A trillion greetings – in this list of non-news

“Le Bestouan” Cassis B. du R.

October 15th, 1985


deer Francis,

I DO believe in SYMBIOSIS and I think often of your words concerning the dead eles * -> in some way I hope they offered a chance for you to express things which would never otherwise never get put down. (No? please excuse awkwardness etc)

At the moment I am thinking [worrying] about the P.B. Paris M.O.M.A show NOVEM. 1986 and an HOUR version of the 40 MINUTES thrown-together ARLES show. You mentioned to John Pringle that you could possibly help me in this {now there are several urgent causes.

Maybe it would be a good time to say something about the currently confused and abzurdly hyped and over-commercialized subject of PHOTOGRAPHY. I am not in a position to say anything but the show lends itself to a lot of ideas I believe in – How about a casual F.B. conversation – OR CAREFULLY READ statement containing your thoughts on this ever-more misinterpreted evermore ridiculous MISUED & ABUSED hobby? -> its values & its limitations … BRIEF & DEADLY …

I love all the ideas we talked about:

“SWIMMING THROUGH A SEA OF IMAGES” —- ephemerality and speed and simple documentation —- diary keeping – KEEPING RECORDS… particularly these last decades which have seen us forever break-the-back-of-NATURE

Some past ideas you have given me:

  1. the way time works in photographs
  2. the possible future of art lying in POLICE RECORDS + DIARIES ETC
  3. the importance of USING photography – as in a DICTIONARY OF IMAGES, at ones service

and the embarrassment of considering these collected images as sufficient, on their own, as “art” (whatever it is it isn’t a photo) … the modern gallery-world EXPEDIENCY… SPEEDY-SALES / openings + opportunities that mislead creative accomplishment of the future _____

  1. The 1984 $20,000,000 xx/100 sale of 3 photo collections to GETTY! … ($80,000,000 left to spend in 2 1/2 years!)

I’ve been collecting A LOT of stones here … worn down by the eons of Mediterranean waves – it seems a bit like COLLECTING (grabbing) photos – VERY PLEASING, sometimes MAGIC, fun to collect… ANYWAY Hope this catalyses some ideas

F.B. P.S.

Here in Cassis the “CAMARGO” foundation set up by my cousin (Jerome Hill) [where I used to stay ’63-’64’-’65-’67-’68] unearthed a whole pile of drawings and photos of mine – 20 years unseen!


Among them was an ink drawing of my room at YALE university 1958-1959 (r.1772 Yale station) with a PB rendition of a painting I did of you in 1957 which you have never seen but which hung on my wall there for 4 years … amazingly enough, even the ink drawing looks exactly like you (AS DID THE PORTRAIT) -> burned in mill AND the photos we did on the roof at Narrow Str. in 1972-3 — I will bring it to London [you can have it if you want it]

Sorry about the non-letter …

I got OUT of the habit of communications … LOTS of DIARY CATCH-UP & some INDIA INK EPICS

How do you like the title: “VIEW FROM A DEAD-MAN’S WALLET”?

Letter from Peter Beard to Francis Bacon, October 15th 1984

Envelope addressed to Francis Bacon from Peter Beard, 18 October 1984

Letter from Peter Beard to Francis Bacon, October 15th 1984 (verso)