Although Francis Bacon was born in Ireland, it is questionable how ‘Irish’ he felt. In order for a gay man of his talent to flourish, it was somewhat inevitable that he moved away from good old conservative and catholic Ireland to the flambouyant and happening London. When he left in body he also left in spirit and little reference is ever made of Ireland in his life beyond his teenage years.
So when the great man’s studio was(fairly) recently given to the Hugh Lane Gallery in Dublin it was a real coup for the city. Not only did it give that gallery, which was already a great gallery, increased kudos; but it also allowed Dublin to reconnect with one of its own. To embrace one of its runaways. To cuddle him in its arms and say: “we knew you had it in you but we had to send you away.” (It’s also great for marketing obviously)
The only pity of it is, that there are really very few paintings by Bacon in the Gallery itself-and what is there is incomplete. The poor galleries of Ireland are unable to compete with the likes of enlightened, and clearly tasteful, football chairmen such as Roman Abramovich who recently purchased a triptych by Bacon for an astronomical if not nearly comical amount of money.
What I’m saying is, we need some more Bacon. Feed us the art, feed us!
So, if anyone has a spare Francis Bacon piece lying about, please send it to Ireland. Thanks. To Adam Clayton(we know you collect the stuff): If you have any up in that attic of yours give us a lend of them for a while-share the wealth! And if anyone is mulling over what to do with their Bacons when they’ve gone to that great gallery in the sky. Leave them with us, we’ll look after them. And to the Tate: when your finished your Bacon exhibition over there, any chance you could ship the stuff over here? Just for a while even.
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