Philip Guston

"Torso Study"

Francis Bacon


I thought it was time I put down in words and images some of the things that have helped to develop the imagery of "Flesh and Blood."

Shortly before I started to truly get my teeth sunk deep into the flesh of this series, my wife, child and I went to the de Young Museum of Art in beautiful Golden Gate Park of San Francisco. We were signing up to become members. The place was packed with people because of the annual floral show where designers take the works in the collection and design floral arrangements inspired by them. I was hoping to get some spark of inspiration from their collection myself. I needed to find a vocabulary.

When passing by all the patrons buying tickets, I saw a stunningly beautiful women. Her arms had been amputated mid bicep with exposed bone protruding from the end of the tapered muscle. She was in a wheelchair and having a seemingly wonderful time with her friends. I found her perfect and transcendent. I wish I had introduced myself so that I could tell her how much she just touch me and my future work. But I did not. I passed by and it was but a second.
The other defining visual was when my father was visiting us from Chicago. We all went to FILOLI and in the gardens we came across some apple and pear trees that had been trellised. Metal polls were embedded into the flesh of the trees like arms.

At the beginning of all of this I used as a starting point my over looked "Torso Study" from the "Dark Works" series which was a direct take from Francis Bacon's "Study of the Human Body".
And before that was H.R. Giger, Philip Guston and the Masters.
Wrap all that around an aging, decaying body that I now find myself in and there you have the words with which I speak "Flesh and Blood."

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