The Bacons are a UK based counter-culture couple who seek out defunct abandoned haunts where the subject of their urbex photo shoots are often erotic, irreverent, creepy, and totally intriguing.
The fear of clowns (coulrophobia) isn’t irrational at all. In fact, it makes a great deal of sense considering that the original clowns, the ones going back to the ancient times of medieval Europe had a very apparent dark side with the sole purpose to frighten the hell out of people.
From the onset, clowns were sinister fucks who waited eagerly to make you scream at the first opportunity. Some of the original were court jesters who had the balls to make fun of Kings and got away with it.
Part of the fear is due to mistrust. The fake painted-on smile is overstated but the eyes often convey a different emotion thus leaving a person to feel as if “Bozo” can’t be trusted. It’s human nature to fear or be leary of the unknown or things that we don’t understand. On the flip side is what is medically referred to as coulrophilia - the sexual arousal from clowns.
Put all these elements together, throw in some fishnet stalkings, photography, and what is known as urbex, or urban exploration, and you may arrive at Claire Bacon, otherwise known as...Slutty the Clown.
When not clowning around Claire stays busy as a working model doing everything from fashion and editorial to fetish and nude art. To keep the creativity flowing she is also involved in cosplay and makes all of her own costumes as well as her sexy clown attire and props.
On the other side of the camera is Mrs. Slutty’s partner in crime and husband, Richard Bacon. Together the pair ran a tattoo shop in the past and both paint and draw. Each hailed from a creative background with Rich’s father being a guitarist and designer, and Claire’s mother a poet. Today they are happily surrounded by artistic and supportive friends at home in Bridlington, East Yorkshire England, and around the world.
Their photo journey started with urban exploration and photography five years ago and they have been going strong ever since. They travel up and down the country in search of fabulous locations for their shoots, some of which require extensive research to find and others advance permission to enter.
When they began it was just them and their cell phones. Soon, they would upgrade to a Nikon d3200. Today Rich is using a Cannon eso 750d and Claire totes the Cannon eso 7000d. Other than that they go in empty-handed, crawling in broken windows and over well-aged debris.
Imagine pushing open the heavy door of a crumbling abandoned church. The entrance is thick with the webs of the only occupants of the decaying building. As you use your jacket sleeve to make your way past the sticky traps, the view of the old stained glass comes into view as the sun pours through what is left of the once brightly colored panes. The alter is still dressed as it was for the last Sunday Mass. The air is thick with the vibration left behind from thousands of funerals. For most who would dare to venture into this kind of urbex, their skin would be prickled by the whispering halls and deadness.
The Bacons will tell you, for them, that goosy flesh comes from the excitement and love of what they do. For the thrill of the unknown and to catch it all in the way only true photographers can, with light, shadow, and instinct.
Luckily for this pair, they live together which makes the restrictions of Covid a bit easier to deal with when it comes to their work-life. Thankfully they have managed to keep me and the rest of their Instagram followers greatly entertained with their artistry.
Now, I’ve kept you waiting long enough, have a look, then go follow them both and keep up on what comes next. I promise you won’t be disappointed and can guarantee a surprise from time to time.