Vettriano's popular success in art
Painter Jack Vettriano, bête noir of the Scottish arts establishment yet feverishly pursued by collectors from both sides of the Atlantic, has been exercising intelligent philanthropy in Scotland, supporting student ventures, and yet keeping a relatively low profile in his homeland. It is left to Terence Conran, among other fans, to sing his praises (see capsules earlier in 2002). Vettriano has received strong encouragement from the Scotsman newspaper, in defiance of one of their art critics, who isn't taking calls. Perhaps the next stage will be a major commission to be placed in the restaurant of the new Parliament House, which Enric Miralles had designed to avoid the undue intrusion of art works. But this is different, and a major Vettriano of contemporary political life, day and night, might be highly appropriate and popular with the voters. (Election coming up next May.) With such ugly Leonardo's as are currently on show in the Queen's Gallery at Holyrood Palace, the local appetite for figurative extremes is well and truly whetted, to be sated further over Christmas.