Painter’s political pastiches ease turmoil of virus lockdown

Lampooning world leaders in oils provides some light relief for talented artist

Painter’s political pastiches ease turmoil of virus lockdown David Fallow

A Highland artist has found solace during the Coronavirus lockdown by lampooning world leaders.

Unable to use his regular space at the Wasps Creative Academy in Inverness due to the crisis, David Fallow reverted to using a garden shed.

He switched his focus from commissions for painting pet lovers’ pooches to caricature politicians – and it has proved therapeutic.

Mr Fallow said: “The problem is you have to have people to paint and if you can’t go and talk to people, which is really what started me off painting dogs in the first place, you move on to people.

“And these are the faces you see all the time on the television and everything else.”

He admitted that US President Donald Trump’s hairstyle proved a challenge.

“If you could scrape away the paint you would find there’s about five or six goes at it,” he said. “Sometimes it looked too little and sometimes it looked as if a cat had fallen asleep on his head.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson appears twice in the growing collection, as George IV and as a 19th-century Spanish king.

“When you see the original Goya, there’s an expression that Boris Johnson takes quite a lot, and you can see how I’ve kept going pretty much with the same expression. That’s exactly what’s in Goya’s painting. It’s in the Prado in Madrid,” the artist said.

Mr Fallow’s depiction of Russian President Vladimir Putin as a 17th-century tsar is in the style of portrait painter Sir Godfrey Kneller.

He also pays homage to China’s communist party chief Xi Jinping and Japanese leader Shinzo Abe.

The pictures take him between a day-and-a-half to three weeks to complete.

When normality resumes, he hopes to exhibit his collection as a charity fundraiser.

Mr Fallow never intended to sell the paintings but said he could have his arm twisted for charitable purposes.

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