Fragments of a Portrait

“I've always hoped to put things over across as directly and rawly as I possibly can, and perhaps if thing comes across directly [people] feel that that is horrific. If you say something very directly to somebody about something they're sometimes offended although it is a fact. People tend to be offended by facts, or what used to be called truth.”

Francis Bacon in A Fragment of a Portrait, shown 18 Sep 1966 now on BBC iPlayer.

The whole documentary is refreshingly honest and blunt. Bacon talks about his own uncertainty, his failures, and the interviewer challenges him sharply on his subjects and methods. Then without any announcement we see a cow getting slaughtered. Sure, this is Francis Bacon so appropriate, but still surprising, and yes, a bit shocking in a thing about painting.

This isn't an excuse to cause offence for its own sake, mind.