Passport Photographs

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"…I see every image all the time in a shifting way and almost in shifting sequences."

Bacon took a large number of passport photographic strips of himself and a number of other people. He was clearly interested in the multiple views provided by these photographs and he recreated this effect in paintings such as Four Studies for a Self-Portrait, 1967. In Bacon's own passport photos he adopts a number of different poses, rarely looking directly at the camera. Although he frequently looks posed in photographs taken by real photographers, the anonymity of the automatic photo booth clearly gave him greater freedom of expression. Passport photos of other friends were in Bacon's possession. Bacon often described how "images just drop in as if they were handed down to me."