why am i so blue?

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Blue Man (detail) by Dorothy Tanner (2009)


Francis Bacon (Oct 28, 1909 –  April 28, 1992)

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Francis Bacon in Studio – courtesy of schermodellarte.org

All painting is an accident. But it’s also not an accident, because one must select what part of the accident one chooses to preserve.

“I want a very ordered image, but I want it to come about by chance.”

“Painting today is pure intuition and luck and taking advantage of what happens when you splash the stuff down.”

All colours will agree in the dark.

“The creative process is a cocktail of instinct, skill, culture and a highly creative feverishness. It is not like a drug; it is a particular state when everything happens very quickly, a mixture of consciousness and unconsciousness, of fear and pleasure; it’s a little like making love, the physical act of love.”


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Francis Bacon’s 7 Reece Mews Studio, London, 1998. Photo: Perry Ogden © The Estate of Francis Bacon. All rights reserved.

‘I feel at home here in this chaos because chaos suggests images to me.”

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Francis Bacon, ‘Portrait of Lucian Freud’, 1951, oil on canvas.

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Bacon in his studio

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Francis Bacon and William Burroughs, London 1989
@ John Minihan

“I feel ever so strongly that an artist must be nourished by his passions and his despairs. These things alter an artist whether for the good or the better or the worse. It must alter him. The feelings of desperation and unhappiness are more useful to an artist than the feeling of contentment, because desperation and unhappiness stretch your whole sensibility.”

Picasso is the reason why I paint. He is the father figure, who gave me the wish to paint.

“The job of the artist is always to deepen the mystery.”
quotes courtesy of:

Mark Bradford, born in 1961

“Art Is Life. So to Learn It, You Engage with Life.”

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“For me, it’s always a detail—a detail that points to a larger thing. It can be text; it can be a quote. Bits of conversation. It’s always a glimpse. I start to imagine what it points to, and that’s when my imagination really goes. I don’t really want to know what the detail points to exactly; I like the mystery.

“I’ve always been inspired by small details that make me wander. My mother would ask me, “What are you looking at so intensely?” I would answer, “Everything and nothing.” She really supported my wanderings, called me Marco Polo. I was fascinated by the airport, for example, so she would drive me there. I wanted to know what people from Switzerland looked like, so she brought me to the international arrivals, to Swissair. People from Switzerland got off, and I said, “Hmmm, this is what Swiss people look like.”

“The show at the Rose Art Museum came out of a merchant poster on a telephone pole in South Central Los Angeles. It advertised quick loans—the kind of high-interest loans that they give people, say, to buy a used car. This poster said, “Sexy Cash. We buy ugly or old houses fast.” And I thought, “Sexy cash. Hmm.” I started thinking about how my studio is in South Central, and that probably this little company is not in South Central but preying on the people there who are struggling, underwater with loans and mortgages. And that made me think about the conquistadors, the history of colonization, and about trading glass beads to Native Americans—all sorts of things. We make the cash sexy, and you want it. You take our sexy cash, then we take your house. It’s still the same in the 21st century as in the past—still the same exploitation for economic gain.”

“That’s how I make work. Along the way, I take notes, I read about history and popular culture. Sometimes I act out things in the studio. I go back to my mother’s hair salon so I can hear three voices going all at once. I pull inspiration from everything.”
“The Details”: Mark Bradford
Art in America, Sept. 2014

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Paradox, Art21

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Strawberry (2002)

“Tomorrow is Another Day,” U.S. Pavilion at 2017 Venice Biennial. From left, MARK BRADFORD, “Leucosia,” 2016 (mixed media on canvas); “Medusa,” 2016 (acrylic, paint, paper, rope, caulk), and “Raidne,” 2017 (mixed media on canvas).

“With this project I wanted you to experience art,” Mark told students, “but not art like you see at a museum—art that comes out of your day-to-day experiences.”

(“Mark Bradford visited one of Kristine Hatanaka’s art classes at Culver City High School to talk to students about works they’d created based on his art-making activity RE-RE-Process, available through Open Studio. Initiated by Mark as part of the Getty Artists Program, Open Studio is an online collection of free, art-making ideas authored by noted national and international artists that aims to make contemporary art practice accessible to K–12 teachers and students.

RE-RE-Process has three parts: rearranging song lyrics to make a visual remix, charting social groups in the school lunch room, and creating (with eyes closed) self-portraits in contour. All three are about mapping. But when students do these projects, it turns out they’re actually “mapping” themselves.”)