Dearest Francis Bacon, love of my painting life.
I canít even describe the fascination I have with Baconís work. If I had had the chance to meet him and work with him or in a studio with him it would have been a highlight of my life. His work really has a presence to it, even with his dark and disturbing feeling to it. His deconstruction of the figure isnít just about the end result but more about the rawness of the figure, of the portrait. Instead of perfecting and idealizing his subject he does the exact opposite, it is such a fresh and intriguing way of painting a portrait.
A reflection of what Bacon saw in the person is what he painted. And speaking of reflections, one of my most favorite things about Baconís work is that when he finished a painting and readied it to be presentable he always put a glass of pane over the piece. Now, you go to museums these days and there may be glass in front of many of the paintings, in the frame or no. But not many artists purposefully plan to put glass in front of their work for the presentation. But Bacon brings an element to his work just with the addition of glass that elevates the personal and emotional reaction from the viewer. The purpose for the glass is for the viewer to see their own reflection in his painting. When you get in front of one of his paintings, and if youíre anything like me, youíll spend ages just staring at the painting and its details. The rough and specific marks of his paint handling are severe, yet so delicate in a way that has to do with the reflection and raw life that is staring back at you in the reflection. You think one thing about your reflection when you look in the mirror at home, yet in front of one of Baconís paintings you donít see the same thing, you see yourself in a broken down and deconstructive manner. Yes, artists have been trying to get the viewer to experience a certain emotion or to understand the expression the artist was trying to convey for centuries, but no one quite puts the viewer into the painting like Bacon does.
I could spend hours in front of a Francis Bacon piece. I could probably live under one, though Iím not sure that the museums would appreciate that. If you ever have a chance to see a Francis Bacon, do. His paintings in person are absolutely stunning and you can feel the essence of what he is trying to make you see. Thereís so much that I would like to say about his work but some things about it I donít know if I could even put in words. It just needs to be experienced in person.