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Anorak | Long In The Tooth

Long In The Tooth

by | 20th, December 2005

‘WHEN he’s not heavy breathing and bragging about his third leg, Rolf Harris is painting.

Rolf and that dead shark

Harris, the world’s most foremost amnesiac (“Can you tell me what it is yet?”), has just be immortalising Her Majesty the Queen in oils to mark the occasion of her 80th birthday.

The work is now complete. And yesterday Rolf banged a nail in the wall at Buckingham Palace, hung the picture on it, and the world saw the new Liz.

The Queen is seen seated. She wears a celadon-coloured twin-set, laced with flashes of viridian. On her wrist is a watch. On her shoulder is a broach. And on her lower lip are her teeth.

To the Sun (“ONE LOOKS A BIT ROLF”), this makes her look like Dame Edna Everage. And it could have been worse – the Express hears Rolf admit that in its early stages the painting “made her look like a pork butcher from Norwich”.

But the artist is pretty happy with his work, and is also said to be very pleased about the blueness of the veins coming through the Queen’s skin.

But what else can we see in this impressionist work? Take a good long look. Linger. Look for patterns. Look for signs. What is the “secret of Rolf’s controversial royal portrait” that the Express mentions on its cover page?

Eat your heart out Dan Brown. Get back in your box Leonardo da Vinci. This is nothing less that the Harris Code.

The Express despatches a man in a suit and tie to Buckingham Palace to see the work unveiled. He hears Rolf tell the assembled monarchists, art critics and hacks that the Queen has a “great sense of humour and ready wit” (note teeth).

Rolf then pulls back the curtain and shows the world a “remarkably proficient” study of the monarch. And that big toothy smile.

What does this display of ivory mean? “I had a problem with the teeth,” says Rolf. So we see. “I had to muck about with those teeth over and over again.”

No easy thing. It’s not as if Her Majesty’s teeth are made of wood and can be whittled down to fit the picture. These teeth are the genuine articles, even if they do appear to have fallen out with the rest of her mouth.

But what does it all mean? What’s the picture’s secret? We’ll keep looking and let you know when we spot it. We can’t see what it is yet. But we will…’



Posted: 20th, December 2005 | In: Tabloids Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink