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Why do Art Critics Hate Jack Vettriano?

Why the Art Critics Hate Vettriano?

The Singing Butler

Could it be … the artist’s work The Singing Butler pulled in $1,340,640 in 2004 … and Vettriano still owned all the rights to this painting?

Or could it be … Like Rockwell … the artist’s work bypasses the art world gatekeepers and appeals on a visceral level to the masses?

Or could it be … that Vettriano is a self-taught artist – so some art school can not ride his coat-tails to fame and fortune?

How about the artist’s attitude when accused of producing a ‘brainless’ body of work … “I don’t give a fuck.”

We think … it is all of the above.

Jack Vettriano left school at sixteen to become a mining engineer. For his twenty-first birthday, a girlfriend gave him a set of watercolour paints and, from then on, he spent much of his spare time teaching himself to paint.

In Vettriano’s own words … the genesis for The Singing Butler … was so simple … all the artist had to do was listen.

One day A friend remarked that he painted gorgeous beach scenes. And that people in love usually enhanced the mood by going to the beach.

So Vettriano whipped out his copy of the Illustrator’s Figure Reference Manual (Illustrators Reference Manuals) and requisitioned an image from the book …
placed two servants … one on each side of the dancing couple … to balance the picture … and the rest is history.

Irving Wallace used to write pot-boiler novels in the 50’s and 60’s. He painted such vivid word pictures with words that his books flew of the shelves. And the critics hated him for it.

Vettriano paints images that grab viewers by the throat, the heart, the nether regions and these images do not let go until they shake the money out of the viewer’s pockets.

A fan calls his work full of frisson – a sudden strong feeling of excitement or fear; a thrill.

Call it what you want … it allows the artist to sell his original work at prices between $48,000 – $195,000.

Which allows the artist to have an apartment in the Knightbridge section of London, a studio in Nice and a racehorse called … The Singing Butler.

Vettriano’s rejection by the established art community stings … But Rockwell and Kinkade also weathered the same rejection… in similar good style.

The moral of this story is … when an artist’s work appeals to the public by leaps and bounds … the hounds (art critics) are always nipping at his or her heels. All the way to the bank door.

But the hounds can’t get in. Only the artist has the keys to the vault.

As a bonus for reading this far … Vettriano interview – enjoy!