"The people's painter"
In November 1999, Jack Vettriano’s paintings were shown for the first time in New York City, when 21 works were displayed at The International 20th Century Arts Fair at The Armory. More than 40 collectors from the UK flew out for the event and 20 paintings were sold on the opening night.
In 1996 Sir Terence Conran commissioned Vettriano to create a series of paintings for his new Bluebird Gastrodome in London. The seven paintings, inspired by the life of Sir Malcolm Campbell, hung there for ten years. Heartbreak Publishing, Vettriano's own publishing company, produced a boxed set featuring signed, limited-edition prints of all seven paintings to mark the 75th anniversary of Sir Malcolm Campbell's final World Land Speed Record. The Bluebird paintings were auctioned by Sotheby's at the Gleneagles Hotel in Perthshire on 30 August 2007 and made more than £1m in all: the most expensive was Bluebird at Bonneville, bought for £468,000.
According to The Guardian, Vettriano earns £500,000 a year in print royalties. “He has created his own little industry,” Ben Luke of Vanity Fair observes "Not only has he founded a publishing company, which, taking over from the Art Group, generates copyrighted, Vettriano-brand catalogues, greeting cards and prints, he has also helped establish a London gallery, named Heartbreak — a condition with which he is intimately familiar."
“I like to look at a painting and see labour,” notes Vettriano, who usually works from photographs he himself has staged and shot. His virtuoso effects of moisture and light on flesh, sand, hair, and metal, which often recall the look of vintage Hollywood movie posters or pulp-fiction covers, are accomplished by dragging a small stiff brush through semi-dried, still-tacky pigments—a technique he modestly likens to blending makeup. For Vettriano the idea that his easel paintings, which cost between £25,000 and £150,000, are more accurately classified as illustrations is meaningless. Vettriano disagrees, “I don’t make a distinction between painting and illustration, and we shouldn’t get hung up on arguing the difference.” He is more opinionated about the conceptual approaches of such acquisitions-committee darlings, as Damien Hirst and Jeff Koons, both of whose hands-off methods he considers "morally corrupt".
From 1994 Jack Vettriano was represented by Portland Gallery in London, but the relationship ended in June 2007. In 2008, Vettriano undertook a variety of private projects, including the launch of a new book, Studio Life, and commissions to paint portraits of Sir Jackie Stewart and Zara Phillips, the latter of which was part of a charity fund-raising project for Sport Relief, the experience of which was captured in a documentary broadcast on BBC1 in March 2008.
In 2009, Vettriano was commissioned by the Yacht Club of Monaco to create a series of paintings to mark the centenary of their world famous yacht, Tuiga. The subsequent exhibition, ‘Homage a Tuiga‘, premiered in Monaco as part of Classic Yacht Week in September 2009, before touring to the UK in 2010. An exhibition of over forty new paintings, ‘Days of Wine & Roses‘, was officially opened at the Kirkcaldy Museum & Art Gallery in Fife, by First Minister, the Rt Hon Alex Salmond SNP. The exhibition then toured to London, opening at Heartbreak in September 2010.
Vettriano’s self-portrait ‘The Weight‘ went on long-term display at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery in Edinburgh, when it re-opened after a major three-year refurbishment programme in 2011.
In September 2013, a major exhibition, 'Jack Vettriano: A Retrospective', opened at Glasgow's Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum. It featured over 100 works and ran until 23 February 2014.
Vettriano established his own publishing company (Jack Vettriano Publishing Limited) in April 2015.
4th September 2020 – 15th November 2020
Kirkcaldy Galleries to host an exhibition of Jack Vettriano’s early paintings
2014 A Celebration, Heartbreak Gallery, London
2013 A Retrospective, Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Glasgow (101 famous paintings featured)
2011 The Ballroom Spy, Royal West of England Academy, Bristol
2010 Days of Wine & Roses, Kirkcaldy Museum & Art Gallery
2009 Homage à Tuiga, the Yacht Club of Monaco
2008 Tension, Timing, Triumph, Private Reception, Hotel de Paris, Monaco
2006 Love, Devotion & Surrender, Portland Gallery, London
2004 Affairs of the Heart, Portland Gallery, London
2002 Paintings 1994-2002, Art London, represented by Portland Gallery London
2001 The International Art & Design Fair, New York
2000 Lovers and Other Strangers, Portland Gallery, London
1999 The International 20th Century Arts Fair, New York
1998 Between Darkness and Dawn, Portland Gallery, London & Kirkcaldy Museum & Art Gallery, Kirkcaldy
1997 Studies & Small Paintings, Edinburgh Festival, Dundas Street Gallery
1996 Half Way to Paradise, Museum Annex, Hong Kong
1996 The Bluebird Collection (7 paintings inspired by the life and achievements of Sir Malcolm Campbell)
1996 The Passion and the Pain, Portland Gallery, London, (51 new Vettriano paintings were exhibited)
1995 A Date with Fate, 37 Heriot Row, Edinburgh during the Edinburgh International Festival
1994 Chimes at Midnight, Portland Gallery, London (featured The Billy Boys, one his best known works)
1993 Summers Remembered, Corrymella Scott Gallery
1993 Fallen Angels, Catto Gallery, London (Vettriano’s second exhibition in London)
1992 God's Children, London (Vettriano’s first exhibition in London and featured The Singing Butler)
1992 Tales of Love and Other Stories, The Edinburgh Gallery
1991 The Art of Rugby Exhibition, Solstice Gallery, Edinburgh
1991 A Contrast of Styles, Edinburgh Festival, Solstice Gallery, Edinburgh