Georgina Feldman of Reform Judaism explains why she has chosen controversial artist Lucian Freud as her Jewish icon.
As someone who is inspired by art and the creative, my Jewish hero is Lucian Freud. Capturing the nature of every person he painted, the figurative mastermind inspired thousands with his frighteningly accurate representations of people and their personalities, a true mirror physically while giving each painting an engaging individuality.
I have viewed the work of Lucian Freud in the Saatchi Art Gallery and I was amazed at the pieces shown. His upfront approach to art and people leave nothing to the imagination. Whether it just be a portrait or a naked illustration, Freud paints ugliness and captures the candid moments of life in stillness. As an artist myself (if you consider someone with a sketch book to be an artist), I can really appreciate the difference between a painting and a profile. It is the artists who create a profile of the people they are drawing that bring their paintings to life and inspire.
A painter is led by thought and perspective. The reason I believe Lucian Freud’s paintings were so real is that he believed it. In an interview a few years ago he said: “As far as I am concerned, the paint is the person. I want it to work for me just as flesh does.” This is something that I often think about. Whether I’m sketching or painting, I’m very conscious of how my work is affected by my mood and even how my mood changes when I paint.
On top of this, Lucian Freud, along with other painters, has inspired me to paint with purpose, and to paint with feeling.
he idea I take from him is not to paint as a chore but to do it when I feel inspired and when I want to achieve something.
Georgina Feldman is Reform Judaism’s interim community youth development worker