He is arguably one of the most successful artists of the modern era, with his prints and original works adorning thousands of public venues and homes in Britain and fetching anywhere between £200,000 - £750,000 at auction - and wouldn't you believe it... he was born and raised only 7 miles away from our Glenrothes gallery! Yes, our artist of the week this week is the most accomplished living painters to come out of Scotland - Jack Vettriano. After holding a very special exhibition for the man himself only last year in our Edinburgh gallery - it was undeniably clear that this is an artist who's works will be adored by the public for a long time to come, after hundreds of people flocked from across the UK to see it... and so it feels only right that we give him even a tiny fraction of the recognition he deserves, by shining a spotlight on his life and talent this week.
Born Jack Hoggan in Methill Fife, in 1951 - some could say that his life has been just as intriguing as his art is. His beginnings were humble, and he began a career as a mining engineer after leaving school at the tender age of sixteen. At twenty one, a girlfriend at the time bought Jack a set of watercolours for his birthday - and he began to teach himself to paint by reproducing well recognised impressionist paintings and soon looking to this as a full time career - as he gradually moved towards oil paints and models, until he settled on the style that he is praised for today.
In 1992 Jack Vettriano painted his most iconic works of art to date - The Singing Butler. It doesn't matter whether you are young or old, an art fanatic or not... at some point in your life you will have come across the image of that lady in the red dress, barefoot, dancing with her partner on a beach on the West Coast Of Fife like they have not a care in the world, and it has been loved by many. The painting has not come without some controversy over the years however, as critics have tried hard to find fault in this wonderful image. It is now widely known that Jack Vettriano used an 'Illustrators Manual' to create the figures in the scene and this something which he never has denied as he struggled with proper access to models early in his career. Despite this, the painting went on to make Scottish history when it sold at auction in 2004 for a whopping £750,000 and was in 2017, voted 3rd in the list of the UK's most beloved artworks of all time - beating the likes of greats like Turner, Lowry and Waterhouse.
Jack Vettriano's life behind the scenes somewhat reflects that of his paintings, a huge amount of success - but not without some 'scandal' sprinkled in there for good measure. His past is coloured by a handful of affairs, arrests and a hand injury that almost ruined his artistic career entirely, not to mention a host of critics who have said he 'paints by numbers' or 'colours in'. And in fact, although receiving an OBE in 2003 for his services to the visual arts - his art has to this day never been recognised at a national level, much to many of his greatest fans disappointment. Although sometimes slightly shocking, his background has certainly not hindered his allegiance of fans and collectors - I think it actually only makes him more fascinating....
This was more than apparent for us in March of last year when, as mentioned above - we played host to a very special exhibition of Jack Vettriano's work. The event ran for a total of two weeks and saw not only the largest collection of limited edition works to ever be displayed in a gallery setting, but also the highly impressive original depiction of National Treasure Billy Connolly, fresh out of the People's Palace. 'Dr Connolly, I Presume?' where it was displayed along with the two other originals of Billy, and had been specially commissioned by the BBC to celebrate his 50 years in show business - and now it was right here in our gallery! People came from across the UK and Europe - and even some from America and Australia to see the collection of such a notable artist and this soon became, unsurprisingly, the most attended event in Robertson Fine Art history! One of the nicest and most notable aspects of this event was the fact that we were given the opportunity to meet so such a range of people from all different walks of life, young and old... who all shared one thing in common - a deep connection with the work of Vettriano.
Whether it be his beautifully whimsical works of ladies dancing beside the seaside, his stunning depictions of ladies gazing out of windows or even his more 'risque' bodies of works - there is no denying that the popularity surrounding this man's work sees no signs of ceasing, and the name Jack Vettriano will go down as a part of Scottish history!
We are incredibly proud to represent Jack Vettriano - our artist of the week, and are delighted to announce that we will have a fantastic selection of his best pieces on display as part of our upcoming exhibition 'The Scottish Contemporaries Exhibition' - beginning on Saturday the 8th of June! To RSVP to this event or to find out more info about the exhibition please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
SOME OF OUR ALL TIME FAVOURITE JACK VETTRIANO ARTWORKS
'Dr Connolly, I Presume?'
'In Thoughts Of You'
'Dancer For Money'
'Tension, Timing and Triumph' - Jackie Stewart
'Contemplation Of Betrayal '
'The Singing Butler '
'Long Time Gone'