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  1. topman85's Avatar
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    the buoyancy of the work

    Interestingly, Bacon rarely refers specifically to his use of Deakin's portraits. Deakin started photographing in 1939 and continued to work intently if intermittently through the mid-1960's. His heyday occurred during the '50's when he was under contract to VOGUE (where he had the dubious distinction of being the only staff photographer ever fired twice by the same administration). Although his tenure there was short-lived, in a period of approximately 4 years he produced more work than his contemporaries at VOGUE, including Norman Parkinson, Clifford Coffin and Cecil Beaton. Deakin photographed everything for VOGUE, including fashion and beauty, but his forte was portraiture. The poet and novelist, Elizabeth Smart, remarked that Deakin had "tyrannical eyes," and the art critic, John Russell, wrote that Deakin "rivaled Bacon in his ability to make a likeness in which truth came unwrapped and unpackaged. His portraits, like Bacon's, had a dead-centered, unrhetorical quality. A complete human being was set before us, without additives." Deakin's portraits were characterised by a monochromatic austerity and raw clarity that wasn't in keeping with the buoyancy of the work done by Parkinson or Beaton; indeed, it precedes the nearest thing to it - the photographs of David Bailey and Richard Avedon - by a decade. "Whoever the sitter, Hollywood actor, celebrated writer or valued friend," writes Robin Muir in his catalogue essay, "Deakin made no concessions to vanity, his portraits are never idealised or evasive, and typically contain no pretense to flattery. There is no soft focus, no blurring or retouching. At their most extreme these images are cruel depictions. And even now, over forty years later, his prints are still defiantly modern." (Influence and Inspiration: Francis Bacon's Use of Photography)

    What does the buoyancy of the work mean? What do the first it and the second it refer to? I don't get the meaning of the sentence. Does it mean the photographs with that kind of quality were like Avedon's and Bailey's photographs, but Deakin's photographs were on top?

  2. Piscean's Avatar
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    Re: the buoyancy of the work

    The buoyancy of the work is the lightness and positive tone of it.

    The two its refer back to the monochromatic austerity and raw clarity of his work

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