DS So what explains the forms on your canvas is above all the attempt to capture the energy and the appearance together?
FB Yes, but with all the mechanical means of rendering appearance, it means that a painter, if he is going to attempt to record life, has to do it in a much more intense and curtailed way. It has to have the intensity of ...you can call it sophisticated simplicity. And I don't mean the kind of simplicity Cycladic sculpture has, which simplifies into
banality, but the kind Egyptian sculpture has, which simplifies into reality. You have to abbreviate into intensity.
You can find part of at least two interviews on youtube. The first is from 1963 and is audio only accompanied by images of Bacon's paintings, and the second is from 1966 and shows Bacon and Sylvester conversing.
By the way, here's a film that does a great job of showing an artist creating art: The Mystery of Picasso (1956). I'm not crazy about the way they show Picasso painting the first several canvases, but I love the way they show him painting the last two canvases. What I don't like about the first canvases is the system of markers that Picasso uses on one side of the canvas that shows up on the other side, the side that the viewer can see. In one sense it shows Picasso at work, but when you watch the last two canvasses, you realize it's nothing like the process he uses when he paints on a canvas. In the next to last canvas, Picasso paints a goat and we get to see the process greatly speeded up. Picasso complains at the end of the painting that by speeding up the film the viewer has no idea that he's been working on the canvas for over 4 hours. In the last canvas, Picasso keeps modifying his painting until finally he declares that he knows now what he wants to paint, paints white over the whole canvas, and starts all over again. In both of these paintings, we see the artist creating through the work itself, modifying, improvising, sometimes starting completely over.