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Saif al-Qaddafi’s Uproariously Bad Paintings

Via Foreign Policy:
Saif al-Qaddafi is not just a dictator’s son turned international party boy turned charismatic reformer turned brutal paranoid headcase, he’s also a painter. Though judging by these images from Getty, not a particularly good one. Here’s an excerpt from the Guardian’s review of his 2002 exhibition at London’s Kensington Gardens, titled, The Desert is Not Silent: “It would be a genuine joy to be able to say that Saif is a good artist, or even an artist. Cultural links with Libya are obviously desirable, and the Gadafy International Foundation for Charitable Associations, of which he is chair, has certainly poured money and rare museum pieces into this show… [But] Colonel Gadafy’s son may be an able cultural ambassador but as a painter he is not even a gifted amateur; his sentimentality is only exceeded by his technical incapacity… His other claim to fame, his father, appears floating in the sky, in sunglasses, in a painting entitled The Challenge. Christians, dressed in penitents’ robes with pointy hats, carry crosses on an empty, desolate beach. Beyond burns the sun. Over them looms the spectral figure of an eagle – and overlooking everything, Libya’s leader, daddy, Colonel Gadafy.”

Oscar Wilde said “Every portrait that is painted with feeling is a portrait of the artist, not of the sitter.” Guess he was right. – MS - Greg Pollowitz


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