Paintings of Nigella Lawson being throttled: Art for sale on Charles Saatchi’s website
Artistic impressions portraying the now infamous moment Charles Saatchi was photographed outside Scott’s fish restaurant with his hand around former wife Nigella Lawson’s throat have appeared for sale on the art mogul’s website.
Seven images of the couple, who divorced last year following the incident, are currently for offer for prices ranging from £150 into thousands on SaatchiArt.com – an American website with close ties to his London gallery.
According to Saatchi himself, the works were but a few choice pieces submitted by more than 40,000 active artists who use the site to sell their produce. Anyone can upload their work to receive 70 per cent of the asking price, while the site itself receives 30 per cent commission.
“Would it have been a better story if I had censored artists whose work might be personally disobliging?” he told the Mail on Sunday, rubbishing the idea put across by its reporter that ‘throttle art’ could become a new genre.
In addition to the Van Gogh-meets-Spitting-Image style painting by Cambridge-based artist Darren Udaiyan (pictured above – and yours for £5,870), 52-year-old Pete Jones submitted ‘Last Course’ – a picture of Lawson throttling herself, painted on a breadboard, which is up for auction for a cool £17,600.
Meanwhile, Jane Kelly’s simply titled ‘Art Collector Throttling a Cook’ is a comparative snip at £1,170.
“It’s not really controversial,” Udaiyan said of his piece. “Saatchi is strangling Nigella but it’s also about him squeezing the art market.
“It works on many levels. It’s a comment on the art market and how people control it.”
Naturally, sales of the artworks have drawn some criticism. Women’s Aid branded their inclusion on the website as “extremely insensitive” to victims of domestic violence.
Chief curator of SaatchiArt.com, Rebecca Wilson, defended the online gallery.
“Saatchi Art does not believe in censorship unless the material is pornographic or incites racial hatred,” she said.
Saatchi accepted a police caution over the incident in June last year that led to the couple’s bitter public divorce battle.
He hit the headlines for a second incident outside Scott’s restaurant earlier this month, when his current girlfriend Trinny Woodall was pictured in tears at the same table his fight with Nigella had occurred a year previously.
Woodall later dismissed the incident as a “storm in a B-cup” adding that she was “very happy” in response to one fan’s question on Instagram.
Belfast Telegraph Digital