"Hindsight is always twenty-twenty. " Billy Wilder
"Hindsight is an exact science. " Guy Bellamy

04 April 2013

A Portrait

Image © PeteM2020
As I saw this scene unfold, my mind went to a painting by Jeffrey Smart. He was commissioned to paint a portrait of Clive James, however, Smart insisted that he didn’t do portraits. The commission was eventually accepted and a marvellous portrait was produced. Like my photograph, a tiny image of Clive James is set in a large urban scene – yet with Smart’s talent, the likeness is unmistakably true. What a wonderful skill.

Follow this link to view the painting:

The following is an extract from an ABC 7:30 Report: 27/06/2006
Clive James' artful journey
Reporter: Scott Bevan

CLIVE JAMES: This is Jeffrey Smart's justly famous portrait of Clive James. And if you look very, very, carefully. Portrait of Clive James? Surely, it's a portrait of a wall. Look very, very carefully and there I am.

SCOTT BEVAN: To the artist, size, particularly of a yellow wall isn't everything.

JEFFERY SMART, ARTIST: Despite all that, 90% of the area, the one more important thing is that little thing, that is bigger than a postage stamp, not as big as a postage stamp, as big of my little finger, of Clive. And that is much more important, isn't it? Not because it is Clive, but because it's a human face. 

SCOTT BEVAN: Still the subject was expecting something bigger when he sat for his friend.

CLIVE JAMES: He had problems with my ears apparently. One is higher on my head than the other. Of course my eyes are vanishingly small. He told me about this while painting me. It wasn't very flattering. The result was terrific and it hangs on my wall in Cambridge and I thought he would go away and do a big portrait with my head that big. When I got to Sydney this was already hanging here and I realised that I'd shrunk. I had become the incredible shrinking man. But it is...that's me alright and I'm very, very proud to be in it.

No comments:

Post a Comment