BRIAN COWEN has been in some tricky situations recently, but none quite as treacherous as this. The artist responsible for the controversial canvas depicting the Taoiseach with a noose around his neck last night defended his work. Tom Byrne maintained that his painting does not depict suicide and wasn't "all that strong" despite it being removed from display at a gallery in Dublin after a number of objections.
Former Anglo Irish Bank chief executive Sean FitzPatrick is also prominent in the work - as he appears to pull a chair out from beneath Mr Cowen. Mr. Cowen is holding two golf balls in a non-too-subtle nod to recent revelations that the Taoiseach played a round of golf with the bank boss shortly before the controversial bank guarantee was introduced.
"The Personal Guarantee' went on display in the window of Dublin's Apollo Gallery on Dawson Street, last Thursday, but was later removed.
"We had some very strong opinions coming through the door," Clare Shanahan said yesterday.
"People were very angry about how the Taoiseach was portrayed in the picture. The reaction was such we had to remove the canvas from our window and even take it off display."
However, the artist responsible defended it. "I'd say the protests had more to do with the Apollo Gallery's proximity to Leinster House than outrage from members of the public," Mr Byrne argued. "I'm told all the men who came into the Apollo complaining wore suits."
Mr Byrne, from Greystones, Co Wicklow, said the painting did not depict Mr Cowen as about to commit suicide.
He added: "Given that effigies of certain figures involved in our banking scandal have been burnt outside the headquarters of Anglo Irish Bank, I really don't think my painting is all that strong."
'The Personal Guarantee' remains for sale at €950.
tombyrne's painting of Brian Cowen Featured in the independent.
tombyrne's painting of Brian Cowen as a punk rocker was featured in the Irish Independent.
tombyrne's Painting in the Sunday Independent, 16th January 2011
IN THE ROUGH: Brian Cowen and Sean Fitzpatrick in a painting called 'Golf Date' By Tom Byrne at the Apollo Gallery in Dublin
Biffo Send-Up is Fine Art
An artwork Lampooning Brian Cowen and Sean FitzPatrick's infamous golf outing has put an Irish painter in the frame for a cash windfall.
Tom Byrne's picture Golf Date shows the Taoiseach and disgraced ex-Anglo chief holding putters - inside a grim-looking PRISON cell.
And the canvas has ALREADY been sold after going on show at Dublin's Apollo Art Gallery.
Byrne has also daubed another work showing dodgy banker FitzPatrick cooking his books.
Nobody moves, nobody gets hurt...
Watch out for Wicklow Artist Tom Byrne in 2011. His witty work in the window of The Apollo Gallery on Dawson Street regularly stops passers-by.
Once of his most eye-catching artworks this year was a satirical piece featuring former Irish Nationwide boss Michael Fingleton and former Anglo Irish Bank chairman Sean Fitzpatrick outside a bank brandishing machine guns and a bag of "loot".
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
TOMBYRNE A HUGE HIT WITH STAR PORTRAITS
A Greystones Artist who sold a portrait of 'Jedward' to Louis Walsh for under a grand and portrayed Tommy Tiernan as a Hasidic Jew is to launch an exhibition at the Apollo Gallery.
'Pop' by TomByrne will open tomorrow evening with Dutch psychoanalyst Dr. Rik Loose speaking at the opening night.
Byrne made the news in February with his two paintings of Tiernan who had sparked outrage after making allegedly anti-semetitic jokes al a gig.
His portrait of overnight sensations John and Edward Grimes was recently snapped up by their manager Louis Walsh and tombyrne's most successful portrait of a sports star to date has been that of Wayne Rooney, which appeared in the UK periodical, Apollo Magazine.
His upcoming show is made up of numerous portraits of famous artists, designers and musicians, including Lady Gaga, Philip Treacy and the late Alexander McQueen.
Byrne aims to show his fun side with this show. His paintings often deal with political conflict and emo-lional turmoil,
The paintings Featured in 'Pop' aim lo capture the character hidden within some of the reclusive figures thai are so harshly exposed in the public eye.
tombyrne's Painting of Gerry Ryan in the press
Another Fine stew he got us into...
Former Anglo Irish Bank boss Sean FitzPatrick was declared bankrupt earlier this summer.
