction and you can own a bit of illustration history yourself.  Wouldn't that be a fun Christmas present? Ok, well...maybe not the fur...

Art Hero...Christian Schad

I just wanted to share my love of the German Expressionist Painter, Christian Schad(1894-1962). His work is so detailed and beautiful. He has a dreamlike realism to his painting and the eyes of his subjects just grab you. I love their strangeness and direct connection with the viewer. I feel as if I'm locked in a room with them, and I can't move.

Agosta the Winged Man, The Rasha the Black Dove, 1929
Cafe' d'Italia, 1921
Fraulein Mulino Von Kluck Christian, 1930
The Operation, 1929
Marcella, 1926
Maika, 1929

Maria and Annuziata from the Harbour, 1923

Count St. Genois d'Anneucourt 1927
Self-Portrait with Model, 1927

"Schad's portraits express much of the modern liberal-libertarian spirit of the age, of the awareness of life of people who really began to live-whose interesting life started-only with the onset of night." 
Sergiusz Michalski, "New Objectivity"

As an illustrator, I love the way Schad plays with the shadows of light and dark. He amazes me with perfection of detail when he draws clothing and hair. It is so simple and stylized. (I'll admit, I am a bit jealous of his abilities) He has a way of creating beauty on the surface with ugliness seeping through on closer inspection.

What an inspiration. Don't you think.