Michael Peppiatt takes us on an intoxicating tour of the painter's louchest, and most productive, years (Susie Rushton Vogue 2015-09-01)
This fine portrait of the artist is both gossipy and poignant . [and] one of the best art books I have read, by turns atmospheric and waspishly gossipy but also profound and poignant. (Michael Prodger The Times 2015-08-29)
A vivid new memoir by the artist's protégé is set to be a classic . highly entertaining . the narrative comes hurtling off the page with a palpable sense of release and apparently guileless, even artless, candour.The cavalcade of bohemian celebrities goes on and on . captivating...a classic, not only of art writing, but of personal memoir ( Sunday Telegraph 2015-08-30)
Peppiatt offers a window into the experiences and emotional intelligence of this great artist ( New Statesman 2015-08-21)
An affecting personal narrative about his friendship with the great painter ( Publisher's Weekly 2015-07-27)
Peppiatt shows a deft hand in crafting an enthralling, delightful story of two very different men ( Kirkus)
A remarkable book ... it captures what it was like to be in the presence of this brilliant, camp, reckless, waspish, drunken, generous, shameless character. Michael Peppiatt brings him back to life and somehow carries off the near-impossible trick of echoing the repetitive nature of his drunken talk ... while somehow preserving his electricity and effervescence (Craig Brown Mail on Sunday 2015-08-30)
Every page is fresh, immediate, and flashing with glimpses into Bacon's complicated psyche and Peppiatt's own conundrums. While Peppiatt still struggles to understand the "deep-seated masochism" that covertly shaped Bacon's dramatic life and ferocious art, he celebrates with ever-replenished wonder the timeless artist's creativity, "freedom and energy and total individuality." (Donna Seaman Booklist 2015-08-01)
Francis Bacon's views on art, death and his bohemian circle make revealing reading in this enjoyable memoir ( Independent 2015-08-29)
Francis Bacon in Your Blood is not a biography of Bacon, nor is meant to be: it is a memoir of the life that ensued when the 53-year-old Bacon befriended Peppiatt, then aged 21 . The perspective Peppiatt gradually gains is crucial. Beneath the bluster, dissimulation, megalomaniacal kindness and "maniacally controlling way", Bacon's "living brilliantly" his "gilded gutter life", is revealed to be a sustaining fiction for a talented, broken man . Peppiatt undercuts just enough to be heartbreaking rather than destructive . It's a brilliant portrait that Peppiatt lets Bacon paint . Entertaining, calculated and acerbic, Michael Peppiatt really does seem to have a bit of Bacon in his blood ( Spectator 2015-09-05)
How an interview with the painter turned into weeks of prodigious drinking and a lifelong friendship . fascinating [and] engaging (Lynn Barber Sunday Times 2015-09-06)
In a face-paced narrative peopled by such luminaries as Lucian Freud, Andy Warhol and the Duke of Devonshire, Peppiatt offers a deeply personal insight into the character of an individual who was by turn "grand and petty, tender and treacherous" ( Town and Country 2015-09-01)
Well placed for the task, having been a friend of the artist for some thirty years; and his book is all the more moving because it explains why a full account of Bacon's work and personality was impossible ( Literary Review 2015-09-01)
Part diary, part art history, part love letter, his memoir captures what it was like to know this brilliant, camp genius . an excellent glimpse into a vanished London bohemia (Rebecca Wallersteiner The Lady 2015-09-25)
An intimate documentation of one of the greatest painters of the 20th century. The Bacon that emerges from Peppiatt's pen is as complex a person as one could meet ... Personable, immediate and engaging ... Peppiatt resembles the fictional Nick Carraway in The Great Gatsby, a humble and self-deprecating narrator, who serves as a bridge between an everyday world and the blazing comet that was Francis Bacon ( Irish Examiner)
The best art memoir published in years. Much more enjoyable informal than the author's definitive biography of Bacon, it is personal, subjective and sufficiently scurrilous to check the young Peppiatt's hero-worship of his subject' ( Spectator)
There is a certain grisly satisfaction in watching an artist behave as one expects an artist to. Francis Bacon . always delivered and just how richly is recorded by Peppiatt . A wonderfully vivid account (Art Book of the Year Sunday Times)
This fine memoir is more insightful than gossipy, and as a subject Bacon is just about unbeatable ( New York Times)
Peppiatt's new book is an intimate memoir of two intense and interlaced lives, his own and Bacon's, which augments rather than duplicates his previous efforts . Punchy, gutsy, jumpy . Full of gossip, binges, nausea, bruises, stained sheets, punchlines and death wishes (Richard Davenport-Hines Times Literary Supplement)
This intimate portrait is essential reading for anyone interested in Bacon's disturbing talent ( Daily Mail)
The gossipy and insightful story of how two lives became entwined ( Choice)
Peppiatt's portrait of this mercurial figure is utterly mesmerising ( Mail on Sunday)
It is a story I have been wanting to write for a long time, telling it as it really was before that whole world that I shared with Francis vanishes...
Michael Peppiatt met Francis Bacon in June 1963 in Soho's French House to request an interview for a student magazine he was editing. Bacon invited him to lunch, and over oysters and Chablis they began a friendship and a no-holds-barred conversation that would continue until Bacon's death thirty years later.
Fascinated by the artist's brilliance and charisma, Peppiatt accompanied him on his nightly round of prodigious drinking from grand hotel to louche club and casino, seeing all aspects of Bacon's 'gilded gutter life' and meeting everybody around him, from Lucian Freud and Sonia Orwell to East End thugs; from predatory homosexuals to Andy Warhol and the Duke of Devonshire. He also frequently discussed painting with Bacon in his studio, where only the artist's closest friends were ever admitted.
The Soho photographer, John Deakin, who introduced the young student to the famous artist, called Peppiatt 'Bacon's Boswell'. Despite the chaos Bacon created around him Peppiatt managed to record scores of their conversations ranging over every aspect of life and art, love and death, the revelatory and hilarious as well as the poignantly tragic. Gradually Bacon became a kind of father figure for Peppiatt, and the two men's lives grew closely intertwined.
In this intimate and deliberately indiscreet account, Bacon is shown close-up, grand and petty, tender and treacherous by turn, and often quite unlike the myth that has grown up around him. This is a speaking portrait, a living likeness, of the defining artist of our times.
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