Monday, May 26, 2008
I admire a lot of artists, but I'm in total awe of Francis Bacon. To me, his best portraits sum up the some of the most inarticulable aspects of human experience in a way that superficial realism just cannot. It's got a lot to do with changing. We're all changing constantly in a thousand different ways but realistic paintings pin us down in a particular moment, at a particular age, with a particular expression. Bacon's faces are fluid, they express contradictions about people and relations between people so well that they stop seeming like contradictions. That's vague, but I think it might have to be. Anyway, I'm always looking for a way to achieve that broader, deeper realism that Bacon hit on, which is maybe an arrogant and presumptuous way to go about one's work, but it's interesting to me, keeps me engaged.