Francis Bacon's 'Head VI' (1949) is one of fifty-seven British masterpieces 'curated' by votes from people across the globe to feature in charity art exhibition Art Everywhere. From August 12th 2013, thousands of poster sites and billboards will showcase iconic British artworks from the national collection. Bacon's painting, and other public selected works by artists including L.S. Lowry, John William Waterhouse, Cornelia Parker, and John Everett Millais, will occupy twenty-two thousand poster sites across the UK. Cities, towns and villages of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will see poster sites ranging from billboards to bus stops transformed into artworks across high streets, major roads, tube, train and metro stations, supermarkets, shopping malls, office buildings, cinemas, health clubs and bars. 2000 London buses and 1000 black cabs will transport the artworks around the city on view for passengers. For two weeks a projected audience of ninety percent of the UK's adult population will have the opportunity to enjoy British art. Using image recognition and augmented reality technology via Blippar, each physical poster will be interactive, enabling the public to point their phones at the art to access instantaneous information about each piece, visit the collection, and socially share their favourites. Prints of many of the artworks can also be bought through the site via project partner, Easyart, with all profits going to the artist and Art Everywhere. ‘Head VI’ is one of Bacon’s famous ‘Pope paintings’, with the haunting mouth recalling the anguished cry of the bespectacled nanny in Sergei Eisenstein’s 1925 film ‘Battleship Potemkin’. The foundations of the piece draw inspiration from ‘Portrait of Innocent X’ (1650) by Spanish painter Diego Velázquez. Interestingly despite producing more than thirty paintings around ‘Pope Innocent X’ Francis Bacon never actually viewed the original painting, even on a trip to Rome where it was exhibited, instead he worked from photographs of the piece. Art Everywhere is a collaborative project between Richard Reed, (co-founder of Innocent Drinks), the Art Fund, Tate, the poster industry, and 101 creative agency. Working with Posterscope and Vizeum, the poster industry has donated tens of thousands of sites; media owners involved include Clearchannel, CBS Outdoor, JC Decaux , Ocean Outdoor and Primesight.
“The Art Fund is all about thousands of people coming together to bring great art into people’s lives. Based on the same premise, Art Everywhere is putting beautiful images of the best of British art directly onto the streets of towns and cities across the nation. It's a celebration of national creative talent - our artists across the centuries, and the hundreds of museums and galleries who show their work to the public.” - Stephen Deuchar, Director of the Art Fund
The Estate of Francis Bacon very much looks forward to seeing audiences enjoying Francis Bacon's art through this exciting exhibition, and sharing their experience across social media platforms. To find out more information, and to get involved with Art Everywhere click here. 'Art Everywhere' 12th - 25th August Millais House 7 Cromwell Place London, SW7 2JN Word ref: Art Everywhere press release. Susan May’s ‘Head VI’ text on the Arts Council Collection website. ‘Art Everywhere’ is a non-commercial and charitable collaboration between Richard Reed, the Art Fund, Tate, Posterscope, Vizeum, 101 Creative Agency, Easyart and Blippar, supported by its partners and donations. Many thanks to Elizabeth Flanagan and Beth Meade.