So, you have commissioned a well-known artist like Pablo Picasso or Andy Warhol to do your portrait. A bold decision – are you sure that you will like the result? Lady Churchill famously destroyed a portrait of her husband by Graham Sutherland because she couldn’t stand it.
In this era of selfies and digital cameras, ‘Self’ at the Halcyon Gallery shows portraits and figurative sculpture by well-known twentieth-century artists including Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol, Robert Lenkiewicz, Bob Dylan, Lorenzo Quinn, Ernesto Cánovas, Mitch Griffiths and Russell Young,
In the centre of the Gallery is Lorenzo Quinn’s large sculpture ‘Decisions’, of which I have a smaller version at home, with the immense muscular male figure standing across two railway tracks trying to decide which to take, something which seems to paralyse our politics at the moment, so portraits are not just about people 0 their lives and personalities – but about politics, as artists give their images additional meanings beyond mere representation. As Picasso said, ‘Are we to paint what’s on the face, what’s inside the face, or what’s behind it?’