I thoroughly enjoyed the trip to the Art Gallery this semester, despite the heavy rain! I feel like we didn’t have enough time at each gallery which made me make a mental note to definitely go back by myself one day and really breath in art. I loved discussing with my group and hearing different or similar opinions on artworks. I feel like after the initial shock of Michael calling upon us to say even one tiny comment we fell into comfort and openly expressed our responses to the artworks.
My favourite were the ones we visited at the start of the tour and perhaps just because we spent more time there, but this artwork above stood out as most intriguing to me. It is by a British artist named Lucien Freud, the grandson of Sigmund Freud which is pretty cool – talk about connections. So Michael let us marinate in the artwork for a minute or two and then, of course, chose me to make a comment. In my initial response I thought to myself, this is an uncomfortable situation, this newly married husband and wife facing away from each other, none other than the morning after their wedding. Thoughts jumped around in my brain such as patriarchalism, feminism, social norms and so on… and then Michael asked us about the soul and psychology of the painting. This made me shift to see the true human connection between people, a very raw and real depiction of a married couple. In this thought, I suddenly saw a married couple so comfortable with each other and content in their sleep, symbolic of a true human interaction.
It also seems wrong to not comment on the physical impact this has on the viewer. Although you can not feel it from looking at the image above, in person the viewer (well maybe I speak for myself) is overwhelmed by the size of this man who from the height the artwork is placed, feels as though if either the husband or wife moved an inch he would come crashing down on you. I’m not too sure of the significance of this whether it is meant to show the power of man? to intimidate? to show that despite physical difference both male and female slumber in the same way? I guess this is what is so great AND frustrating about art, and more specifically Modern art, it is all up for interpreation! Overall an artist’s ability to provoke such responces and queeries are the most talented among Modern artists.