16 January, 2016

Francis Bacon in your Blood: a Memoir by Michael Peppiatt

In 1963, at the age of 21, Michael Peppiatt met the artist Francis Bacon to interview him for a student magazine. It was the beginning of a close friendship that would continue until Bacon’s death thirty years later.

One of the greatest figurative painters of post-war Britain, Bacon’s distinctive style is often seen as grotesque and disturbing. Screaming Popes and violently distorted subjects populate his canvases which sold for millions even in his lifetime.

Peppiatt accompanies Bacon on his late night wining and dining binges throughout London and Paris (Bacon, who spent his mornings in the studio, called it his ‘gilded gutter life’) and vividly describes the events, characters and conversations he was privy to.

It is a privileged glimpse into Bacon’s daily existence and a vanished bohemia. How he managed to produce so much work after all that alcohol night after night is a miracle. He must have had the constitution of an ox!

I really enjoyed this book. Not only is it a memoir of Bacon, but it’s also the story of Michael Peppiatt and his journey as a freelance journalist. Strange how that one chance meeting defined the rest of his life.

Michael Peppiatt is an art historian, curator and writer.
His previous book on Bacon is Francis Bacon: Anatomy of an Enigma.

Title: Francis Bacon in your Blood: a Memoir.
Author: Michael Peppiatt

Recommended by Claire S, Central.

Claire S works in Information Services, Central Library. Reading interests include biographies,art, New Zealand.

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