Jack Vettriano hits out at critics in interview

Artist Jack Vettriano. Picture: Robert Perry
Artist Jack Vettriano. Picture: Robert Perry
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PAINTER Jack Vettriano has criticised the art establishment for snubbing his work.

The 63-year-old’s paintings have been criticised as “brainless” and “dim erotica” by critics, but sell at auction for hundreds of thousands of pounds.

The Scottish artist told Radio Times magazine: “They don’t like an artist who is as popular as me because it takes away part of their authority. If they want to ignore me, let them.

“I have what I want and that is the support of the public and that means far more to me than the approval of a bunch of well-educated art buffs.”

Vettriano’s painting The Singing Butler, featuring a couple dancing on a beach despite an approaching storm, was rejected for display at the Royal Academy summer exhibition - but fetched almost £750,000 at auction years later.

“The person who made that decision ought to go and live in a cave somewhere,” Vettriano said of its omission from the Royal Academy show. “That painting has since sold over 10 million copies. How could somebody get something so wrong?”

The artist, who often paints women in stockings, heels and suspenders, said: “There are days when I think, ‘What is it they (critics) don’t like about me?’

READ MORE: Jack Vettriano show breaks Kelvingrove record

“To be honest with you I just don’t think they see sex as a serious subject. If I was painting drug use or inner-city violence they’d consider that to be art.

“They think what I paint is just titillation. It’s not titillation, it’s what every couple does on a Saturday night”.

Vettriano, who is thought to have sold around 12 million posters of his works, recently enjoyed a retrospective at Glasgow’s Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum.

Hollywood star Jack Nicholson and Sir Alex Ferguson are among owners of his work.


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