Warning: Artsy-fartsy post.
Read this article on Francis Bacon, a unique artist. His painting of the head in a cube (that’s Pope X) kept me disturbed for many days and nights. Later in life, Bacon hated having painted this, saying it was a mistake to engage with Velázquez’s original. That could be true within the context of artistic skill. However, it is useless denying the fundamental need for a young artist to re-examine the past, particularly when it could be potentially shocking. Artists love to shock and parody other artists. Taking the head of an authority figure–who is more authoritative than the Pope–and placing it in a cube of intense personal fright is so subversive! Hysterical terror of this kind is only possible for the super-religious?
Did anyone see the deep sunken eyes of the current Pope and the sort of crazed look it had when he recently visited Nazareth? Striking, I thought (to be fair, I admit I rarely look at the Pope in good light).