In July of 2011, the art world lost Lucian Freud, a brilliant mind and a world renown artist who was known for his striking, uncomfortable depictions of the relationship between artist and model. After viewing the portraits, Adrian Searle over at The Guardian wrote, "There was as much violence as tenderness in his stare, and in the ways he devised to paint." In the above video, famed British artist David Hockney remembers his experience posing for Freud and how the British painter brought out the most in his subjects.
Hockney notes that Freud didn't pre-mix his paint, which seemed odd to him at the time. However, through watching Freud work, Hockney began to understand that this was the perfect way for the artist to spend a longer amount of time with his subjects. This gave Freud the opportunity to delve into his subject's essence, creating portraits that were a departure from the expected.
Lucian Freud may have passed on, but his reputation for capturing unique, unexpected (and often discomfiting) angles will have a lasting effect on generations of artists to come.
What do you think, readers? When was the first time you encountered a work by Freud, or a work in which the subject held a direct gaze with you, the viewer? Let us know in the comments section below.