'It seems to me madness to wake up in the morning and do something other than paint.'

Frank Auerbach

Text by  jonathan MOM COM @insidestories

He came from a Jewish Family but never ever saw his parents again. He still can’t talk about it. He arrived in London in the 1940s on train. 
I went to see all his paintings @tate (Gallery of British Art) the other year. He still can’t talk about it.

Head of E.O.W.III

 One of the most painful things is that even after all this time he still doesn’t know exactly what happened to his parents. Although we know the worst.

Great artist.

David Bowie had one of his paintings in NY. It inspired him. Personally I think one of the most painful things in life is when you don’t know what happened to your loved ones.

Head of J.Y.M II, 1984-85.

 It really hurts people.  It hurts you for the rest of your life and you live in permanent torture. Not knowing.

Bacchus and Ariadne, 1971.

 There is no “closure”. It happened recently in a Case.

Summer Morning II, 2004.

A Case I became involved in Suffolk, England. We still don’t know. Case has been going on for several years. connected to an RAF Serviceman. We basically know that he’s dead but we don’t know exactly what happened. His Mother is tortured.  There is no “closure”.

“Rimbaud”, 1976.

So she is just going to suffer for the rest of her life with his family. It’s terrible and very painful. Nobody knows what’s happened to his body. It’s much worse for family and friends. Bigger torture. Very painful.

We suspect the worst but of course until the family and friends actually *know* they r just held in limbo. Many of them “hold out” for some good news. Forever in their own lives. Very painful.

Head of Leon Kossoff

Head of Sheila Fell, 1954

I think it’s the “not knowing” which is the worst aspect of it. People like Frank Auerbach can never really move on.