Freud's art could be the most expensive one by a living artist

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London, Apr 12 (UNI) A life-size nude painting of a JobCentre manager by Lucian Freud, expected to be the most expensive picture by a living artist, will be offered for auction in New York next month.

The painting titled 'Benefits Supervisor Sleeping' is expected to to make up to 18 million pound when it is auctioned at Christie's in New York on May 13, a report in the Telegraph said.

The painting is currently on show at Christie's in London.

Sue Tilley, 51, the subject of the 1995 painting, is employed at a JobCentre in Soho, central London.

Three years ago, she sold an etching of herself by Freud for 26,000 pound. But she said she was astonished by the estimate for this painting.

Ms Tilley, nicknamed Big Sue, was introduced to Freud by their mutual friend, Leigh Bowery, a performance artist.

''Leigh called me up and said that Lucian wanted me to start work and he made me practise stripping off on my settee at home before I went to Lucian's house in Holland Park,'' Ms Tilley said narrating her experiences during Frued's art.

It was wonderful to spend time with such a fantastic person and see him working, she said.

Internationally acknowledged as one of the most important artists working today, Lucian Freud is one of the best known British artists working in a traditional representational style. He was shortlisted for the Turner Prize in 1989.

The current world auction record for a work by a living artist is held by Jeff Koons's Hanging Heart (Magenta/Gold), which sold for 11 million pound last year.


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