It was round about midnight on a Saturday night, I was laying in bed doing some research for an art paper when I came across it.
His name rolled off my tongue. There was something about his name that pulled me in, it was justified the second I saw his paintings. With each click through his exhibitions, I moved into a different era, I became immersed in a story, a mystery – the mystery of figuring out what was going on in each image. I felt like I should be sipping a scotch while delving deeper.
It was like I had been given a detective badge, a trench coat, and a cigarette. I was no longer in 2017, I was somewhere in a mixed era that spanned from the 1930’s through to the 1950’s. Everyone here everyone had secrets, and it was my job to uncover them. Vettriano’s paintings giving just enough story, but leaving enough mystery to not only pique your curiosity, but to leave you wanting so much more.
His colour pallet of deep burgundies, burnt oranges , reds, blacks, and navy blues setting the tone and creating the mood. The femme fatale women, and Donald Draper men evoking a passion that you wish you could taste, a longing between them that sent electricity up your spine.
Fallen Angels, Summers Remembered, A Date With Fate, The Passion And The Pain – And my personal favourites: Lovers And Other Strangers, Love, Devotion & Surrender, and Affairs Of The Heart.
Each exhibition feeling like the prelude to an Eyes Wide Shut party or a Film Noir movie. Lingerie, thigh highs, suspenders, suits, and ties accompanied by all things dark and dangerous: prostitution, sex, and the most dangerous thing of all – love. I can’t tell whether Vettriano’s works are testing or teasing me, but I want more. More subtle undertones of surrender and dominance, more femininity and masculinity, more love and lust.
Is this tasteful porn? Or something that has an oppositional objective? Does it arouse imagination or the anatomy? What do we consider art, and what do we consider smut?