Tribute to Bacon

Tribute to Bacon


 His prolific output included many compelling, mysterious and violent paintings. Shockingly and chillingly distorting the human body and placing it in mysteriously seductive cots, brutal chairs, or boxlike enclosures, Bacon created a unique visual universe where human emotions and passions were embedded within the harsh realities of the flesh.

The ‘Open Cage’ curated by art writer Giridhar Khasnis and featuring four Bangalore-based artists Yusuf Arakkal, C F John, B Devaraj and M S Prakash Babu, who pay homage to the art and life of Francis Bacon, by revisiting his paintings and interpreting them.

Yusuf Arakkal’s award-winning painting ‘Bacon’s Man, Priest and Boy’ which received the Gold Medal at the prestigious Florence International Biennale 2005, is a five-feet-by-ten-feet diptych rendered principally in monochromatic hues and takes a cue from Bacon’s well-known painting, ‘Self-Portrait’ (1973) showing a man seated on a chair.
John, who studied philosophy before opting to take up a career as an artist, comes up with a body of softly coloured paintings; his paintings lyrically render poignant moments of a dancer’s life in a Baconian cage.

In contrast, Devaraj’s paintings are powerful allegories with sturdy characters located in somewhat harsh environs. The protagonists are often surrounded by squealing and squeaking Baconian half-human, half-animal creatures; yet they remain calm and contemplative.

Prakash Babu shows his characteristic inspiration derived from the cinematic idiom where elements of suspense and intrigue are interestingly intertwined. The artist locates Bacon himself in several pictures, but deliberately moves the frames, cuts and chops the edges, and dramatically alters the perspective. The ‘Open Cage’ will be on display at Galerie Sara Arakkal, Bangalore, from November 3 to 14.