Friday, May 31, 2024

Look Over There

I'm not going to write about Trump the Felon, our next president.  My conservative friends who were in love with the current Supreme Court are now saying, "You can't trust the system."  

Fuck it.  I can't run.  I can't fight.  P. Diddy can't get a fair trial and there is no way the next election isn't rigged.  

Even my sarcasms fall flat.  

And so, I turn away to look at the monkey fucking the donkey.  

That's Sigmund Freud with his grandson, Lucien.  That would be tough, right?  Old cocaine snorting, cigar smoking Sigmund who so famously (or maybe apocryphally) said, "But a cigar is just a good smoke."  

If you don't know the reference. . . who in the hell am I talking to, anyway?  Maybe only myself.  

Lucien grew up to be a charmer.  So they say. 

"Freud’s unconventional charm, coupled with that famous surname, opened doors. Another Rimbaud, young and gifted, he appeared exotic and otherworldly too, unheeding of social convention. All sorts of people found him attractive."

He was a painter.  One of the most famous, in fact, of the 20th century.  You know his work.  I've used one of his self-portraits as illustration here before. 

His daughter, Rose Boyt, one of at least 14 children he fathered, has written a book about him.  So I learned yesterday reading an Air Mail article.

Rose Boyt was 18 when she sat for her father Lucian Freud.  Although “sat” is too decorous a word for this full-frontal sprawl. “Nothing had been discussed,” Boyt, a novelist, writes in the coolly explosive first line of her memoir, Naked Portrait. “I just assumed I would be naked.” She continues in the same spare, explicit style. “I got undressed and asked him what he would like me to do. He said it was up to me.

I lay down on the sofa and shielded my eyes, the big ceiling lights in the studio working on full power. I lay down, but I didn’t want to look obedient in my portrait, I didn’t feel obedient. I wanted my father to paint me but not like the others — there was some kind of battle going on, unacknowledged but expressed in the muscles of my bent leg — I was alert, prepared to spring up at any moment. I asked him not to paint in my hairy legs. He said it was not like that. We talked about make-up. He didn’t like to paint it, but I was not going to take off my mascara. In the end he decided it was part of me. That was a small victory.”

What can one say?  She went on to become a successful photographer.  Here she photographs herself with her father in the studio during the weeks he worked on the painting.  

Her relationship with her father was complicated as you can imagine.  She has just published a book about it called "Naked Portrait."  In it, she says he was both aloof and supportive.  He did, for instance, pay the bills for her therapy sessions, but, she says,“He referred to my therapist as ‘The Venal Sadist’.”  

Perhaps, one imagines, he was thinking of his grandfather.  I'd refer you back, once again, to "This Be the  Verse."

Creative genius, I think, requires some latitude from the "normals."  Genius must be a heavy burden.  Social conventions, it would seem, are made up by Bible School idiots.  I don't know.  But their lives make for good biographies by and large.  

I went out with the gymroids last night.  Nothing notable happened.  We drank, we ate.  The bars we went to were not really my kind of places.  But the night was nice and I was someplace new, so there was that.  I have lunch with C.C. today.  We will talk about the lives of artists, maybe, and our own miscreant behavior, as we so often do.  I think I can safely say that I don't have many friends who don't fall into the "miscreant" category.  Behaviorally, I mean.  At least in thought if not in deed.  

Speaking of miscreants,  I am sure we are all waiting for Ivanka's tell-all book about her daddy.  Now THAT should be a doozy!

1 comment:

  1. I read about that book weeks ago. Times? Maybe. With the pictures? Can’t remember. But. I put it on my list.

    Did Bill Clinton say that?

    Give CC my very best.