Originally posted on The Daily Norm:
Roll up roll up for the 2012 London Cultural Olympiad. All the big wigs of the Brit-art A-list are in town, the banners are up, and the art posters line the saturated platforms of the underground as the PR machine goes into overdrive. As if in response to the cattle cry, the crowds have come to town – the galleries are packed, the gallery restaurants have waiting times of over an hour, and the gallery shops are partitioned by huge queues of customers cashing in on memorabilia of these big-billed art shows. It’s all really quite stressful.
Next in line to meet my sampling eye was the Lucian Freud portraits retrospective at London’s National Portrait Gallery. Having been in the pipeline for some time, and organised in collaboration with the artist himself, the NPG’s exhibition gained additional poignance when, last July, Lucian Freud died at the ripe old age of 88. He did so working right up until the end, and his unfinished portrait of his studio assistant and dog hangs at the climax of the show.