Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Video: Sue Tilley talks about modelling for Lucian Freud

Sue Tilley sitting in front of Benefits Supervisor Sleeping
Lucian Freud Portraits, National Portrait Gallery
copyright Katherine Tyrrell
The exhibition Lucian Freud Portraits opens at the National Portrait Gallery on 9 February 2012.  I saw the exhibition today - and it's excellent - and will be reviewing the exhibition tomorrow.  While I'm sorting notes and processing photos I thought you might like to see my video of Sue Tilley talking about being a life model for Lucian Freud - about how she posed and what she could see while he was painting.

Sue Tilley (aka "Big Sue") is the lady who was the model for "Benefits Supervisor Sleeping", the painting which broke a world record when Christies sold it to Roman Abromovich at auction for $33,641,000 13 May 2008) on 8 February 2008.  She was thrilled to be in the Guinness Book of Records as a result!

Sue became a model for Freud because she was good friends with performance artist Leigh Bowery who was an important model for Freud.  She commented that she used to pose for Freud at weekends because she was working during the week as a Job Centre Manager.  He then wanted her to pose for him when she had time off and for three years, all her time except for a few days was spent working at one or other of her two jobs.

There are four paintings of her in the exhibition - and the one she likes the best is Benefits Supervisor Sleeping
I like two of them, I don't mind one of them and I hate one of them
Both the Press View and the Members View today were absolutely packed and I understand advance ticket sales have been very good.

Lucian Freud Portraits will also be exhibited at Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, United States, from 2 July until 28 October 2012

From 9 February until 27 May 2012
National Portrait Gallery, London
Admission £14. Concessions £13 / £12
With Gift Aid (includes voluntary Gift Aid donation of 10% above standard price): Admission £15.40. Concessions £14.30/£13.20
Supported by Bank of America Merrill Lynch | Spring Season 2012 Sponsor Herbert Smith
TICKETS or telephone 0844 248 5033