Monday, August 15, 2005


7 September 1996
The Guardian
(c) 1996

The Prince's Trust has just finished a massive fund-raising campaign in which a thousand celebrities have been asked to paint their own masks. These will be auctioned for a large sum. The mask is a wonderfully comforting, concealing device, and it's fascinating to see what people want to hide behind. Prince Charles has painted leaves to cover his face, as if he is deep in a forest, or at least wants something to talk to.

Tony Blair has drawn predictable red roses, whereas John Major has painted an Elysian landscape, perhaps the mythical England he wants to recreate. Denis Healey has imitated Munch's The Scream, which tells us a lot, yet Dave Stewart, the pop musician who said he was too happy, has done much the same. Jennifer Ehle has painted hers plain blue with a signature, which is dull, but since I adore her, it's the one I would buy if I could afford it.

Dull? Intriguing, rather. Ready, set, psychoanalyse!

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