Jack Vettriano

Birdy by Jack Vettriano
Model in Westwood by Jack Vettriano
The Blue Gown by Jack Vettriano
Lunchtime Lovers by Jack Vettriano
At Last, My Lovely by Jack Vettriano
Betrayal- First Kiss by Jack Vettriano
Contemplation of Betrayal by Jack Vettriano
Contemplation of Betrayal by Jack Vettriano
The Devoted Dressmaker by Jack Vettriano
Another Married Man by Jack Vettriano
The Big Tease by Jack Vettriano
One Moment In Time by Jack Vettriano
Afternoon Reverie by Jack Vettriano
Just The Way It Is by Jack Vettriano
Jack Vettriano’s works hark back to better times, more decadent times any road, and glamorous times to boot. Pictorially episodic romantic, seductive and risqué interludes are illustrated to within an inch of their naturals, none of which would fall into the ‘genteel’ category, yet conversely all conveying much and more about an exciting, energized age and time whereby all-encompassing sense of event and occasion crept into the more intimate side of life. Inevitably with the advent of glamour and style, sex is ushered into the graphic equation too, as it’s only natural, and Vettriano captures the very compositional junctures at which all these raging emotions collide in his signature pieces. Of course, controversy is never far from the lips of a select few, the sort who typically live to be offended and are not happy, perversely, unless they’re afforded the opportunity. Needless to say Vettriano has delivered them their critical daily bread on a routine platter and is therefore equally cursed as loved.
The snobbery of the industry which bears its ugly head from time to time claim that Vettriano’s work amounts to little more than ‘badly conceived soft porn’ (according to The Daily Telegraph), as well as ‘the Jeffrey Archer of the art world’ by the same publication. Vettriano fares little better in the eyes of Vanity Fair who suggest that he’s a ‘painter of dim erotica’. Sticking with the publishing world, The Guardian’s art critic, Jonathan Jones goes as far as to imply that Vettriano’s paintings are usually ‘brainless’, and believes that Vettriano might not even be considered as ‘an artist’. Yet to our mind the most damning of all critiques comes courtesy of the head of drawing and painting at Glasgow School of Art, Sandy Moffat who declares; ‘He can’t paint, he just colours in’. the last word on the anti-Vettriano matter again belongs to The Guardian’s Jones who simply stated in 2013 that; ‘Vettriano fixes on fetishistic, stylish objects and paints them with a slick, empty panache’, before adding; ‘The world of Jack Vettriano is a crass male fantasy that might have come straight out of Money by Martin Amis’. Springing to his defence – amid a chorus of approving voices we hasten to add – is respected sculptor David Mach, who counters; "If he was a fashion designer Jack would be right up there. It’s all just art world snobbery. Anyway, who cares, he probably makes more money than Damien Hirst anyway”.
Anyway, it’s not like Vettriano isn’t charitable with his time, money and ethics – as a more balanced swipe at his critics we’d like to venture – and as testified in the following sentences. In 2001 Vettriano donated his ‘Beautiful Dreamer’ painting to a charity auction in aid of Help the Hospices and in 2004 he set up a scholarship for the University of St Andrews, while he also made a financial contribution towards refurbishing the Students Association's Old Union Coffee Bar. Vettriano has been since made a Doctor of Letters by the university in acknowledgement of his contributions over the years. Other donated works of Vettriano’s have benefitted charitable organisations such as the Terrence Higgins Trust and the less well known, Oriel Plas Glyn-y-Weddw Gallery in Llanbedrog, North Wales. Elsewhere Vettriano donated a portrait of Zara Phillips MBE, entitled ‘Olympia’, to Sport Relief in 2008, which later went on to fetch £36,000 when subsequently auctioned at Bonhams, whilst in 2010 Vettriano created a postcard – alongside names such as Tracey Emin and Florence Welch – as part of a British Airways campaign, again for Sport Relief. In addition to this Vettriano helped to raise money for the conservation movement, ‘Elephant Family’ by participating in an auction of donated elephant sculptures and models. Vettriano's elephant, ‘The Singing Butler Rides Again’, was the highest bid-for lot, selling for £155,000.

Born in Fife, Scotland in 1951, the (now) critically acclaimed and widely-celebrated Jack Vettriano became an apprentice mining engineer on leaving school at 16. Before this though he grew up (in what Vettriano describes as poverty) in the industrial seaside town of Methil, with his parents and older brother; all sharing a diminutive and Spartan miner’s cottage where he’d share a bed with his elder sibling as well as wear his second hand clothes. From the age of about 10, Vettriano recalls how his father would send him out delivering papers and milk, cleaning windows, picking potatoes, basically whatever it took to earn the family some extra money, from which his father would take half for the family coffers. Art-wise and Vettriano didn’t give the subject a second thought in any given capacity until he turned 21 years of age; and only then because he was in receipt of a set of watercolours from his girlfriend searching for a present that little bit out of the ordinary. This served as the catalyst for Vettraino’s creative talents to shine through and later be realised to a broader audience, yet from that point on, Vettriano simply dedicated much of his spare time to teaching himself to paint. After his apprenticeship, Vettriano held down a string of other jobs, including that of a summer role as a bingo caller at the Beachcomber Amusements on Levan promenade in the late 1960s.
Fast forward a few years though and Vettriano began to take his art very seriously and in the end found himself in the fortunate position of being able to paint full-time for a living; and quickly generated a lot of interest on the contemporary figurative art and landscape circuit in which he’s made his name and consequently forged an enviable reputation. Things rollercoastered for Vettriano in a real sense in 1989 after he submitted the two paintings to the Royal Scottish Academy’s annual exhibition. With regard to this brace of illustrative offerings both were accepting and included in the exhibition and both went on to sell on the very first day. 12 months later and Vettriano’s new work was met with the same reaction, this time resulting in his shifting three pieces, this time the venue being the prestigious Summer Exhibition at London’s Royal Academy. It was at this juncture that Vettriano’s new life and career as an artist took hold and that he announced his arrival on the contemporary figurative art scene once and for all.
Two decades on and interest (good, bad and indifferent as highlighted at the top) in Vettriano’s hallmark compositions has seen consistent growth, cumulating in sell-out one-man shows at high profile galleries and venues in Edinburgh, London, Hong Kong and New York. From 1994 to 2007, Vettriano was represented by London’s Portland Gallery, but the relationship soured as of 2007 and in 2008, Vettriano undertook a variety of private projects, including the launch of a new book, entitled ‘Studio Life’, and overseeing commissions to paint portraits of Sir Jackie Stewart and Zara Phillips, the latter of which was part of a charity fund-raising project for Sport Relief as aforementioned. 2004 stood as an excellent year in Vettriano’s career too, as it was during this 12 months that he was honoured by HRH The Queen and awarded an OBE for Services to the Visual Arts, alongside of finding himself the sole subject of a South Bank Show documentary, entitled ‘Jack Vettriano: The People’s Painter‘.
Vettriano divides his time between his homes in Fife, London and Nice and is today commercially represented by Heartbreak Gallery in London. What’s more a major retrospective exhibition to mark 20 Years of Vettriano’s career opened at Glasgow’s Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum in September 2013, running to February 2014.

View All Art Works By Jack Vettriano