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Craft/Work

Power & Pain, Love & Madness: Brett Anderson Curates The Collections of Art UK
The Quietus , May 16th, 2020 09:06

The Suede frontman curates a selection of ten paintings from the UK's public collections, in a virtual exhibition prepared exclusively for the Quietus

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Lucas Cranach – The Close of the Silver Age
Whenever I’m in town and have an hour to spare I trudge over to the National Gallery and after wandering through its hushed marbled halls often find myself standing, gazing at this painting. There’s something so startling about its charged dissonance, its odd marriage of violence and sloth. In one corner a man with a beard savagely beats another with a stick while nearby gentle, nymph-like women recline lazily on the grass with their porcine babies. In Cranach’s time artists rarely or never used female life models so they observed the bodies of young boys instead. The result is often a kind of naive sexual ambivalence, anatomically awkward but beautiful and strange. Perhaps the painting appeals to me particularly as its blend of brutality and calm is something I look for in corners of my own work, an endless search for the wonders that can be unlocked by ambiguity, of never quite knowing.