This portrait of the trade Unionist Arthur Scargill is hung in the gallery next to 'the Conservative Party Confrence' by Paul Branson (originally titled 'Faulklands War Cabinet'). The contrast between the paintings is vast. The curation exaggerating the colours; vast flat greys and blues next to a burning red, as well as the difference in composition, size and scale of the works. Tongue in cheek curation always intrigues me. this curation seems simple, but the more i researched it, the more it became quite difficult to read. thatcher cut funding to the arts councill, aswell as many galleries during her reign. However, Scargill wasn't exactly loved or supported by the elitist art world of the 80's, of which the NPG was a part. Thatcher is the sitter in 39 portraits in the gallery, while Scargill sits in 5. the portrait of scargill makes him small in comparison to thatcher, 'an angry old man', But the Scargil painting has genuine feeling behind it, the artist William Bowyer worked asa miner in yorkshire for part of his young adullt life so was sympathetic to their cause throughout his career as a painter. the npgs depiction of scargill and thatcher shows how eloquent art can be, how simple paintings can hold a lot of weight politically and conceptually.
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