“My first encounter with Francis Bacon’s oeuvre goes back to my academic years in London in the early 1990s. While pursuing my studies in business and international relations, I enrolled in a short course in art history.
During a visit to the Tate Gallery, I was confronted with Bacon’s triptych Three Studies for Figures at the Base of a Crucifixion, 1944. My immediate reaction was contradictory. I was shocked by the profoundly disturbing half-human half-animal organic forms. But at the same time I felt utterly fascinated by these strange, menacing creatures surrounded by vivid cadmium orange. Bacon’s enigmatic painting challenged interpretation and triggered in me the need to explore his world. My immersion into the artist’s work, life and the understanding of his creative process started in those years and continues to this day.
I discovered early on in my research that Bacon lived and worked in Monaco from July 1946 to the early 1950s. For the rest of his life he would frequently return to the Principality, staying for extensive periods with his lovers and circle of friends. The time he spent in Monaco and on the French Riviera was one of the aspects of his life he talked about most spontaneously. He often made references to the work he managed to accomplish in Monte Carlo, despite many distractions.
Having been a Monegasque resident for more than twenty years and contemplating Bacon’s attachment to and fascination with Monaco, I started to dream of a concrete project in his memory. The creation of a Foundation in Monaco, dedicated to this singular artist, seemed obvious to me. I initiated the project in 2010 and on 28 October, 2014 (the anniversary of Francis Bacon’s birth), the Francis Bacon MB Art Foundation was inaugurated by H.S.H Prince Albert II of Monaco.
This institute’s mission is to promote a deeper understanding of Francis Bacon’s oeuvre, life and working practice, with a particular focus on the time he lived and worked in Monaco and France. The self-taught artist, who described his images as ‘a concentration of reality’, was committed throughout his career to exploring the dark side of human existence. More than twenty years after his death, Bacon’s convulsive and sublime paintings still fascinate me.”