But The Diary wonders if we were just imagining things when we spotted his likeness in this painting on display in the window of Dublin's Apollo Gallery this week?
The portrait, by Tom Byrne, is a said to be of 'the Great Escoffier',
A sign on the painting read: Referred to as "Emperor of world kitchens" George Auguste Escoffier, born in France in 1846, pioneered the development of modern French cuisine and is still revered by chefs and gourmets worldwide.
The Diary isn't quite sure if he cooked any books, though?
A spirited renaissance at the Temple Bar
JENNIE HAUGHTON'S dedicated work on the Temple Bar Gallery is beginning to pay off. A long period of structural work, has altered the building completely, bringing the public gallery downstairs and extending the "studio working~space upstairs to accommodate more artists."
The introduction of a ground-floor gallery, while more limited wall space than the previous one two floors up, has the advantage of making the exhibitions accessible not only to those "unwilling or unable to climb, but also to the casual passer-by".
"Four Faces" is the current exhibition. It is financed, put together and attended by the artists themselves, four young graduates of the School of Marketing and Design.
As befits students of their alma mater, the design and: lay-out feature of the show is of a high standard and makes maximum, use of the available space. Dominating the whole is Tom Byrne's 'Travellers' (slave to a slave). He uses George Russell's memorable words which described Irish women vis-a-vis Irishmen of his time, vividly to describe these unhappy people thrust a-part 'by society. Seen from an oblique angle, the protagonists era shown, as distorted figures, skewed by the unsympathetic eyes that view them. This unglazed Canvas has strong-colour and sure drawing "Bodies" is a contrasting build-up of cadavers (in a morgue) highly-glazed and clinical looking.
"It is necessary," Byrne says, "that my work be equally meaningful as creative, to show that the life force was both spiritual and physical significance." Paul Rouse, on the other hand, confesses that "on the surface my work confuses me, yet I respect the subconscious as a source of creation."
The viewer, too, may have some problems of interpretation, but the artist handles his materials, his drawing and the construction of his themes with great confidence. He mixes oils and acrylics on the same painting, abstract with figurative, all contained in a patten brilliant colour.
Louis spends €950 on Jedward portrait
This is the portrait of John and edward Grimes which their manager Louis Walsh bought for €950.
The Painting by artist Tom Byrne hung in the Apollo Gallery on Dawson Street, Dublin, and was bought by the Mayo media mogul. Mr. Byrne told the Irish Daily Mirror: "The boys grabbed my attention. I think they are a symbol of 21st century youth. I am a punk fan and they sum up really what punk symbolises - you can't sing, you can't dance but you're going to be massive.
"I was informed yesterday by the gallery it was sold to somebody they think was Louis Walsh." The 46-year-old artist said the two boys were easy to paint. He added: "It can sometimes difficult to do but the boys were easy to do. They have great faces."
Louis, Louis, everywhere!
Could Louis Walsh really be appearing in two places this Christmas?
We're talking Christmas pantos, of course. Despite his mega-millions, X Factor judge Louis is only too happy to help local productions. So The Mary wasn't too surprised to hear the Mayo man will feature on a big screen during Jedward's Cinderella in the Olympia Theatre,
But such is the Mayo man's appeal and generosity, we hear he's also been asked to be the voice in Aladdin, a rival panto in The Gaiety Theatre.
All that and Louis could have the Christmas No 1 with an X Factor act.
No wonder Louis texted The Diary this week to say he was 'taking it easy" ahead of his ITV talent show, which returns to TV screens on August 21.
Meanwhile, Jedward have accused former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown of being a "Z-list celebrity".
It was while they were competing in The XFactor last year that Brown dubbed John and Edward "not very good".
Worse, the Labour Party later issued a mocked-up poster of future PM David Cameron and shadow finance spokesman George Osborne, as the Irish teenagers under the slogan: "You won't be laughing if they win."
Well, a year later, who's laughing as this week Jedward accepted €100,000 to perform in a Christmas panto.
Jedward told The Diary "Whatever happened to Gordon Brown anyway? He's a bit Z-list now. We always thought Gordon was a kind of a Steve Brookstein to Tony Blair's Will Young. "It was a hard act to follow. Fame is like that, I suppose. It can be tough."
