John Deakin was a photographer, born on the Wirral in 1912, and he died in 1972 in obscurity and poverty, although his reputation as a photographer has since been established. His style was very uncompromising, and often not very flattering to his models, although he is known for revealing their essence to the viewer.
The art critic John Russell wrote of him after he died 'his portraits...had a dead-centred, unrhetorical quality. A complete human being was set before us, without additives.'
Daniel Farson, who wrote the authorised biography of Bacon' said that he thinks Deakin will be remembered as 'one of the most disturbing photographers of the century.'
Some of Deakin's most well-known portraits were of Francis Bacon and the Soho circle that surrounded him, which is why it would have been likely that he would have photographed Innes and Lexie, had they been real people. Francis Bacon held Deakin's work in high esteem. A Database has a collection of Deakin's works on-line, including many of the people mentioned in the novel.
Francis Bacon (1909 - 1992) was an English painter born in Ireland. He spent time in Berlin and Paris in 1926/7, then returned to London and started work as an interior designer before he became known as a painter. He worked intermittently up until 1944, when he painted the famous Three Studies for Figures at the Base of a Crucifixion, which he considered his first good work.
He spent much of his mid-life drinking and socialising with the Soho crowd, many of whom are also mentioned as context in the novel, including Lucien Freud, Muriel Belcher, John Deakin.
In 2009, there was an exhibition about his life and work in Dublin, and the video below, prepared at that time, tells the story of his life and works.