Perils of Painting a British Prime Minister

detail from the gleaners, with Liz Truss sitting under a tree
detail from The Gleaners

I have just finished my painting The Gleaners, complete with a figure bearing a striking resemblance to the The British Prime Minister Liz Truss. The paint has barely dried, and now I’m worried that she won’t be in office by the time I get to show the painting to the public.

The 3rd November. That’s the opening night of Cluster Contemporary, when I get to reveal it to the public. I would put money on her being deposed before then. Oh well.

I had the same problem when I featured Boris Johnson in a recent painting.

boris johnson and macron in my painting The Wrestlers
detail from Men Wrestling, with Boris Johnson and Macron, both in theatrical attire.

Boris Johnson’s dethroning was a long drawn out affair. That won’t be the case with Liz Truss. And also, I was not that worried about Johnson no longer being PM, as he was such a high profile figure, people won’t forget him in a hurry. Unlike Liz Truss.

A gallery owner once warned me that some of my paintings would have a limited shelf life, because of my inclusion of public figures. They were referring  specifically to my painting Alleged Assault on Pax by Mars, with Biden and Trump.

Alleged Assault on Pax by Mars, after Rubens, with Trump, Biden and Dominic Cummings
Alleged Assault on Pax by Mars

Well, they may have a point. But I am producing these works because they are about subjects and themes I feel very strongly about: War and peace; Post Truth;  social inequality. They don’t get much bigger than that. We are living in a tumultuous time, and the rapid changes at the head of the British government just reflect that. So bring them on. Whoever is next, I’ll have my paint brushes ready.