William Patrick Partridge and his times (1874-1917)
In order to give support and encouragement to the striking labourers, the ITGWU called for a public meeting in the Village of Crumlin. William Partridge addressed the meeting and condemned the farmers, who, he said had deserted the cause of the labourers, who had borne the brunt of the Land War. The' meeting was preceded by a demonstration led by a contingent of Citizen Army in full uniform carrying rifles with fixed bayonets. Partridge commanded the Citizen Army contingent on that occasion.
At the City Council on 4th October 1915, Partridge raised the issue of the Crumlin strike by way of resolution that was seconded by CUr. Michael Brohoon:
It be an instruction to our Law Agent from this council to report on the legality of the action of an official employed and paid by this council who, while on holidays - drawing his salary - gives his service to another employer to resist the claim of his employees to a living wage; as is alleged in the case of W. Warren, a clerk in the services of the Electricity Supply Committee, who is alleged to have gone on-holidays in order to scab for John Mooney, publican, of Crumlin whose agricultural labourers are striking to obtain the above small wage.
This motion which proved to be the last resolution proposed by William Partridge at the Dublin City Council, was carried. The claim by the farm labourers was for a rate of £1 per week; the Corporation official was paid more than £1 by the Council for working less hours than the labourer. The dispute at the Mooney farm was eventually settled with an agreement to pay the men an increase in their wages.
Artist impression of Crumlin Meeting,
Buyers guide names Tom Byrne as rising star of the internet.
The buyers Guide to Irish Art has named Tom Byrne as a rising star in the new era of the Internet Artist. Author Anna Clarke name checks Byrne as the gold standard for up and coming artists who are achieving prominence on the web in an article on Art and the Internet for the latest edition of the industry guide to the market.
Speaking from London where he was on a research trip to Tate Modern, Byrne said that, "It's great news that my art is reaching the new generation of art collectors via the internet".
Alexander Rozhin Art critic & member of The Russian Academy Of Arts
My interest was partricularly aroused by two works absolutely opposed in manner and imagery: Michael Hegarty's"DinerTable"endTom Byrne's "The Brink". Hegarty's canvas is a remarkable example of the creative assimilation of the artistic heritage of Edward Hopper, expressing a typical nostalgia for the 50's, Everything in the picture serves as a reminder of the past, and the artist who created it is a subtle colonst and a gentle romantic. In contrast with Hegarty, Byrne uses a portrait image to convey the white heat of human passions and emotional" upheaval. Nervous energy-in both the metaphorical and literal senses-erupts to the surface, expressing the implacable cruelty of the time and circumstances in which the human being must exist, which distort the personality and either provoke violence or beget a state of depression. At first glance the artist might appear to be merely imitating the manner of Francis Bacon, but I think not. Byrne has created a profoundly individual paraphrase of Bacon's painting, which is conviflifiig testimony to his outstanding talent as an artist. His work is a powerful expression of the strength to resist and the will to overcome.
One of the dominant tendencies of contemporary European art which has also influenced the work of Irish artists is the reinterpretation in asocial context of the traditions of German expressionism. The fundamental reason for the heightened interest in this tendency and its reanimation in art in the stresses and depression of time, Neoexpressionism in the most active form.
Boyzone's Ronan in cocktail dress snapped up by mystery buyer
A portrait of Boyzone's Ronan Keating in a red cocktail dress has been sold by a Dublin art gallery to a mystery buyer.
Painted by Greystones artist Tom Byrne, the canvas first featured in Portrait of Ronan Keating dressed in a red cocktail dress the Irish Independent by Greystones artist Tom Byrne last Saturday.
However, one buyer was in such a hurry to take the painting off the market last Saturday morning that they contacted the sellers, Dublin's Apollo Gallery, within minutes of opening on Saturday to purchase the canvas for €800, "It's pretty unusual for someone to buy a painting in this manner. They
bought it over the phone and, which surprised me even more, the buyer didn't ask to view the painting before they made the purchase," said artist Mr Byrne,
"All in all, I'd have to say the sale happened in very mysterious circumstances and I'm quite surprised."
However, a figure in the art trade said it was "common" for controversial pictures such as this, involving well-known figures, to be sold in such circumstances.
Now you see him, now you don't - Neil's Apollo mission
Mystery surrounds this rather fine portrait of film maker Neil Jordan that The Diary snapped in the window of Dublin's Apollo Gallery this week.
