Saturday, January 30, 2010

"Francis' blind old nanny,Jessie Lightfoot,knitting away at the back of the studio,came as a surprise. Besides helping Francis cook - she slept on the kitchen table - Nanny provided cover for Francis' shoplifting sprees(groceries, cosmetics, and Kiwi shoe polish for his hair. Nanny also helped him organize the illicit roulette parties that paid for the copious drink and excellent food he served to his guests. The lavish tips she extorted from gamblers desperate to use the one and only lavatory helped pay off Francis' gambling debts. Supposedly she also vetted his lovers. When she died in 1951, he took against the studio and sold it - a move he would always regret. The space would linger on in his visual memory: many a triptych is set in a photographer's studio in hell."

John Richardson on a visit (circa 1946) to Francis Bacon's studio,
New York Review of Books, December 17, 2009

No comments:

Post a Comment