Spend a Couple Hours »Francis Bacon Exhibit

francis bacon metThe Francis Bacon show at the Met is an overwhelming experience. Having never seen his work in person, seeing so much of it is visceral, intense and brutal. It's not often you can get lost in the detail of a painting thinking about tearing limbs, exposed bones, and dripping flesh.

Having grown up a gay man when it was a criminal act, living a life fueled by alcohol and violent relationships, punctuated by the loss of lovers, it's not hard to understand why the work is so tormented.

My favorite pieces are earlier in his career, including the portraits of monkeys, business men, and popes. Later, though I am not as enamored with the work, I do love that he started using swaths of neon.

Another favorite is the champagne flute set that you can purchase in the gift shop (very rare to be thrilled with the shill at a museum) they?”feature the phrase that Bacon was famous for uttering while regularly ordering rounds of champagne for his wide circle of friends and followers in London drinking clubs: “Champagne for my real friends, real pain for my sham friends.”

The most intriguing part of the exhibit is the room with personal, partially destroyed photographs and a large mural depicting the chaotic and stimulating work space of the artist. It's a humanizing display that only adds to the emotional depth of the work.

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Posted on June 22, 2009

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