On display earlier in the Week, just a day or so later the canvas had mysteriously disappeared from view.
Contacting The Apollo, we were told the likeness had "never been for sale". Very strange.
While the gallery declined to give us any more information on the
portrait, an impeccable source claimed the portrait was a commission by the film maker's family.
The three rectangular shapes at the bottom of the work are said to symbolise the creativity of the Jordan family.
The Bray man's grandmother, mother, aunt, and now daughter and nephew are all artists, and this is represented by the three rectangles and the stained glass effect, which was created by artist Tom Byrne.
Banjo-plucking Cowen is a real oil painting
AN UNEXPECTED depiction of Taoiseach Brian Cowen performing Lakes of Pontchartrain at a recent Fianna Fail think-in was displayed on Dublin's Dawson Street yesterday.
The less than flattering caricature depicts a musical and merry Mr Cowen sporting spiked hair and a plucking banjo. The remarkable painting was painted by Irish artist Tom Byrne. "I was inspired to paint this depiction after Cowen's now infamous rendition of the Lakes of Pontchartrain at the Galway think-in," he said.
The artist also said that one line in the song was of particular inspiration to the piece: "I cursed all foreign money, no credit could I gain."
The painting, which forms part of the artists one-man show in the Apollo Gallery, Dawson Street, was on sale for €950.
It is the latest in a series of satirical depictions of Mr Cowen by artists. In March 2009 a pictures depicting the Taoiseach in the nude were hung in The National Gallery.
Dylan: I can take the heat
Celebrity chef Dylan McGrath claims business is booming in his new Spanish-style restaurant despite a scathing review within days of opening.
We'll spare you the details, but the critic wasn't dishing out any Michelin stars to Rustic Stone, on Dublin's George's Street.
"It was the second night and a young commis waiter made a few mistakes. The critic did make a big deal out of it, but people are entitled to have a go or attack me," Dylan (seen below in Tom Byrne's portrait) told The Diary this week.
So it seems the only thing burning after the review are the red-hot stones on the tables on which customers finish frying their dishes.
Artist puts comic Tiernan in frame for Jewish jokes
AN artist has turned the tables on controversial comedian Tommy Tiernan, who sparked outrage after making allegedly anti-semitic jokes during a festival performance.
Greystones artist Tom Byrne said two new paintings in which Tiernan is cast as a Hasidic Jew, are intended as a plea for comedian to empathise with Jewish people worldwide.
"I am a fan of Tommy Tiernan but I think the material he did really crossed a boundary. I know he does regret what was said but I think, to truly move on, Tommy will have to put himself into the shoes of a Jewish person in the way I have portrayed him," said Mr Byrne.
The 46-year-old painter said it was Tiernan's role as a comedian which had inspired him to create two paintings rather than one.
"One painting is comedy, the other tragedy. What I was trying to capture was Tommy Tiernan's predicament as a stand-up."
It was while taking part in a questions and answers session at the Electric Picnic festival last September that Tiernan made a number of remarks about Jews which were later criticised by the Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin.
The Israeli Ambassador to Ireland Dr Zion Evrony added to the protests by demanding the 40-year-old stand-up apologise for comments he branded as "outrageous, hurtful and ignorant".
Controversy over the remarks forced him to cancel a series of US dates last year.
Tom Byrne's two portraits of Tommy Tiernan are on show in The Apollo Gallery in Dublin.
Tommy Tiernan did not return calls from the Irish Independent last night.
WE'RE A BAND OF THE I PEOPLE, SAYS DANNY
The plight of Irish workers in a recession is not the happiest of themes for your eagerly awaited second album.
So there were some raised eyebrows at label Sony Music when band The Script played them the early demos of their new album.
"It wasn't what they were expecting or could understand. Being a top executive in Sony is about as far away as you can get from being on the dole in Dublin. "But the songs we'd written were good and Sony had enough faith in us to let us release them," singer Danny O'Donoghue told The Diary.
With album Science & Faith now No 1 in the UK and Ireland, The Script are clearly shifting some serious units.
But while other Irish acts get hot under the collar about illegal downloading - U2 manager Paul McGuinness recently called for illegal downloaders to be blacklisted - singer Danny credits file sharers with helping to make their name.
