4 April 2004 Lucian Freud and Me
Our plan for the day was Lunch at the Whitechapel Gallery, followed by Shopping at Selfridges for Mrs Monk, and the new Lucian Freuds at the Wallace Collection for Mr Monk. These plans were in due course to be thwarted by other events, this day.
In the Whitechapel restaurant, we sat down to a nice lunch. (No longer a vegetarian menu, I'm relieved to say) The only tall wooden salt and ground pepper shakers, were at a table across the restaurant occupied by a lone gentleman in a tweed jacket. I went over and asked him if might take the salt and pepper. He looked a little shocked that a stranger had spoken to him, muttered something incoherently, and then attempted a kind of forced smile to indicate to me that I should help myself. I went back to my table and during the course of our lunch, the incoherent man was joined by three more gentlemen, one of which, an American, seem to lead the conversation. Mrs Monk was most interested in the American, because he wore a yellow shirt with long loose sleeves hanging out of the his jacket sleeves in a kind of foppish restoration style. Mrs Monk saw this as her way of dressing, and she therefore identified with him. Mmmm.
What is more, Mrs Monk thought she recognised this man as some kind of TV intellectual pundit.
I had the same feelings about the American, but I felt she may have been ignoring the world's most famous living painter, that was sitting benignly at the same table, Lucien Freud.
There was much written about LF in the Sundays due to his Wallace Show, and I remembered one thing that was written about him; that he does not give any interviews, he does not like to talk. How Freudian?