I went to a Lucian Freud exhibition many years ago and found his ability to depict the harsh reality of life so brutally in people’s faces quite hard to appreciate. As an enthusiastic twenty-something I sought beauty in just about everything and found the paintings very disturbing. That early perception stopped me from revisiting this wonderful artist over the last twenty years or so. However, with only a few days left to see this exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery and a lot of recommendations, I decided to go. I’m so glad I did.
To quote Freud, ‘What do I ask of a painting? I ask it to astonish, disturb, seduce, convince’.
I just realised, that is exactly what he did.