In this transcendent scene, I visit Francis Bacon's studio to look in on an imagined meeting between a pantheon of familiar faces.
Francis Bacon has influenced and faithfully accompanied me throughout my career.
Like a talisman, he is for me an endless source of inspiration, standing as a bulwark against all doubt.
What I would give to be able to visit him in his studio at 7 Reece Mews in London. Yet that is precisely one of the functions of art: to open up spaces for imaginative leaps into fantasies.
And so I painted myself into his studio, adding other great artists—without regard for chronological possibility—Cezanne, Giacometti and Rembrandt.
At first glance, the painting pays homage to the great masters and the craft of painting. However, to remind the viewer that I am the visitor and painter of this fantasy, I positioned my reflection in a mirror at the back of the room.
As if I were the model they are all about to paint, the work is a playful wink to Vélasquez’s Ménines, representing a self-portrait within a group portrait that blurs the boundary between painter and model, looking and being seen, self and community, personal vision and artistic inheritances.
This piece now hangs in a private collection in the Philippines.
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