return to life more violently
June 4, 2008, 2:56 pm
Filed under: unseen world | Tags: , , , , ,

Francis Bacon made difficult paintings, and beautiful.  They shake to the core because he is talking about the unearthed. This is about his method.  The painting is the medium by which the artist returns the onlooker to life, violently.  So we are dead until the image resuscitates us.

In the way I work I don’t in fact know very often what the paint will do, and it does many things which are very much better than I could make it do. Is that an accident? Perhaps one could say it’s not an accident, because it becomes a selective process which part of this accident one chooses to preserve. One is attempting, of course, to keep the vitality of the accident and yet preserve a continuity … What has never yet been analyzed is why this particular way of painting is more poignant than illustration. I suppose because it has a life completely of its own. It lives on its own, like the image one’s trying to trap; it lives on its own, and therefore transfers the essence of the image more poignantly. So that the artist may be able to open up or rather, should I say, unlock the valves of feeling and therefore return the onlooker to life more violently … There is a possibility that you get through this accidental thing something much more profound than what you really wanted.”

~The Brutality of Fact, Bacon interview with David Sylvester

2 Comments so far
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what is the second frances bacon painting you posted titled?

Comment by Isabel

it’s called Triptych May-June, 1973

Comment by peter rudd

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