Francis Bacon :: Enlarged contact sheet of two men wrestling, New York, from the studio of Francis Bacon, circa 1975.
From: ‘The Image as Question: An Exhibition of Evidential Photography’ at Michael Hoppen Gallery / src: theGuardian
“An enlarged contact sheet of two men wrestling in swimming trunks and caps, originally taken by Francis Bacon in New York in 1975, nestled for years in a bin bag in the attic of a Mr Robertson
from Surrey, who turned out to be the artist’s electrician. (Other bin
bags given to him for safekeeping included personal diaries, cashed
cheques, letters and holidays snaps.) The photographs highlighted in red
were used by Bacon as models for painting particular body parts in
motion. They echo another exhibit, a 17-frame series of a nude man
walking by Etienne Jules-Marey, whose motion studies preceded those of
the better-known Eadweard Muybridge.” (quoted from source)
Public pools were tragic, to say the
least, even more so during summer period. It was insane, like staying under the
scorching sun for hours and getting a sunburn at the end of the day were not
enough. Kids were either crying their lungs out or running around the pools so
close to the edges they could slip and crack their heads any moment. Mothers
were complaining about every single, from the deckchairs, to the supposedly bad
ice cream of the bar. Middle aged men with floral swim trunks directly taken
from the 80s always trying to flirt with teenagers.
And you had always thought that being
a lifeguard was not supposed to be that hard, especially in a pool. You could
not have been more wrong. People rarely listened to lifeguards and if the
lifeguard happened to be a girl, they were even more inclined to ignoring. And
you, well, you were a lifeguard in a public pool and a girl. Just the perfect
It was a rather hot day of the
middle of July, and you were toying with your whistle’s string while sitting on
the lifeguard chair. You would occasionally shout to running kids to slow it
down when they got too close to the pool edge. They would always run away
screaming something unintelligible and you would just flop back on your chair, trying
not to curse out loud. Why was so difficult to parents to control those screaming
You were dwelling on it, about how
much tiring it would’ve been for you to run around all day like that when kid
slipped right in front of your eyes. He fell near the pool edge and almost hit
his head on the tiled ground. You quickly got up and blew in your whistle.
“Come on, you can’t run around like
that, it’s dangerous” you said, in the most sweet and motherly tone you could
muster in yourself.
The kids silently exchanged looks
and you thought you had convinced them for once, but then they started
laughing, like you had just said the funniest joke ever and you were so close
to lose it.
“Hello, I see you are having fun” Minhyuk
cheerily steeped in sporting his thousand watts smile, he crouched down to the
kids level “But it would be really bad if one of you got hurt while having fun,
right?” the kids all nodded solemnly at his words, entranced by whatever strange
kind of magic Minhyuk was performing on them “Then it is better not to run
around, right? You can hurt yourself really bad if you fall” Minhyuk smiled
when the kids nodded and then patted their head one by one. Your frown only
deepened when the kids walked away and settled down to play in the kids pool,
without screaming or running around whatsoever.
Minhyuk turned to look at you with
so much smugness you wanted to slap him. He was always like that you, showing
off just how good he was at doing his job and how easy it was while you
struggled around every single day. You snarled at him and Minhyuk chuckled.
“You should at least thank me, you
were clearly going to curse at them in front of their parents” the boy stated,
impertinence heavy in his tone. You rolled your eyes, not wanting to start
bickering with him one bit, and sat back on your chair under the lifeguard umbrella.
Minhyuk shrugged and clicked his
tongue, giving up on trying to get a reaction out of you. He walked away,
probably to go nag Kihyun in his side of the park.
You threw him a frowning look just
when you knew he was not looking. You really did not understand how someone
could manage to do what he had just done. Both adults and kids respected him and
listened to his admonishment. It was unbelievable how people just seethed down
when he was talking and you hated it. Minhyuk was always so cheerful, every
single day, every single week, during his shift and his breaks, it was like
nothing could stop him from smiling and playing around and joking with everyone.
Mothers loved him, kids adored him. Flocks of girls swarmed around him the
whole summer, giggling and squealing when he took off the staff shirt because
it was hot or to go dive in because some idiot had breathed underwater.
But what irked you to no end was he
had the rights to show you where you did wrong eve if you did not like it, he
was good at being a lifeguard, he liked his job and knew how to deal with
people, he was smart and diligent. If that was not enough, like he was not
already perfect just like that, he had been blessed with such good looks the
first time you saw him you had stuttered so hard you had to introduce yourself
You were so deep in your thoughts,
trying to convince yourself that you did not have a huge crush on Minhyuk, that
Changkyun had to shook your shoulder to get your attention.
“When are you going to stop pretend
that you hate Minhyuk?” he asked, grinning ear to ear. Changkyun was your best
friend and probably knew you better than yourself. He had noticed since the
first day your crush on Minhyuk and did not waste a single chance to make admit
it. You, on the other hand, were trying not to commit to reality for as long as
“Don’t you have towels to fold or
“You are so funny. I’m on break” Changkyun leaned over your chair and then
raised his eyebrows “You should really stop trying to seem mad at him. The
sexual tension is kinda embarrassing actually, even Hyunwoo knows you are
crushing so hard-“
“Shut up, Changkyun”
“Keep on denying but the longer you
wait, the fewer chances you have to get him” Changkyun nodded to the other part
of the pool and you quickly looked over, silently cursing yourself for looking
so damn desperate. Minhyuk was leaning over a waterslide, one of his most
dazzling smiles painted on his plush lips, shamelessly flirting with a cute
girl in a pink bikini. You frowned and your thoughts wandered to your white
staff shirt and your black single piece swimsuit. You found yourself wishing
you were half as cute as that girl.
“As if he would ever look at me like
that. Because he hates me”
“Sure he does” Changkyun rolled his
eyes dramatically and with a last pat on your shoulder, leaving you to drown
back in your thoughts.