Musicians and actors as serious painters? The jury is out for me

Musicians and actors as serious painters? The jury is out for me
Timothy Spall and Luke Goss are two of the latest names to get exhibitions, writes Janet Street-Porter

I

f a musician or actor makes art, can it be taken seriously by critics? And what’s it really worth?

Tony Bennett, 94, is a great singer, but (in my opinion) he’s an average artist –however, that hasn’t deterred buyers over the years. Recently, Ed Sheeran auctioned two of his Jackson-Pollock-style splatter paintings for charities in Norfolk, and they fetched an astonishing £40,000 and £51,000 apiece. Without Ed’s signature, I doubt these pedestrian works would have made a tenth of that sum, but Iet’s award him full marks for using his fame to help others.

Timothy Spall has been cast as two of Britain’s most loved artists, JMW Turner and LS Lowry, winning praise for his sympathetic portrayals. Spall has said he loved art as a teenager, but left school to study acting, and didn’t start painting again until he took lessons to prepare for Mike Leigh’s Mr Turner. Now, the Pontone Gallery in London will be showing 20 of Spall’s works next month – atmospheric landscapes with threatening skies.

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