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“Brush with Peril” Francis Bacon covers




Here’s my son and I with Francis Bacon’s Figure With Meat (1954). It belongs to the The Art Institute of Chicago, IL, but it was on display at the Getty Museum when I traveled to Los Angeles in September 2016.

As I write this, I think this is the only Pope painting by Francis Bacon that I’ve ever seen face-to-face. I LOVE his pope paintings, and was totally struck by them when I first learned about them during my college education.

Learning about art like this was a large part of what got me going on my (arguably) “latest” project, “Brush with Peril,” my upcoming espionage-style graphic novel in which the characters and settings are famous museum masterworks turned into masked spies and villains.  High brow art meets low brow pop culture – a round peg forced into the square hold of Mexican standoffs, fist fights, and car chases.  The juxtapositions create a dialogue about the meanings and status of art, and our perceptions of it as a culture.

The first concept of this project – combining famous art and adventure – developed around 2005, but the SPY idea hit me in 2009, and that’s when I immediately jumped in and began the project in earnest.

Here are two “first issue” covers – they’re actually the same image, with one zoomed in tighter on the face.  I drew it/them in 2014.  Initially, I had designed a different cover image, but I was never crazy about it.  I drew this/these after conceiving a “close up on a face from a famous painting” cover theme. Colors by Gerry Chow.

These covers are after a detail of Francis Bacon , Study After Velásquez’s Portrait Of Pope Innocent X (1953), Des Moines Art Center, Iowa.

Please visit my Patreon page to check out more of my spy comic, Brush with Peril, and other projects.

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