PORTRAIT OF KEN LIVINGSTONE UNVEILED AT THE NATIONAL PORTRAIT GALLERY 3/7/14

July 6th, 2014

It was a long time coming  but here it is. We had a lovely unveiling at the National Portrait Gallery roof top restaurant on Thursday morning with magnificent panoramic views over London which seemed quite apt given the sitter. We started having meetings and sittings  in 2011 and 2012, some while he was running for mayor again, and then Anne and I had Scarlett  which slowed things down a little  and I painted it from last January 2013.It took me 11 months to paint and is around three and a half foot square. In fact it took so long to paint that by the end I just became blind to it  and couldn’t see it with fresh eyes so until the unveiling, when I got feedback from lots of people, I never really knew how I felt about it but I’m beginning to feel  comfortable with it now.  Here’s my quote from the press which sums it up for me and below I’ll add a link from The Guardian

” I wanted it to be a relaxed and informal depiction. One of the thinks Ken said to me during the sittings was that he always tried to appear calm during interviews and debates and never lost his cool so I wanted his pose to be calm, as if the viewer was in conversation with him and he was listening. I liked the idea of setting him  in his garden rather than against architectural symbols of London which he is associated with because it was his little patch of London and I think he is very much perceived as a down to earth figure “.

http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/jul/03/ken-livingstone-london-mayor-painting-national-portrait-gallery

 

 

 

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