In 1989, or was it 1990, I stood in the Scottish Academy's "Open" show in Edinborough and marvelled at the work of an unknown Scottish miner's work named Jack Vettriano - Dammit I wish I'd had the 300 pounds to afford that wonderful painting. This is a book that shows a romantic at heart with the courage to paint what he feels regardless of modern day art critics who have failed to realize that their written word no longer carries any weight in the world of art. Vettriano is a romantic Hopper, but better - he stylizes, preaches, decorates, creates and delivers wondrous works that remind us why we love painting and painters who ignore critics and fashion and trends and paint what they want to paint. This is a success story from the very dark depths of the public's ability to make superstars in art that give art critic stomach acid for centuries to come - when their names are forgotten, Vettriano's dismissed artwork will still be colelcted, sought-after and admired. Keep them cookin' jack!
While I am quite a fan of Vettriano's work, most of the painting I've seen displayed on the Portland Gallery's website were of the type as "The Singing Butler." The paintings in "Lovers and Other Strangers" are not all so innocent. While they are all wonderful compostions I wasn't expecting the highly sexual nature of the pieces. (Perhaps I should have from the title.) There are several of his in this book of the type I enjoy such as "After Midnight" and "Winter Light and Lavender" I am not such a fan of Quinn's choices. While it gives a broad view of Vettriano's work you might not enjoy it if your favorite pieces are "Singing Butler" and "Mad Dogs." I do like the composition of all the pieces as well as the use of color I was not always taken with the choice of models. If you, like myself, enjoy Vettriano's work that are character studies of average people you might not care for the sexually charged nature of most of the pieces in this book.