Re: The Grotesque INHABITS Bacon's Paintings

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Posted by saul steinberg on June 18, 19102 at 13:11:25:

In Reply to: The Grotesque INHABITS Bacon's Paintings posted by Luis Mariano Akerman on January 17, 19101 at 05:41:52:

: Bacon's use of deformation is not as simple as some people often think. It was the artist--not me--who insisted on the use of distortion as a means of getting closer to reality. Thus distortion is not ust in my mind, but in his paintings. Today we do know that Bacon was utterly fascinated with the grotesque. In the early 1970s, for example, the artist expressed that elephants alive are beautiful, but decomposing ones are much more beautiful, as there is a kind of magic in their state of desintegration. Isn't this grotesque? To your knowledge, I never consider Bacon's work in pejorative terms. Yet, the grotesque is a complex phenomenon: neither repulsive nor attractive, but both repulsive and attractive. Bitter-sweet in a simultaneous manner. I think Bacon's artistic contribution is immense. There are people who admire Bacon's pictorial technique, but forget his insistently declared aims. THE GROTESQUE WAS PROBABLY NOT FRANCIS BACON'S ULTIMATE AIM, BUT A CONVENIENT VEHICLE TO EXPRESS HIS FEELINGS. In his manipulation of the grotesque, no doubt, Bacon was the greatest. The grotesque is both in his paintings and, consequently, also in my mind. Yes, the grotesque has also to do with reality and, by incorporating the grotesque in his paintings, Bacon became a great metaphoric artist. His art can be regarded as bitter-sweet Suggestive Realism (including the beautiful deformations of his decomposing elephant exhibited as Lying Figure in a Mirror).

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