Lorna May Wadsworth (b.1979)
The sitter is Joachim Gram, Wadsworth's muse...
The present painting is one of a series of portraits inspired by the novella ‘A Single Man’ by Christopher Isherwood and the subsequent film by Tom Ford. Wadsworth had the idea for the series whilst painting her muse Joachim Gram, the sitter depicted here. This portrait extends the personal homage to Ford, also a fashion designer, through the visual representation of one of the artist’s favourite perfumes by Ford, ‘Oud Wood’, and the sitter is decked in Tom Ford clothing from head to toe.
Wadsworth is a figurative painter, born in Sheffield and based in East London. She painted the Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams and the Rt. Hon. David Blunkett the year she graduated, when she was also Artist in Residence at the Labour Party Conference (2003).
A recurring theme in her work is male beauty from a feminine perspective, inverting the established art historical paradigm of a male creator and passive female muse. In 2007 Wadworth’s debut solo show was entitled Beautiful Boys.
In 2010 Wadsworth unveiled a modern interpretation of The Last Supper, a 12 foot altarpiece featuring a black Christ flanked by young male models, at St-Martin-in-the-Fields, before it was installed permanently in St George’s Church, Nailsworth.
In 2015, her 7 foot portrait of restaurateurs Corbin and King, They Have Lunch Every Tuesday..., set in the upstairs room of The Wolseley restaurant and capturing their weekly meeting, won both the de Laszlo Silver Medal and The Exceptional Talent Award at the Royal Society of Portrait Painters.
Wadsworth's 6 foot portrait of Baroness Thatcher, which now hangs in the Conservative Party headquarters, was sold by Philip Mould OB in 2007. The portrait was painted from five life sittings with the former Prime Minister at her home and was to be the last major life portrait of Thatcher.