Open cage - homage to Francis Bacon, Sara Arakkal Gallery, Bangalore 2009, Curated by Giridhar Khasni
Participating artists: Yusuf Arakkal, C.F.John, B. Devaraj, M.S. Prakash Babu
When Giridhar approached me to be part of this show i was curious. The meditative quality of my paintings is what interested him, which he sees is a quality in bacon’s work. And he thought it would help bring a balance in the show with the other aspects of Becon.
It is interesting what people see in a given work of art. Depending on the preparedness of the viewer he or she sees different things at the same time. What draws me towards bacon is the way he has woven the despair, rage, suffering and loneliness with a quality of meditative mind. In a personal way of resolving i would like to stay committed to find constructive ways to deal contemporary realities in relation to people and community rather than probing them from a closed room. As merchants of despair and rage are growing in contemporary cultural market, bacon would have kept his cage open if he were to be alive today.
My attempt through the project has been to find, assimilate elements that are characteristics to some of Bacon works. I have tried to sit in his cage, to see it open and see the cage in open space. I have tried to understand the lights, subdued colors and lines that have defined his space or that have encircled his subjects. I have tried to understand the movement and the wrestling he held within. In a more disturbed way I have also hugged the shadow kind of forms that have always given an extension to his subjects / form, bringing mystery, confusion and dynamism.
To stay affected by Francis bacon and resolve / define my own journeys is the challenge for me here. From his silence I move on to a silence of myself. Through my battles with the daily muck of life around (Physical and emotional) what helps keep me oriented is this silence. It grows in me as an obsession, a passion, not to withdraw but to swing into action. It stays with me as peace, soaked in pain.
Each artiste had his distinct approach to depict their tryst with Bacon. Firstly, CF John greets us with amazing works that suffocates and liberates us alternatively. His works seem to have essentially spiritual undertones, with the principal figure reaching out to the unknown. An amazing feeling, the same plane where you are transported while immersed in a Bergman drama. Especially one work stretched itself beyond the canvas, to eternity and Bacon via intersecting arcs, the same way a girl awaited God to reach from beyond the silver screen through a broken wooden plank.