Well, sort of. How cool is this? Lucian Freud’s portrait of a nude, sleeping Sue Tilley has just sold for $33.6 million dollars–a record high for work by a living artist.
And Sue Tilley? Is fat. Not merely Rubenesque, even, but pretty dang fat.
Tilley, 51, said she was initially embarrassed to pose naked for the artist, but they soon grew comfortable in the studio — so comfortable, in fact, that she confessed to falling asleep while posing.
“I didn’t mind if he noticed,” she said.
I’m less certain of how I feel about Freud’s description of the sittings, though.
With Tilley, Freud said he was “very aware of all kinds of spectacular things to do with her size, like amazing craters and things one’s never seen before,” according to the 2002 interview with the Tate. He added, “I have perhaps a predilection towards people of unusual or strange proportions, which I don’t want to over-indulge.”
“Amazing craters?” Really? And psst, it’s hardly something no one’s ever seen before; millions of fat women and their partners get a view like that every damned day. Still, I’ll grant that fat women do seem to be rare in the contemporary art world, and the most important thing is that the painting itself is clearly not mocking its subject. Well done, Freud.
I hope all you Shapelings who see yourselves in Sue Tilley will walk around today feeling like 33.6 million bucks.