Belfast Telegraph

Friday 27 May 2016

Restoring old Mick would be work of art

By Nuala McKeever

Published 28/08/2012

Everyone’s feeling sorry for the Spanish woman who tried to ‘restore’ an ancient fresco of Jesus Christ but ended up creating what an art correspondent described, rather uncharitably I thought, as something that “now resembles a crayon sketch of a very hairy monkey in an ill-fitting tunic”.

But perhaps the lady’s work has been ridiculed too quickly. Fair enough, what she did to the delicate frescoe hasn’t pleased anyone, but her ability to take something very old (19th century) and render it simplistic and childlike, is a skill that some people in the public eye might well wish to avail of.

I’m thinking of all those ageing rock and pop stars whose youthful attitudes are slightly at odds with their sagging necks and lined cheeks. I imagine Sir Paul or Sir Elton or Sir Mick might be happy to meet the Senora with the broad brush.

After all, Jesus in the fresco was unrecognisable after she got at him. Mightn’t the aged holy trinity of Brit music welcome her approach to face painting? The comedian Joan Rivers has spent a fortune on plastic surgery to achieve the sort of effect that the Spanish woman managed with a few euro worth of oils.

Just thinking, maybe Picasso’s paintings of women with their faces all profile were actually realistic pictures which his compatriot ‘fixed’.

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