The Guardian leader today is about Jack Vettriano “the self-taught Scottish painter of melancholily erotic encounters laced with a subliminal narratives”. Vettriano was the subject of an over-respectful treatment by Melvyn Bragg on British TV the other day. Pointing out the Mr V is now very rich (£500,000) and that the public buys posters of his work in large numbers, the leader-writer asks:
Why is the most popular artist in Britain still shunned by its publicly funded galleries?
To which the answer is, simply and obviously, that his work is kitsch rubbish and that the curators of galleries have an elite function of educating the public and shouldn’t pander to their prejudices. (On this anti-democratic note, I’m off to New York for a week, where I’m sure that neither the Metropolitan nor MOMA have sunk so low as to be hanging Vettriano.)