Art Essay

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In this essay I intend to compare and contrast the artist Lucian Freud and the photographer Narcis Virgiliu. I have chosen Freud because his paintings focus on nude models and he paints exactly what he sees. However, in Virgiliu’s photography work he uses slim models, the total opposite of Freud’s work. The artist and photographer I’ve chosen links to my theme in my own work as it involves body image and how people perceive different body shapes.

Lucian Freud was one of the best known British artists, who started painting nudes from the 1950’s. The art movement Freud belonged to was mainly realism, occasionally experimenting with surrealism. To start off with Freud mainly used oil paints applying them to the canvas with sable brushes. In the early 1950’s he spent a weekend with the painter Graham Sutherland and his family. He also met Francis Bacon, who he soon became close friends with, where he got inspired to change his style. He abandoned the sable brushes and changed to large hogs hair brushes. He soon noticed that these brushes concentrated on texture and the colour of flesh. This enabled him to get a looser and more expressive style, which he became famous for. By using thicker paint he could use the impasto technique, applying paint thickly to the canvas, making it stand out from the surface. He also started to paint standing up to allow him to freely paint. Freud became introduced to Cremnitz White, a very dense paint, which he found good to paint flesh tones. This paint was always on his palette. The fact Freud used oil paints has inspired me to experiment with this type of paint. I’ve tried using oil paints a few times and it has been very successful and I’m really pleased with the outcome. This image by Lucian Freud called ‘Fat Sue’ is my favourite image by him. The model is lying on a sofa, which was a recurring composition amongst Freud’s nude paintings. I like the way Freud has used different skin tones across the body. He’s used darker paints...
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