Paula Bonet: I am my subject Listen to this article

Writing this column is my first routine in 10 years. When a person dedicates himself to such creative work as “doing what he likes it’s not a job” or “You’ll give me a picture!”, he falls into the trap of never stopping. Maybe “because now things are going well, but who knows”. I know it’s Friday night because tomorrow, before I open the garage door, I’ll send this text to the newspaper.

I appreciate it. It helps me count my life by the weeks. This last one I am writing about one of the painters who has fascinated me the most in recent years. published a book called self Portrait To confirm his location and make his story his own, a story inextricably linked to the story of a painter who died when he was 18 years old. “When I separated from Lucian at the age of 28, I established myself as an artist without his help or support, although we are connected through our son. After Lucian’s death I was shocked to read in several articles that I was his muse, but he completely omitted the fact that I was also an artist. I realized I had to do something about it.” One of the headlines in the press after the publication of self Portrait is the following: “The story of her romance with Celia Paul and Lucian Freud, when she was 18 and he was 55: ‘It didn’t matter’.

In the book I find reflections like those I want to use to start the workshop I’m giving tomorrow: “In My Own” painter and model I have it all: I am both an artist and a model. If I see myself, I don’t have to pretend about power, I’m empowered by the simple fact of presenting myself as a painter.

Celia Paul paints because painting is a constant quest that doesn’t allow her to look back, but her past draws her in. Painting is the language of loss, they say. “Can the emptiness of loss be expanded through this process of painting, which is structured around loss first and foremost?” write your self Portrait To break away from the musical figure of a dead painter and define himself as a living painter, a complex exercise that will hardly end as the author intended. Women are usually defined in relation to the man next to us, and if the man is powerful and we’ve loved him, if we don’t want to erase him from our lives with a slap because our pursuit and our position are different, His figure casts a shadow that leaves us in despair, even though he is dead. self Portrait it is not Agreement, Vanessa Springora, Knorr my truth, by Joyce Maynard, but the memory of the mighty also blurs a figure that is just as important.

Celia Paul has a close relationship with chairs. He sits on one and looks at himself in the mirror. Consider doing a non-passive task. If you look for her image you will find her like this: sitting, in a gown full of paint and her hands on her lap. The edge of the mirror is facing up. Sitting on a chair next to one of her self-portraits. In profile, on a red chair. Her expression is always the most interesting in photographs, a face she has painted nonstop, analyzing each change in proportion, measuring the distances that the passage of time departs: discovering herself while gazing at herself. is saved. Cathay Kollwitz took self-portraits hundreds of times. Flemish Clara Peters, known for painting tables with still lifes, did this too: among sweets, crustaceans and artichokes, and taking advantage of the shiny surfaces of glasses, candlesticks and plates, she sketched those images. Who blinked at those who followed, and that they slipped into the walls of museums where women’s stories mattered little. Just as the five painters who came to the workshop yesterday dipped brushes in oil and decided not to represent any drama about power. They are both: artist and model.

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