Nickey Carey

Nightmares by Francis Bacon and Nicky Carey April -30 2000

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Dublin artist Nicky Carey had sold all twelve of his
latest charcoal drawings by the time his show, Happy
Nightmares, closed in April 2000.

His work was juxtaposed with two paintings by his idol
Francis Bacon, of a Room (1935) and (1940).

Interior was purchased by the Oisín from the
London-based dealer Crane Kalman. It was subsequently
sold to a Swiss collector for a six-figure sum.

Self-Portrait, which was not for sale, was very kindly
lent for the exhibition by Barry Joule, Bacon's
long-time chauffeur and assistant. Joule's contact
with the gallery began the previous year, when curator
Paul O'Kelly encouraged Joule and Declan McGonagle of
IMMA to discuss a show of the Bacon archive, which was
duly mounted in the summer of 2000.

Young Dublin artist Nicky Carey remembers Bacon's
famous 1970 retrospective in the Grand Palais as a
defining moment in his own artistic career:

"I remember standing in front of those huge canvases
and deciding that this was what I wanted to do."

Carey's shares some of Bacon's interest in the macabre
and horrific. His drawings, however, while undoubtedly
anthropomorphic, suggest strange demons and exotic
animals rather than human beings. Many provide a
sardonic record of Carey's treatment at the hands of
his doctors and carers (he has suffered from
depression since early childhood). In many cases,
however, the result is comic and self-mocking.

Paintings in the exhibition