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Art lovers fail to stump up for Farage

31 August 2018

Introducing Rakewell, Apollo’s wandering eye on the art world. Look out for regular posts taking a rakish perspective on art and museum stories.

Nigel Farage has become something of a leitmotif in British contemporary art of late. Grayson Perry worked the pint-swigging politician’s likeness on to a pot created in the aftermath of the EU referendum in 2016. More recently, the Cardiff-based artist Mark James has produced a limited edition commemorative plate adorned with an image of Farage emerging from the wreckage of the light aircraft that brought him crashing to earth during the General Election campaign of 2010.

But is Farage’s popularity on the wane? A portrait of the once and possibly future UKIP leader on display at the Royal Academy’s Summer Exhibition has failed to find a buyer. David Griffiths’ painting, which depicts a Farage in his trademark Crombie jacket and purple-striped tie, was priced at a competitive £25,000.

Art-loving Brexiteers can take solace from the fact that another political portrait in the show, starring Jacob Rees-Mogg, was snapped up for a cool £450. Asked whether or not he was disappointed by the lack of interest, Griffiths was sanguine. ‘These things ebb and flow,’ he told the Sun. ‘Prices of paintings, like everything else, aren’t set in stone. It would certainly be gratifying if Nigel’s portrait were to find a good home.’ Oh well. At least someone’s happy about it…

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