Known for his bold, grotesque, emotionally charged and raw imagery, Francis Bacon was born on the 28th of October and died on the the 28th of April 1992. His abstracted figures are typically isolated in glass or steel geometrical cages, against flat, nondescript backgrounds. Bacon took up painting in his early 20s but worked sporadically and uncertainly until his mid-30s. Later in life he admitted that his artistic career was delayed because he spent too long looking for subject matter that could sustain his interest. His breakthrough came with the 1944 triptych Three Studies for Figures at the Base of a Crucifixion, which in the immediate aftermath of the Second World War, sealed his reputation as a uniquely bleak chronicler of the human condition.
Bacon claimed to observe images “in series”, and his artistic output typically focused on a single subject or format for sustained periods, often in triptych or diptych formats. His output can be crudely described as sequences or variations on a single motif; beginning with the 1930s Picasso-informed Furies, moving on to the 1940s male heads isolated in rooms or geometric structures, the 1950s screaming popes, and the mid-to-late 1950s animals and lone figures. These were followed by his early 1960s variations on crucifixion scenes. From the mid-1960s he mainly produced portraits of friends and drinking companions, either as single or triptych panels.
Following the 1971 suicide of his lover George Dyer, his art became more sombre, inward-looking and preoccupied with the passage of time and death. The climax of this later period is marked by masterpieces, including his 1982’s “Study for Self-Portrait” and Study for a Self-Portrait—Triptych, 1985–86.
He drew inspiration from the masters of old who were a great source of inspiration, with particular reference to Diego Velazquez’s Portrait of Pope Innocent which became the foundation point for his series of famous paintings ”screaming popes”.
Francis Bacon’s striking (abstract/surrealist) traditional approach and the ability to condense so much expressive emotional content into his work was the magnetic pull for me towards his body of work.
I aim to draw inspiration from his approach, whilst being reliant in my style and approach in order to freely express my ideas whilst organically conjuring up a visual language of my own.