Buchnummer des Verkäufers
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.
In June of 1963, when Michael Peppiatt first met Francis Bacon, the former was a college boy at Cambridge, the latter already a famous painter, more than thirty years his senior. And yet, Peppiatt was welcomed into the volatile artist's world; Bacon, considered by many to be "mad, bad, and dangerous to know," proved himself a devoted friend and father figure, even amidst the drinking and gambling.
Though Peppiatt would later write perhaps the definitive biography of Bacon, his sharply drawn memoir has a different vigor, revealing the artist at his most intimate and indiscreet, and his London and Paris milieus in all their seediness and splendor. Bacon is felt with immediacy, as Peppiatt draws from contemporary diaries and records of their time together, giving us the story of a friendship, and a new perspective on an artist of enduring fascination.
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