Tuesday, October 28, 2014
Francis Bacon (1909-1992) on Allen Ginsberg: "I met Allen Ginsberg the other night. When I'd seen him in Tangier, he was with his boyfriend and said to me: "Will you paint a portrait of us on the job?". And I said: "Well, this is going to be awkward, Allen, how long can you hold it?" Anyhow, nothing came of it, and when I saw him the other day he reminded me of this and he said: "Now I'm here for another month, will you do a portrait of me? Well, the thing is, he's got a very heavy beard now. I know good portraits have been done of people with beards, but I really am more interested in the actual structure of the face that hasn't been messed about by a beard. It's one of the reasons that I don't really like long hair in men, because I like seeing the actual skull. It may be one of the reasons I always find medieval art so boring because I hate the men's long hair because you can't see their skulls. I'm interested in Egyyptian things, not only for their extraordinary quality, but I like their short hair and I like the short hair of certain Greek things too."
Here's Bacon in 1966 (interviewed by David Sylvester)
Here's Bacon, from five years later, on immediacy and violence
Here's the South Bank Show (from 1985) - his profile and interviews with Melvyn Bragg
Here's Bacon walking down the streets of London with William Burroughs
[Francis Bacon and William S Burroughs - Photo by John Minihan]