Thursday, April 24, 2008

The price of oil

Today we missed out on getting a ‘one-of-a-kind’ free commissioned portrait of us painted by Julian Schnabel as part of a Mastercard promotion. Is the portrait genre going to make a comeback or is this just like Brad Pitt flogging aged whiskey in Japan? There are some signs. A few years ago at the Frieze Art Fair, Jake and Dinos Chapman were offering quick portraits to anyone who wanted to buy one. (They cost $US10,000 and took about half an hour each). And someone mentioned last week that Auckland dog owners are hot on getting their mutts done in oils. So what if you want to get your portrait painted? In New Zealand Kerrys Art Portraits look like they cost out at around $300 (He also does elephants). Ecole des Beaux Arts trained-Rosemary Campbell can do you in the South Island, and Lindsay Mitchell will run up your pet (you know what we mean) at a 20 x 24 inch job for $500 or you, same size, for $950. If you want to go off-shore you can get a 36 x 48 inch oil from Roger Bissett for $US3,320 and be assured “if you’re not 200% happy you get a 100% refund”. Then there is always the possibility of a quick trip to Dafen. Back home, for those interested in portraiture in general, you can get a good dose at the New Zealand Portrait Gallery. They hold an annual best portrait award, this year won by Irene Ferguson.