I recently visited the ‘Francis Bacon – Five Decades’ show at the Art Gallery of NSW in Sydney. I took along a pad and a pen and jotted down some words as I made my way through this incredible exhibition from one of the most powerful painters of the 20th century. I highly recommend making the effort and taking advantage of the privilege that is witnessing a collection of his works in the flesh.
‘Chaos Breeds Images’
Step forward to share a moment where his paintbrush fell crossed legged across arms within silent lumps of flesh lying dormant on the ground, whilst boxed-in desires rest on a chair with collared muscles smearing laughter heavy on rib-caged shoulders. Pink and blue shadows wear purple hearts in the dark, faceless choked mirrors reveal creased and crumpled photographs distorting private courting chance on the brink of pink accidental success.
Compassion and despair read threads bare, dark blue isn’t black dressed to impress depressed white spots of life in the eye of a lonely star. Triptych witches stitch broken-in lover’s bruised palettes, as furrowed ties steal uneducated pretty thieves dressed in peace entering distorted inner-self rhetoric singing the wrong person’s song.
Yellow aura fleshed shoulders rise fragile miles through informal dormitories lined with white divine prizes touching silent lips. Black tipped maroon ears licked fear near faceless faces racing laced baboons devouring noble liquid flesh off the back of unprimed canvas. Untitled dogs roaming Roman green scenes gold-framed, purple orange red four legged pegged babies beg for unperfected flesh.
Red tracked sculptures left dead unfed against lust’s walls, yellow handles open tall locked doors to read foul-mouthed obituaries. Lover’s quarrels involved violent drug addicts in the attic emphatically provoking choked broken brushes in rushed, hushed strokes. White pools of faceless fat legged fools swipe carnal stripes down hideous beauties, tuned muted flutes sit heavy in un-rendered hands left bloodied by diminished likeness. Unfinished shawled friendship covered pale blue spaces in the news broken yesterday’s tomorrow.
Informed lawns spawned alcoholic grey haired pornographic forlorn pawns. Strangers can’t see each other’s ignored explicit spheres, elicit skin pitted against pale agony toothed skies. Pleasant smells studied eras of terror sucking nipples with eyes closed in rows, swooping nostalgia sent pink-purpled friends hung together sealing eyes revealed. Blended-blue curtained dwarf lovers left dead on the bed holding sleeping pills on the first day he bled.
Retrospective collected hollow-bodied lovers cascading through broken darkness into human rubble, rest-in-pink beige grey head finally draped on strange shadows unrelated. There’s no life left where once life slept. Arrow pointed to open wound theory acts as circled cuts locate bandaged knees weeping. Bullfight poetry laments departed death of a matador laying eggs in the womb.
Atheism died in the arms of Catholic nuns, spray-painted faint bulls schooled by umbrella tellers of distorted violet violence. Convulsing lilac weight of gravity held in cavities of colour. Framed shame deepens schemes dripping burnt ink in old techniques unlearnt. Arms leave aerosol-seated freaks seeking pink shadows stripped naked who can never revisit chance.
Rembrandt reproductions scarred white lives within black-blurred memories lost in demonic-anatomic voids. Blue-shaven mirrored mutant’s reflections inflected detections elevated on detested infested pedestals. Newspaper nightmares suspended in un-rendered dismembered remembered blended Decembers. Three flesh brothers hang blue shadows around halo circus tent rent boys.
Flesh’s own bones pile carcasses and light bulb desires, green ghosts circling shoved spotlight bruises learn expensive lessons. Haunted divine spines redefine beauty, obtuse cubed prisoners fall pinned to the wall framed tall. Inverted vertebrae pleasure perversely measures a fitted tuxedo for the Wizard of Oz. Fly my cricket-padded pretty fads asks the Devil to sit and rest deceased whilst firm brown legs bend watching.
Caged cold teeth scream for stranger’s trapped wishes lost in frozen greyness devoured, a numb rose crucified by its own thorns bleeds burnt fire mazes. A layered hippo sleeps thick months suggesting light and space, canine reclined mandible claw unlocked valves of sensual enjoyment within seminal terminals. Preying on protestant parents, Picasso hoarded homosexual flexed lords tested at home.
Black and white frightful friends lent bodies torn by sky-stained-pain posed amongst the rubble. Soho-boho-no-hope-roped portraits in the tour-guided kitchen narrative where his fingers, eyes and life were not spent behind glass. Left first in line on timed circus clenched tents, imperial ambiguity of affection defected boxcar boxers. Flesh fairies’ potential violence sketched royal thrones of Pope’s bones in condoned no-go-zones, leaning purple gowns screaming blurred frowns where meat hung behind unsung zeros.
Dream fisted wish-list veils wrestling trestles in metric mazes. Broken rain-shadows fall across crouching male nude who suggested rested tests best trapped on red heads leading fifty shades of grey-ghost-faced-killer-gorillas walking towards Van Gogh’s falling sunsets. Sadness suit sitting on depressed confessions, oil painted claustrophobic lessons taught earless wanderer to copy red fields. Golden plains came in hand ready to point faintly at ashtray domes reclined behind drugless vessels pinned to abstract furniture.
Butts burn on the raw floor, walls curve around striped crucifixes, leaning back feet up on his skeleton table canvas left unpainted. Trapped beasts bare talon-jaws lurching, fade-to-black-Africa perched ready to dive into infinity’s pool suspended. Cold naked sublime voids avoid drowning in midnight oceans, frozen nameless moons illuminating broken dead dogs faded walking disposed roads unaided.
Disconnected deep-black waded devil’s pets shaded pathless paths, blue and orange Sphinx back-dropped crop branches, jaded owls prowl Egypt’s crypt sands screaming terror in monochrome blues at the end of the line where chaos breeds images.