Freud Bacon

Bacon’s Rare Portrait of Lucien

Freud May Top Art Market Sales

For art lovers and wealthy buyers the world over, the Sotheby’s latest offering, a Francis Bacon‘s portrait of his friend, the also painter Lucien Freud, has all the right reasons for celebration. After all, the small triptych “Three Studies for a Portrait of Lucian Freud,” has been kept hidden from prying eyes for 45 years. Also, it has the potential to be sold at a record price, according to connoisseurs, some $18 million and change. It’s definitely worthy, if you navigate in that kind of cash.
Irish-born Bacon, whose history’s namesake was also an important character of the British Empire during the Enlightenment Era, became friends with the grandson of the famous Sigmund during the 1940s, the heyday of psychoanalysis and a time when artists freely explored the unconscious and dreamy, hallucinatory states as inspiration for their works. Of course, they wound up viciously fighting with each other after a few decades, but their works endure.
For art lovers though not the wealthy kind, there’s something about this news that’s bound to irritate the hell of everybody. Because, unless the new buyer, and it’s almost sure there will be one, decides to generously lend Bacon’s work to some museum, so people can see it, it’ll be returned to the private viewing pleasure of a precious few. And that, in a nutshell, mirrors the state of the current contemporary art market: expensive, exclusive and, did we say, expensive?
When they hold the close-door auction next month, we’ll be the ones with the faces glued to Sotheby’s windows, trying to have a peek at such a treasury of our world we’re not invited to partake. You may argue it’s been like that since thousands of years before the Enlightenment. Works of art were always exclusivity of royalty, aristocracy, clergy, churches, the kind of places one would need to offer something valuable in exchange for being admitted to.
The Nazis openly looted everywhere they went after such works, even if they had to send the entire family who owned them to the gas chambers in order to get them. Or rather, first they’d send people to their death and then would take their property. It’s a common story and quite boring, we know.
At least, now we have the Internet. You still can’t touch anything, as they always used to tell you at the toy store, but you can still glue your face to the windows and look from outside in. Matter of fact, you may want to get in line earlier and charge your seat for your fellow art lovers. It’ll probably be too cold to stay out too long anyway, and you need to get home to get some sleep. You know, someone has to go out tomorrow and earn it and bring it back for the little ones. Except that in your house, no one will tell them they can’t touch the bacon.

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