Contemporary art for dummies: Francis Bacon

Francis Bacon’s paintings are not only innovative and unique, but also cruel and disturbing, through his art he tried to represent the twentieth century human condition. His paintings are famous because, through the deformation and destruction, he creates a new, brutal and hopeless reality: “People like abstraction, because abstraction is never cruel,” he said. Especially his portraits are an attempt to capture the carnality and the pulse of the person.

Critics have often highlighted the research reports of Bacon with nihilism, existentialism, psychoanalysis, and in particular its relationship with the surrealism (A. Bataille).

He forced himself to international attention after the WWII, while maintaining an isolated position in his research.Bacon shows, in a period dominated by the abstract art or by the colored consumerism of pop art, the figure as main object and grasps a phenomenon that he believes irreversible: the human decay – which is not only decadence – comparing it often , with the human titanism of Renaissance and post-Renaissance painting.

He chooses or take photographs that spoils, accounts, submit to a cannibal consummation ritual; violently that prefigures, in abraded, scarred and wrinkled sheet. The direction is very clear, as in the Munch’s Scream: the loss of the sense, the collapse of the supernatural, the panic and the horror of existence, but at the same time, in Bacon, melancholy and hatred against an age in which man was at the center of the Vitruvian circle.

Distortion, fragmentation, isolation image.

As well as numerous portraits and self-portraits, he is the author, among other things, of the following works: Three studies for figures at the base of a Crucifixion, 1944; Study after Velazquez’s portrait of Pope Innocent X, 1953; After Muybridge – Study of the human figure in motion, 1965; Triptych inspired by the Oresteia of Aeschylus, 1981.

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