"... as the Duchess of Cambridge’s first official portrait was unveiled to the public yesterday, art critics were, unusually, largely united in their condemnation.
‘Ghastly ... rotten ... an out and out disaster,’ was the view of the editor of the British Art Journal, Robin Simon.‘It’s only saving grace is that it’s not by Rolf Harris,’ was the best that David Lee, now editor of The Jackdaw and a former editor of Art Review, could manage.From Daily Mail
|© Paul Emsley (2013)|
Few have shown some disappointment, because my portrait "doesn't look like a photograph" and that she is not "glamorous" enough, not "smiling" as she uses to, etc. (Then why a painting? What about Kate Moss by Lucian Freud?)
In my paintings I always focus on the personality of the subject and try to avoid the distraction of pomp and 'perfection' attached to an officially commissioned portrait.
My portrait's title is 'Expectations' as there are so many, and at different levels, from those of a future mother and beyond.
I therefore find painting her "branded smile" to be inappropriate, from my perspective.
Hence the title, because many "expect" so much from a portrait!
I dared painting her as a real person.
If it is a crime, I apologize.
Kate Middleton and Prince William left St Mary's Hospital on July 23 with the royal baby boy in tow. Watching live, I was amazed by how much Kate Middleton looks like the portrait I did in mid-May. I called it "Expectations" adding a sunny background since I painted with that day in mind. Yes the day the baby was born was sunny and once she appeared outside of the hospital with him, she looked so much like my painting, especially her hair (for which some harshly criticized me). I was right, my critics were wrong. PS: I am not a psychic.