"I would never condone anything illegal but downloaders did play a big part in breaking us as a band. They were the first people to hear our music and spread the word about The Script to other people around the world," O'Donoghue said.
Big. auction of books and art
John de Vere White will conduct an auction in aid of the
Sweetman Fund at the Origin Gaffery in Harcourt Street, Dublin,
on Sunday, March 28, 2010, The auction of paintings, prints,
photographs, posters and books begins at 3pm, Included in the
sale are paintings and prints by Anne Madden, Barrfe Cooke,
Brighid McLaughlin, Hector, Jim Rtzpatrick, John Beban, Tom
Byrne, Tom Mathews and Robert Ballagh. There are signed books by John Minihan,
Donleavy* Erin Brokovich, Noam Chomsky, Tim Robinson and many others.
The sate is in aid of a" very worthy cause.
Starry Night at Roganstown
tombyrne who is highly regarded as being one of the hottest new artists in ireland was the toast of success in McLaughlan's restaurant as the night went on when he unveiled a new collection of paintings which were specifically commisioned by Roganstown Golf and Country Club
Setting The Scene - making dublin a work of art
Artist Tom Byrne from Greystones, Co. Wicklow working on his painting of the Dublin Quays from O'Connell bridge yesterday.
Seanie speaks: "Cell, cell, cell!"
Former Anglo Irish Bank — bosses Sean FitzPatrick and David Drumm in jail playing Monopoly?
It could only be the work of painter Tom Byrne whose witty canvas commentaries on
Irish public life these past 12 months have become highly collectible pieces.
"I used to do landscapes but got so enraged with what's going on, painting these pictures was a way of venting my
frustration. Sean FitzPatrick was only in custody for 24 hours but I imagine this is how he would have spent it, building up his empire and then going bust again, on a Monopoly board.
"I imagine he would have wished David Drumm in there with him," a laughing Tom told The Diary.
Monopoly Fitzer is on display at the Apollo Gallery on Dawson Street in Dublin.
Mystery buyer quick on the draw to snap up Ronan in dress
A SATIRICAL portrait of pop singer Ronan Keating dressed in a red cocktail dress has been sold by a Dublin art gallery in "mysterious circumstances".
Painted by Greystones artist Tom Byrne, the canvas first featured in the Irish Independent last Saturday.
However, one mystery buyer was in such a hurry last Saturday morning that they contacted the sellers, Apollo Gallery, within minutes of opening to buy the canvas for €euro;800.
"It's pretty unusual for someone to buy a painting in this manner.They bought it over the phone and, which surprised me even more, the buyer didn't ask to view the painting before they made the purchase," said Byrne.
"All in all, I'd have to say the sale happened in very mysterious circumstances and I'm quite surprised."
A figure in the art trade said it was "common" for controversial pictures such as this to be sold in such circumstances.
"The quick sale of a picture like this takes it off the market, which means it's unlikely to be featured in the media again. Very often, that's what's intended," said the source.
Both the gallery on Dawson Street and Byrne have refused to disclose the identity of the purchaser.
But Byrne (47), whose work features in the collections of Bono of U2 and comedian Dara O'Briain, explained: "I painted Ronan Keating in a
dress because I think he needs to get in contact with his feminine side to understand how seriously women take relationships. I do hope himself and his
wife Yvonne get back together."
Ronan and Yvonne announced the end of their marriage last month, but are said to be trying to repair their relationship.
Irish Painters in the frame for fame thanks to raunchy TV drama
Apollo Owner Hugh Charlton, seated, with artist Tom Byrne
Dublin artist's homage to the late King of Pop
PICTURED right is Michael Jackson, as portrayed by Dublin painter Tom Byrne, 46, who was distraught when he heard of the star's death. "I heard about it on Friday morning and set to work immediately on the painting. His death affected the whole world. Living life is not a science, it is an art, and I believe that art is the true raison d'etre," said Byrne yesterday. "I have always felt a strong affinity with musicians. When Paula Yates died, I felt that my sister had passed away." The Jackson painting is in the Apollo Gallery, Dawson Street, Dublin, for around €950.
IRISH ART FOR THE KING OF POP: Tom Byrne painted the portrait of Michael Jackson, right, after hearing of the star's death. Music promoter Oliver Barry, above, with Jackson in Cork in 1988. Photo right; Tony Gavin