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Vettriano

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Vettriano has risen to prominence and has taken art collectors by surprise as he has only recently entered the art world.  Paintings by Vettriano have fetched prices over one million dollars in recent art transactions.  With a later beginning, this self-taught artist began painting after he became an adult.  Scottish born, he has continued to live on the Island and produce highly sought after pieces of art. His works seem to touch a chord in art collectors worldwide today. 

The notable contrasts of basic white, black, and red are a hallmark signature of the paintings by Vettriano.  He uses models to produce paintings that are reminiscent of Hollywood crime films from the 1940s and 1950s.  This film noir theme is replete throughout his repertoire.  These works often feature business men or gangsters and women in suggestive poses.  Other scenes are more subtle, yet always suggest the essence of life in a wealthy society; perhaps even ill-gotten riches.  Always, the scenes are produced in clear, crisp strokes.  The style ignites a feeling of realism, while the subjects of the scenes speak to a surreal world beyond the reach of common man. 

A great example of this tangible, yet intangible aspect of the art by Vettriano is “The Singing Butler”.  One of his most recognizable paintings, this work is of a young wealthy couple dancing outside with a maid and butler waiting on the side opposite each other, each holding an umbrella.  A storm is brewing in the background as the wind whips the clothing off the four of them.  The couple seems unaffected by the approaching tempest.  Their love, and perhaps wealth, lifts them outside of the influences of nature. 

The appeal of his work to the current public psyche could in some ways be related to the literature that is typifies.  The film noir is based off of literature produced in the United States during the great depression.  Because of the current world financial crisis, people desire to escape their struggle for affluence by focusing on great wealth. As in the Great Depression, everyone is looking for some kind of escape from the realities they see all around them.  These paintings allow such an escape.  Oh, to soar out of the grasp of the realities of life into a fantasy world of wealth and hedonism.  This is terrifically appealing to mankind.

Something that is particularly striking about these works are the titles that accompany them.  Their names bring attention to various details in the paintings.  They are almost a play on words that make the viewing even more interesting as the person looking at the painting is enticed to search for the double meaning of the name in the piece.  This element adds intrigue and mystery to the seductive atmosphere in this artist's works. 

All of these aspects in the paintings by Vettriano serve to keep the public interested in his productions.  His ability to present a wealthy, seductive life full of intrigue and mystery transport the art viewer to another world, away from the grim financial depravity of this current life.  This puts his works at the top of the list for contemporary art collectors.

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