Instadeath: Study after Velazquez's Portrait of Pope Innocent X

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Study after Velazquez's Portrait of Pope Innocent X
Curated by Alex McDonald

Francis Bacon, Study after Velazquez's Portrait of Pope Innocent X, 1953

*Curator’s Note: The paintings within this collection were taken by the author to be artwork for the album covers of a fictional metal band called Instadeath. The following is a press release from the Pope concerning Instadeath’s latest album Vile Popery.

I have yet another condemnation to make today. It has come to my attention that forces within the music industry have spoken out against the Papacy. Therefore, it is my sacred duty to warn all Catholics to avoid a band called Instadeath. They are blasphemous Satan worshipers who will burn in Hell for their heathen lifestyle, and you will meet them there if you hazard a bite of their tainted fruit.

Their latest record, entitled Vile Popery, portrays the Holy Roman Catholic Church as a power hungry entity who pleasures themselves by exerting control over its followers. Instadeath then goes on to say the only true salvation comes from offering a blood sacrifice to the Dark Lord. Catholics should not have to stomach these filthy lies being hurdled at them over the radio.

To cap it all off, Instadeath mocks the holy office of the pope with the use of Francis Bacon’s Study after Velazquez’s Portrait of Pope Innocent X. Just look at this piece (but not for too long as it may cause instant damnation)! It is a perversion of Velazquez’s Pope Innocent X. Bacon has portrayed one of our holy fathers as maniacal. The faithful can tell by that devilish scream upon his face. Then the rays of light emitting from his chair obscure his figure and expression. This speaks to the Pope’s distance between himself and the viewer. And what does the Pope do in reply to this distance? He laughs.

Focus on the throne. All light emits from it, representing the power of the Pope’s office. Too bad Bacon looks upon this power as a corrupting and dehumanizing force. Innocent does not even have legs. They are gone, making the Pope ghostly (and dare I say demonic?!). Though at the same time, Innocent seems trapped behind the rays of light and the stage set up by the yellow lines emitting from his chair. So as powerful as he seems, the Pope does not actually have any sway over your life.

Needless to say, these satanic hymns shall not be played in any church, school, or home that follows the teachings of Christ as outlined by the Roman Catholic Church. Your punishment, if you so choose to ignore my warning, shall be eternal Hell fire.

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