The UK was last night mourning the loss of one of the country’s most distinguished and highly regarded artisans as Lucas Freund, head of a firm of painters and decorators based in Basingstoke, passed away at a nursing home in Haslemere in the early hours of yesterday morning.
‘The vitality of Freund’s walls, the intensity of his skirting boards and the way he could paint his way around a radiator without getting splashes of paint on it guarantee him a unique place in the pantheon of late 20th Century painters and decorators,’ said Dave Sutton, director of rival firm DCS Painters. ‘His early emulsions and undercoats redefined British home decoration and his later works stand comparison with the great interior house painters of any period.”
Freund started out as a student at London’s Central School of Art but after deciding there was no money to be made from portraiture and uttering the immortal phrase ‘fuck this for a game of soldiers’, found his métier painting the nation’s homes with an unprecedentedly intense sense of reality.
Former Observer DIY critic William Feaver, who knew Freund for more than 40 years, said the painter was someone who could turn his skills to anything, including tricky outside guttering and drain pipes, whatever the prevailing climate. ‘In that sense, he was unquestionably a painter for all seasons,’ Feaver observed, affectionately.
‘It’s so rare in this day and age that you will encounter a decorator who brings his own dust sheets and cleans up after himself, but bringing his own dust sheets and cleaning up after himself was a quality Freund very much made his own,’ he added.
Paula Stafford, a housewife, who regards the work Freund did on her bungalow as ‘simply stunning’, said; ‘He would express himself by turning up two hours late, extremely hungover and stinking of BO, with his paint-spattered radio ironically tuned to Chris Moyles. He then had the sheer nerve to ask if he could use my toilet.’
‘It was an absolute masterpiece.’
Whilst he is known to have been unconcerned with the money side of things, preferring to concentrate on his work, Freund will nonetheless be remembered for his ‘very competitive rates’. However, in spite of this and due to intense demand, some of Freund’s recent paint jobs had fetched up to £2000 for the upstairs of a three bedroom semi-detached house, often with the bathroom thrown in for free.
Mrs Stafford added; ‘He had this most endearing habit of always demanding the money up front and wearing his trousers very loosely, but it’s the quality of his work that stands out. He’s worked far and wide, but in this street alone he’s produced great work for me and many of my friends, and we’re thrilled to have been touched by such greatness, not least because he’s shagged each and every one of us.’