Naked Man, Back View

March 31, 2021 NaPoWriMo

Wednesday, March 31, 2021/Categories: Entries

Naked Man, Back View

Today’s prompt was to visit New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art online galleries and find a piece of art that speaks to us. There is text with each work – below you will find the text from the piece that caught my attention – it is called Naked Man, Back View by Lucian Freud. 

The text reads:

One of Britain’s leading realist painters, Freud created compositions that often reveal the humanity of his subjects while vividly depicting their physical presence. The sitter for this picture, Leigh Bowery, was an Australian performance artist in London and one of Freud’s favorite models. Ironically, although Bowery was known for his outlandish costumes and makeup, Freud recorded him here unclothed, squatting ponderously on a low, wide stool in the artist’s studio. The terrain of his fleshy, mountainous back is almost sculpted by the artist’s thick application of paint. In essence, this is not a traditional portrait, but a still life of skin.

Link to the piece:

I have pictured the work above from a photograph, it is the property of the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art.


Ode to The Naked Man

Can one know anything about a person,

when all that’s seen is their backside

are they content or grief stricken

seemingly comfortable in their own skin

an enviable trait that so few possess

do we judge because they are too large

too fleshy with skin too slack

time advances on all of us

taking a physical and mental toll

was this done to shock or appall

or simply a brief respite from a life well lived

whoever you are kind sir understand

that many will critique with no right

pay no heed and continue your journey

Leigh Bowery







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