About a week ago, I went to see Public Image play, fronted by one of the truly great front men in music – John Lydon aka Johnny Rotten. Definitely past his prime by now, he still infuses so much venom, energy and personality into absolutely everything he does or has ever done.
I took some photos, mostly focusing on John’s manic, sometimes baffoonish stage presence. I wanted to elaborate on his presence by trying to capture “something unexpected”, rather then just a direct representation. While editing the photos, I decided to try and juxtapose several images I took of John Lydon with some of Francis Bacon’s self portraits.
Out of all the photos I took, these two really captured the band and especially John Lyndon’s essence for me. Much like Bacon and his paintings, Lydon’s performance is unsettling, experimental, unapologetic, and incredibly enigmatic. And yet, somehow both also have a familiarity and depth that allows the work to be readily absorbed and imprinted directly into our psyches.
We can all use a little more Rotten Bacon in our lives.