Sunday, June 14, 2009

This is your brain ...

This is your brain...



Actually no, it's a photograph of Francis Bacon.

This is your brain on drugs...



Actually no, it's a self-portrait of Bacon.
Or maybe a portrait of his friend George Dyer.
Hard to tell.

This is a portrait of CNBC talking head Erin Burnett...



The idea--and, because mine, though idiosyncratic, is not a particularly devious mind, I know you can see this one coming from a mile away--is to incorporate the face of Erin Burnett into the general shape and spirit of the self-portrait of Francis Bacon to create something called "The Annotated Burnett (in the manner of Francis Bacon)".

Or, alternatively, "This is Geoffrey Raymond's brain on drugs."

No, seriously. The thinking on the table is to crank out Burnett, Cramer, Bartiromo and Gasparino as annotated paintings, each in the style of Francis Bacon.

Back to the images above, I think both Burnett's lips, eyes and nose will correspond nicely with the rough geography of the Bacon painting. The rest, as they say, is up to whatever lies at the crossroads of my meager talent and your imagination.

You may remember a lot of Bacon mentions during the time I was painting "The Screaming Pope"--my homage to Francis Bacon and his obsession with Diego Velazquez's portrait of Pope Innocent X in the form of a portrait of then Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson.

What you may not be aware of was Bacon's obsession with this image:



He painted a number of paintings that were, in one way or another, referred to as "The Screaming Pope." This might be the second most famous:



Check out the glasses. I only found out about this late last week when I went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art to see the Bacon show.

All of which beings us to this:



Which is proof, if ever I've confronted proof, that I'm on the right track.

Personal confession: Has this ever happened to you? You think the whole painting thing is generally going pretty well--damned well, actually--and then you go to a museum show like the Bacon show I went to last week, and you realize that the gulf of talent between you and guys like Bacon is so utterly profound that you might as well be staring into a limitless abyss? Then depression sets in? You find yourself at one point laughing (Was it really laughing, or was it a spastic cough of despair? More of a tragic yelp, if memory serves?) out loud and everybody in the room turns and looks at you? Then you figure out the whole glasses thing and you realize that God is sending you a message? That everything will be all right?

Well that's what happened to me on Thursday afternoon at the Met.

And now I'm painting Erin Burnett in the manner of Francis Bacon. And the tune floating through my head is, oddly, "Onward Christian Soldiers."

Which is a little creepy.

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