Saturday, April 17, 2021

New ‘Revelation’ in Francis Bacon’s Life, a Master of Darkness and Distortion

What is left to say? Steven and Swan write, “It was Bacon’s secret that he was not a radical master of the 20th-century stage, a pioneer in the dark arts.” “He was simultaneously an Englishman longing for a normal pattern of happiness and solitude denied him as a child and youth.” It is Bacon’s kindness and decency that helps stir up writers – his beautiful manners, his generosity. He paid his friends’ hospital bills. She was like old women.

I became impolite as well as you. What other things come apart from Bacon’s relationship, but wild cravings are revealed? Didn’t he provide a lot of connections for us? Does the fact that he had an abusive interest in and with the canvas prevent him from writing affectionate letters to his mother?

The authors are very clear on De Kooning’s personal life, when it comes to bacon are prim and almost anthropomorphic – and not even on the rough stuff. I began to listen to the sentences in David Attenborough’s voice. On a friend of Bacon’s: “He took further advantage, in the eyes of some homosexuals, being well commented.” (That sharp “something”!) Peter Lacy on Bacon’s affair with his great love: “Sexual violence was not healthy, of course, but ‘healthy’ was not the thing for Bacon and Lacy, two gays who grew up in difficulty.” Locked houses

Happily, this Leviathan of a book (just shy of 900 pages) contains at least half a dozen profitable arguments. It is the most comprehensive and detailed account of life, and one that tops the central pillars of the Bacon myth.

Bacon cultivated the notion that he would wander into painting after a fantastically disintegrating youth. In fact, he made his debut in design, much to his later embarrassment. He despised art as “decoration”. Nor was it untold as he claimed; He took classes and learned a lot from his painter friends. He was talented in his quest for mentors, and above all, a network of protective, powerful women, often homosexuals, who opened doors for him in the crucial early years of his career. (As he knew Ruffish, Bacon lived with her childhood nanny for a long time in puberty. She slept on the kitchen table and lived on it even after being blind.)

Something Parry could do like Bacon – and he was at his peak about his work, about the importance of “chance” and “accident”. I completed the “revelation” with so many questions, about the man’s politics, the true nature of his relationship with religion – this artist, when asked why he pops porn, he replied That he wanted to use only purple.

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