Sue Tilley

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Sue Tilley (born 1957), also known as Big Sue, is a British artist's model and writer. She modelled for painter Lucian Freud.

Born in south London,[1] Tilley worked for performance artist and club promoter Leigh Bowery as a cashier at his "Taboo" night club. Bowery introduced her to Lucian Freud in 1990 and she began posing for him the following year. During this time, she was also a full-time benefits supervisor at the Charing Cross jobcentre, a state-operated employment agency, and she eventually became manager there.[2]

Freud painted several large nude portraits of Tilley, the first being Evening in the Studio [de] (1993). Benefits Supervisor Sleeping, painted in 1995, was sold at auction in 2008[3] for £17 million ($33.6 million US) in New York City.[4] In 2015, the 1994 painting Benefits Supervisor Resting [de] sold for £35.8 million ($56.2million US).[5] A fourth painting Sleeping by the Lion Carpet was painted in 1996.[6] Freud also produced a number of etchings featuring Tilley, including Woman with an Arm Tattoo which Tilley sold in 2005.[7]

In 1997, she published Leigh Bowery: The life and times of an Icon, a biography.[8]

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