Tipp artist gets Olympic career boost

Tipperary artist John Keating has described as a “massive career boost” being selected to exhibit his work during the Olympic Games.

The Dublin-based painter has been chosen to exhibit at the European Section of the exhibition at the Olympic Fine Arts 2012 that will open in the London Museum on Aug 1.

Mr Keating said the event was to disseminate and exalt the Olympic spirit and ideals through different works of art from different cultures and in different mediums.

Some of the artist’s work formed part of the multimillion euro revamp of Dublin’s Shelbourne Hotel in 2007.

Meanwhile, some 500 contemporary works of art of the highest aesthetic and technical levels will be displayed at the London exhibition which takes place under the patronage of the International Olympic Committee.

It has been approved by the Ministry of Culture of the People’s Republic of China and supported by the China International Culture Association and the Beijing Association for the Promotion of Olympic-related culture.

Mr Keating, who has exhibited nationally and internationally for more than 25 years, was also one of the artists chosen to participate in the First Beijing International Art Biennale in Oct 2003.

The biennale, that also marked the 850th anniversary of the founding of Beijing, was developed after China’s accession to the World Trade Organisation and winning the bid for the 2008 Olympic Games. It was held in the China Art Gallery after a year of planning and was hugely popular.

Olympic Fine Arts 2012 is curated by Dr Vincenzo Sanfo, who was curator of the first Beijing Biennale of world art and has initiated and organised solo exhibitions including Rembrandt, Renoir, Picasso, Miro, Chagall, Baselitz, Rainer Fetting and Enzo Cucchi.

The theme for Olympic Fine Arts is: The River Thames — The Great Wall — Embrace the World.

Mr Keating’s theme is “man’s search for beauty and harmony despite his scarred history”.

His oil on canvas, measuring 5ft x 4ft, shows hands holding a bunch of oriental lilies with draping material in the background.

“The image is set against a fragmented canvass. I have been exploring the whole idea of the canvas as a three-dimensional low relief rather than a flat surface,” he explained.

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