Interview David Sylvester and Francis Bacon, bound typewritten transcript, dated 23rd April 1975 with original Compliment's Slip from London Weekend Television. This is Bacon's copy of the un-edited transcript, which was subsequently used as the basis for a broadcast on 30th November 1975, and was included as Interview Number 5 in David Sylvester's book 'Interviews, Francis Bacon'. The use of editing was acknowledged by David Sylvester in the preface to his book and the editorial notes confirm that interview 5 as published was based on this video tape recording; and a subsequent private recording made in June 1975. The Sylvester Interviews were an important early look at Bacon the artist. This transcript offers the opportunity to go back and glean additional insight into the way in which both Bacon and Sylvester wished to portray the artist through editing. It should be noted that the thirty seven page document, which was combined with a second interview, comprises only eight pages of text in Sylvester's book; confirming massive editing. Subjects covered in the transcript include The Importance of Photography in Art, Critics and the Artist, The Life of an Artist Today, Portraits and Self Portraits, Death, and the Use of Chance in Painting. The document is un-marked except for two main deletions in green ink.
The first is on page 22 as follows:
Francis; My sister said to me the other day "shall we both go and have a face lift together?". I said "yes, as soon as possible, when I see myself in this bloody thing...";
the second is on page 31,
Francis: 9/10th, 90% of the nation, 90% of people, 95% of people are absolute fools and they are bigger fools about painting than anything else.
It is reasonable to assume that these deletions were made by Bacon after receiving the transcript.
Provenance: The Robertson Collection