“I don't paint people the way they are, but they way they happen to be"
I first had a glimpse of Lucian Freud’s works in National Gallery, London two decades ago. I was struck by his obsession with the body…the unforgiving body. He obsessively paints each fold of flesh, traces each scar, zit, bluish vein, as if these are the marks the outside world has inflicted on the body. Many of the figures were asleep, exposed, and vulnerable. They were snapshots of loneliness and alienation.
Was Lucian Freud, a Freudian?
After his father’s death, his mother drifted into a deep, incapacitating depression. Freud and his mother had never gotten along. He found her overbearing, excessively maternal. She was made uncomfortable by much of his work. But he brought her up to his studio and painted her day after day for the next decade. "I started painting her because she had lost interest in me," said Freud. "I couldn't have if she'd been interested. She barely notice, but I had to overcome avoiding her." Lucie Freud sat for her son more for more than 2,000 sessions, continuing until her death in 1980. Eventually, she emerged from her despair and Lucian repaired his brittle relationship with her.
All in all, the sessions themselves proved to be a more benevolent form of therapy than Sigmund Freud ever achieved!