A very quick, scribbly, and incoherent letter to you and (????). Some of the things you said about the possible film last night made me uneasy. Hannah wrote me a letter many years ago asking me to appear on a program designed to demystify painting. I refused, of course. The thing is, painting is mysterious, and I don’t want it demystified. It’s no good presenting artists as approachable blokes who happen to paint, although some may have the coolness or the grace to lend themselves to this. And in this case you would be dealing with someone who is prepared to answer questions and to explain, but who is not prepared to lend himself to performing in a film, as though he wanted to contact the “general public” – If I have ever thought of contacting anybody it is the misfit in the back room who rejects the general public and television films. What I think I am saying, dear Jake, is that, I think that Hannah should know what sort of beast she is dealing with – a beast in a burrow, that does not wish to be invaded. Of course I don’t mind, and wouldn’t object to anything other people say. But I think Hannah should interview me before making films (????).
P.S. I go to the cinema when I’m tired, perhaps once a month, the theatre twice a year, and watch television in the middle of the night when I can’t sleep at Finsbury Park. I’m not prepared to talk about any of this, let alone perform it. It is entirely irrelevant to a film which I would be prefer to be centered on the work, and to answer a few questions arising from it.”
Frank Auerbach, transcribed (by myself) from the introduction of the film “Frank Auerbach: To The Studio”
A few examples of work by Frank Auerbach,
Images found via google