Chris Bacon was born in Watford, England in 1960. Within weeks his family boarded a ship to Ascension Island via Cape Town, South Africa and Saint Helena. His father’s work meant the family would travel. Their next home was on the Island of Viti Levu in Fiji. They went on to Bermuda and then back to England before settling in Burlington, Ontario. Those early years instilled in him a profound respect and appreciation for the out-of-doors. The move to Canada, so rich in wilderness and wild creatures, would become the blank page upon which he would pursue his art. Within a year of arriving in Canada, and with the help of his high school art teacher Fin MacKenzie, Chris was introduced to another local high school art teacher, Robert Bateman. With a few astute words of advice from Bob and a lot of encouragement from his parents, Chris pushed on and in 1980 at the age of nineteen, he organized his first exhibition at the Alice Peck gallery in Burlington.
He did not expect what would happen next. This first solo show sold out within three minutes on the preview night. His path became clear. He had to make paintings in a way none had done before nor would ever conceive of again. He had to paint true to himself. In 1982, Thomas Beckett Sr. became Chris’s sole dealer and representative. For the next fifteen years, he was blessed as an artist, to be able to evolve naturally, without any pressure to conform to the needs and desires dictated by the market. Later, towards Tom’s eventual retirement, Chris began exhibiting his work elsewhere and slowly started building international recognition, credibility and patrons. For this he is most grateful. In 2004 Chris Bacon was awarded the coveted ‘Master Wildlife Artist’ Award from the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum (Wisconsin, U.S.A.). “It doesn’t get any better than that” says Bacon. “I shall stay on course and pursue my vision with childlike wonder and enthusiasm until all that remains … is my body of work.”