Art's enfant terrible said 'no' to Franz Ferdinand

SHE regularly tears a strip off wealthy art collectors while saving some of her verbal firepower for the biggest names in Britart.

But Lucy McKenzie - scourge of the establishment - has stunned the art world by revealing that she turned down the chance to design an album sleeve for the hot pop sensations of the moment.

Glasgow-born McKenzie, 27, was offered the opportunity to create the sleeve of the album which helped Franz Ferdinand carry off the Mercury Music Prize earlier this month.

She has known singer Alex Kapranos for 13 years and Franz Ferdinand, currently taking America by storm, performed an early gig in her studio.

In an interview with Scotland on Sunday, in which she describes artists such as Damien Hirst and Tracey Emin as "mediocre", McKenzie says she never envisaged the band making it big. But she doesn’t regret turning down the offer to design the album sleeve.

"I just didn’t feel up to doing something that was going to get that much attention," she says.

McKenzie believes the band should now put something back into the city that supported them before they became famous.

"Why don’t they buy the Chateau [the run-down Gorbals warehouse where they staged many early gigs]? They’re being a bit hypocritical otherwise," she said.

McKenzie graduated from the Duncan of Jordanstone School of Art in Dundee five years ago, but has already shown at the Venice Biennale and Tate Britain.

She was the youngest artist at the British Art Show in 2000 and her painting of Soviet gymnast Olga Korbut was bought by collector Charles Saatchi.

She has said she regrets the sale and described Saatchi as "a very bad collector" who would sell on her painting in a few years’ time. She also now resents being on display in the Saatchi Gallery in London beside Hirst and Emin.

She dismisses them as "icons of mediocre British culture. Rich, houses in the country and cashing in on an imagined past that’s a clich of working-classness or femininity".

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