The Irreducible Francis Bacon

Francis Bacon’s studio.

It is a stunning experience to discover how  works in the artist’s studio, compared in terms of  their  exhibition in a respectable gallery or in a museum, represent  almost two incompatible worlds.

Francis Bacon’s studio has those qualities of incompatible worlds,  a place of anarchy, where like the medieval alchemists he transmuted by some secret process, random moves and thoughts into a work we see later in  a golden  frame on the wall of a  well renowned museum….. “Of his cluttered studio, Bacon said ‘I feel at home here in this chaos because chaos suggests images to me.’ ” read more here.

The painting in the studio.

The painting in a museum.

In fact there are  two artworks, the one inside his studio and the other exhibited at the museum. Are they the same artwork?

Paraphrasing on the work of the mathematician Gregory Chaitin : it can be said that in terms of algorithmic complexity the genesis of the work in the studio is perhaps irreducible, because ‘Francis Bacon’s work in his studio‘ is some sort of human algorithm  that cannot  be written into a program with lesser bits than ‘Francis Bacon’s work in his studio‘ and is therefore random or as Francis Bacon says above, born from the chaos. On the other hand the artwork inside the museum can be copied by anyone with some artistic skills by saying to himself  ‘Make a Francis Bacon’.

Moreover what my apply to Francis Bacon in his studio may apply to any artist in any studio if he act in some unpredictable way. Not distancing himself from mechanical procedures learned in art schools or falling under the influence of some authoritative  teacher is a recipe of nice mediocrity.

So, has the artist any principles or theories at his disposal.. or is he, with them or without them,  irreducibly what he is.

Below: Francis bacon in his studio.