Sunday, January 20, 2008

My letter in The Financial Times weekend June 3/June 4, 2000

The Financial Times weekend June 3/June 4, 2000

William Packer's description of Lucien Freud's "Naked Portrait" ("Paint is back in fashion", May 16) and the courage of the FT to show the image are truly spectacular.

Women's sexuality seems to be "hidden" in the most negative shame-based way as a form of control. When women's body parts are visually displayed, it is to sell a product. The woman's body becomes "plastic"; her power from being an object directly analogous to the product.

I am not a big Freud admirer but this painting and your courage in publishing it are at the cutting edge. As a woman painter, I feel I would have more to lose than to gain if I were to produce a self-portrait like "Naked Portrait", because women are still lagging behind on all fronts -- from economic power to the most basic human rights.

I would not expect the New York Times or the Wall Street Journal to carry an image like "Naked Portrait". Bravo FT.

Suzannah B. Troy

*This was the first letter I had published. I was volunteering as Rusk, NYU with pre-school kids and I came home and saw an email from the FT...I can't express how much this letter meant and still means to me as a woman and artist and seven years later it is still true -- globally economic issues and basic human rights....the way women are treated.