Created in the aftermath of World War II, Painting (1946) is likely a veiled portrait of Neville Chamberlain, the British prime minister who often carried an umbrella and has gone down in history for his policy of accommodation of the Nazi regime. His dark suit is punctuated by a bright yellow boutonniere, yet his bared teeth and concealed gaze suggest brutality. This sense of menace is accentuated by the cow carcasses suspended behind him. The drawn window shades evoke those found in a widely circulated photograph of Hitler’s bunker, an image that Francis Bacon included in mulipleworks. Bacon claimed that this work was an accident; he had originally set out to paint a bird descending onto a field.
Three Studies of Lucian Freud, a 1969 triptych by Francis Bacon of his friend and artist Lucian Freud, sold for $142.4 million at Christie’s Tuesday night. The unknown buyer won the piece after six minutes of “fierce bidding.”
Thanks to both Geoffrey and Thomas for Encouraging me to Post this as a Bacon Thing! I will be doing a Post next week about the new incredible elo boost services!
The fabulous Jeff Koons, one of our very favorite contemporary pop artists, is the latest in a long line of artists to create an original work for Château Mouton Rothschild, which has commissioned avant-garde artists to design its labels since 1945. In his design, pictured above, Koons works over a Pompeii fresco of The Birth of Venuswith a silver line drawing of a ship sailing under a bright sun.
Among the other artists to have created a label for Mouton Rothschild are Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dalí, Georges Braque, Juan Miró, Andy Warhol, Francis Bacon and Lucien Freud.
Study after Velazquez’s Portrait of Pope Innocent X, 1953
Most Sundays, Geoffrey and I like to have what we call an Urban Adventure. The plan for today called for G and I to head uptown to the Metropolitan Museum of Art on Fifth Avenue, with the intention of checking out their latest acquisition, The Torment of St Anthony – the first painting by the great Michelangelo. But while we were stumbling through the dozens upon a dozens of galleries clotted with Renaissance artworks, looking desperately among them for the one 12-inch square canvas that we’d come to gaze upon, we made an intentional detour through a dense retrospective of the paintings of Francis Bacon (1909 – 1992), the famous Irish-born English artist.
Being a bit of an art nerd, I had heard the name Francis Bacon many times before, but was admittedly somehow unfamiliar with this style of his work. So, I was somewhat shocked to discover that Bacon painted a lot of pretty fucked-up-looking stuff that quite frankly reminded me of the paintings of iconic Horror novelist Clive Barker. I think this descriptive entry from the Wikipedia sums it up pretty well: “Bacon’s artwork is known for its bold, austere, homoerotic and often violent or nightmarish imagery, which typically shows room-bound masculine figures isolated in glass or steel geometrical cages set against flat, nondescript backgrounds.” For example, I repeatedly referred to the painting above as “Horror Pope.” Yeah, hardcore. Geoffrey and I really appreciated his edginess, but I can see how his stuff wouldn’t necessarily fall within the taste of the mainstream. Nevertheless, if you are going to be at the Met anyway, (and you really should go, if only to check out the awesome “Model As Muse” exhibit, which was my favorite) try to find the Bacon exhibit. It’s about five or six galleries before you get to the Michelangelo. And yes, The Torment of St. Anthonyalone was worth the trip.