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Francis Bacon, by Guy Bourdin, 1986 - NPG x199965 - © The Guy Bourdin Estate 2018/ Courtesy of Louise Alexander Gallery

© The Guy Bourdin Estate 2018/ Courtesy of Louise Alexander Gallery

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Francis Bacon

by Guy Bourdin
C-type colour print, 1986
12 1/8 in. x 13 1/4 in. (307 mm x 335 mm) image size
Purchased, 2017
NPG x199965

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Richard Krall

07 February 2019, 15:39

I was present when this photograph was made as Guy Bourdin's assistant when he shot Bacon's portrait for French Vogue. This image was exposed on Polaroid PolaChrome 35MM instant slide film. I processed this roll of film, myself, on the spot, in Guy's personal PolaChrome processor. After the 90 seconds it takes to develop the image, the film came out of the processor. Guy evaluated it while I loaded a roll of Ektachrome into his Nikon and adjusted the shutter and aperture for the light. When Guy finished that roll of film, Bacon called an end to the shoot. He then graciously signed copies of his Tate Gallery catalog and gave them to us. I still have mine and it's a prized possession. Guy preferred the PolaChrome image to the Ektachrome and Vogue, of course, printed it.

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