2nd December – Having lunch time with my husband in Kelvingrove Museum, listening to live organ music and enjoying exhibition in museum. I was surprise, on Monday at 1 pm the gallery was buzzing.
This is the first major Vettriano retrospective, bringing together 100 of the artist’s paintings and including his most definitive and best-loved works gathered together for the first time from private collections around the world. Criticism of Vettriano’s work has been clearly divided by the serious and the popular press. Vettriano has not been treated kindly or given an easy ride. According to The Daily Telegraph he has been described as the Jeffrey Archer of the art world, a purveyor of “badly conceived soft porn”, and a painter of “dim erotica”. According to Vanity Fair, critics say Jack Vettriano paints brainless erotica. Sandy Moffat, head of drawing and painting at Glasgow School of Art, said: “He can’t paint, he just colours in.” The Guardian’s art critic Jonathan Jones, described Vettriano’s paintings as a group as “brainless” and said Vettriano “is not even an artist.” Richard Calvocoressi, when director of the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, said: “I’d be more than happy to say that we think him an indifferent painter and that he is very low down our list of priorities (whether or not we can afford his work, which at the moment we obviously can’t). His ‘popularity’ rests on cheap commercial reproductions of his paintings.” In The Scotsman George Kerevan wrote “He suffers all the same criticisms of the early French Impressionists: mere wallpaper, too simplistic in execution and subject, too obviously erotic.” Alice Jones wrote in The Independent that Vettriano has been labelled a chauvinist whose “women are sexual objects, frequently half naked and vulnerable, always in stockings and stilettos.” Regarding the criticism, sculptor David Mach has said: “If he was a fashion designer Jack would be right up there. It’s all just art world snobbery. Anyway, who cares, he probably makes more money than Damien Hirst anyway.” In October 2005 the original of The Singing Butler sold for £740,000 at Sotheby. Wow !
If you haven’t yet visited Kelvingrove Museum to see Vettriano’s paintings….. so, what are you waiting for? The exhibition opened on 21 September and will run until 23 February 2014.