Francis Bacon’s Painting Jumper

Bacon Bonanza

Tempus Gallery News
November 13, 2013
by Louisa Jane

Frances Bacon's jumper, view at the Tempus Gallery in Brick Lane, London

Bacon’s jumper is a visual reflection of his debauched lifestyle and character, a mysterious  and violent medley of color. The burgundy, white, yellow and black smeared across the front and sleeves characterize many of his paintings, particularly his self-portraits from the 1970’s. It seems that even his clothing is a spontaneous product of his East London studio, brimming with visceral intent and energy.

Well-worn and battle-weary, the jumper is a tactile by-product of his painting process. It was found by a passerby  less than 10 miles away from his former home, on a modest market-stall. The seller, who rescued it from a house clearance, was utterly unaware of its value and prestige.

Inevitably drawn in by the piece’s gravitational pull, it never fails to incite discussion and wonder. Dirty all over, torn in many places and stretched sideways to a point of absurdity, this item is wonderfully biographical and symbiotic of Bacon’s relationship with himself. Tortured, worn out, and covered in paint and alcohol: the man himself no different.