They were each special in their own way and they were the three paintings I had never sold – never wanted to sell.
Marty Feldman’s Mother was a small picture I had done in the early 80’s that seemed to contain the blueprint of what I was trying to achieve with oil and pallet knife on board.
Portrait of Tony Fomison was one of the last portraits done of one of New Zealand’s greatest painters just months before he died. I spent an afternoon with him on his front porch and he let me photograph him and paint that portrait from the shots.
In 2004 I had just exhibited them at Pataka and had them back. Janey had them on the walls of her house for some time and everyone loved them.
Through going to exhibition openings I met Aaron Laurence – a young hotshot art dealer. He had started a gallery in a basement in Lampton Quay and was interested in my work. He seemed to have some good artists and some success with his gift of the gab.
He wanted me to show some of my work in a group exhibition of his best artists that he was putting together. I wasn’t painting at the time (I was developing my pixel art) so I contributed two of my Strange Angel carvings and the three paintings – all NFS.
The opening was great. There was a keg of pilsner supplied by the landlord who was a friend of mine and a lot of work sold.
The next week I get an email from the landlord telling me that Aaron’s done a bunk with the sales proceeds and to come and collect my work.
When I got there only the Strange Angels remained – the paintings were gone.
I’m pretty sure they are hanging on someone’s wall and I would dearly like them back.
Several years later I picked up a newspaper to read that Aaron Laurence had been convicted of stupefying and raping young boys.