Gilded Gutter Life of Francis Bacon, The

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9780679426325: Gilded Gutter Life of Francis Bacon, The

An account of the wild life of the celebrated English painter covers his childhood in Dublin; his years of gambling, drinking, and petty thievery; and the enormous genius expressed in his art. 12,500 first printing.

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From Kirkus Reviews:

``Gilded gutter life'' means rough but rich trade among gays, and Farson thus identifies the sex life of the English painter Francis Bacon (1909-92) with his work--which many think of with sheer horror. Farson (The Man Who Wrote Dracula, 1976; the fictional Swansdowne, 1987, etc.) was friends with Bacon for 40 years, and he intends a memoir here, not a biography, although the latter is charcoaled in amid the gay barhopping. Born in Dublin around the corner from Oscar Wilde's birthplace, Bacon was so wildly and ingeniously wise that his life seems secondary to his table talk, as captured here and in David Sylvestre's 1975 Interviews. Though eventually very wealthy, Bacon dismissed material possessions, lived in reclusive squalor, thought posterity was rubbish, and--to the outsider--seemed to project some ghastly self-hatred upon the monstrously distorted humans in his canvases. Bacon could paint as literally as anyone, was bored by mere likeness, and set out to distort reality into reality. He'd paint from photos rather than hurt the feelings of subjects who sat for him, then saw themselves ``damaged'' by his distortions. Says Farson: ``He...was totally amoral. He had little time for weakness in others and no patience with human foibles or small vanities. He was easily bored.... Even if he had not become a painter his personality was so original that he would have made an impression on his time.'' When his father found him dressing up in his mother's underwear at 15, he was shipped off to London to live alone on three pounds a week. Completely irreligious, he said he painted death as the shadow of life because he loved life so greatly. A physical masochist, a mental sadist, he offered as his favorite saying: ``We are meat. Cheerio!'' Like crawling in a tub of dead fish--but a great read. -- Copyright ©1994, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

From Booklist:

The painter Francis Bacon's disturbing evocations of the human form have come to be regarded as some of the central artworks of the post-World War II world. Figurative in an era of abstraction, his work emphasized traditional painterly qualities in a time of artistic revolution. Always private, Bacon led a life about which little has been known. Farson, long Bacon's friend, fills this knowledge gap in a first-person recollection of Bacon's personality and milieu. He recounts Bacon's daily routines, which often involved highly alcoholic socializing in pubs and restaurants in London's Soho district. He details Bacon's various homosexual relationships and his taste for rough trade. His rendering of Bacon is vivid enough to give us a warts-and-all sense of a man given to extremes and to mercurial shifts in temperament but who was chiefly obsessed with his art. Further, Farson convinces us of Bacon's genius while vividly presenting artistic and gay life in bohemian London and also--a happy bonus courtesy of Bacon's travels--a deliciously vibrant portrait of Tangiers in the late 1950s, when it hosted the likes of William Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg. John Shreffler

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Daniel Farson
Editorial: Pantheon (1994)
ISBN 10: 0679426329 ISBN 13: 9780679426325
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Descripción Pantheon, 1994. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. Nº de ref. de la librería DADAX0679426329

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Editorial: Pantheon (1994)
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Farson, Daniel
Editorial: Pantheon (1994)
ISBN 10: 0679426329 ISBN 13: 9780679426325
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Descripción Pantheon. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. 0679426329 New Condition. Nº de ref. de la librería NEW6.0338431

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