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Wirral artist sells iconic Klopp portrait in less than two hours

1 month ago

Wirral artist sells iconic Klopp portrait in less than two hours

A new portrait of Liverpool FC manager Jurgen Klopp has been sold in under two hours of being displayed at the city’s Radisson RED Hotel.

The painting by Wirral artist Collette Collinge was hung at the luxury Lime Street venue where the former art teacher has currently got a Liverpool Icons exhibition featuring John Lennon, Gerry Marsden, Ken Dodd, Pete Price, The Vivienne, Cilla Black and Paul O’Grady.

Collette, 59, who only began her career as an artist after retirement at 58, says it was her friend and presenter Pete Price who persuaded her to capture Jurgen in one of her distinctive pieces.

“Pete met me at the Radisson when we extended the exhibition and said ‘you need to get Jurgen done now’, and you’ll appreciate that portraits don’t get done overnight.”

But Collette adds: “We sent the painting down yesterday and I can’t believe that within two hours of me posting on social media to say it was now at the Radisson where I have a shop there, it was sold to a Portuguese millionaire.

“He contacted me to ask if it was for sale and, when I said yes, he said ‘consider it sold’.The original painting will remain at the Radisson RED until a high-quality reproduction canvas of the painting of the Liverpool legend who leaves the club at the end of the season is created and put in its place alongside prints.

Klopp - The Guide Liverpool

“And the manager of the hotel, Gary, said I’d better get a couple of the canvases in because he’s got the Red Army going for next week’s match and I may find they go quite quickly!”

Collette says: “That the Klopp portrait has sold in two hours makes me feel extremely blessed, proud, surprised, and shocked…

“As a teacher I always said to young people, follow your dreams, and let no-one put you under.

“When I was young I was born with hip dysplasia and I lost about two and a half years of education. I lived in a very backwater village of the Rossendale Valley and I was considered, back in the day, as ‘slow’.

“I was lucky that I had two parents who sent me for psychological and educational tests at the age of nine and I was told I was exceptional – I don’t think I am, I try to keep my feet on the ground, and I have a partner who kicks me under the table and says don’t show off,” smiles Collette, “but I feel really blessed. 

“I have celebrity clients now who follow me – I’m told Andy McCluskey from OMD bought a piece of mine – and I sold the original John Lennon portrait from the Icon series to a high-profile personality.”

Collette reveals she actually managed to get the ‘bones’ of the Klopp portrait completed in only an hour and a half, before spending many more hours developing and refining the painting.

And she says: “It just came together. I always wanted the red to shine through but, like with my other work, it’s the colour that hits you and then people take a second look and then a third because I like to do quirky things that tell a story.”

Collette, whose mugs, mini prints and cards at the Radisson RED give guests a unique memento of the city, is already well known for her series of Mersey Ferries artworks, including one entitled You’ll Never Walk Alone which hangs in the hotel. There are also specially commissioned giclee red prints and mugs featuring it which are sold there.

The Klopp portrait is likely to be one of most popular pieces and Collette says she would ‘absolutely love’ Klopp to see it.

“It would be something else if we could get Klopp to actually sign some prints, but it would just be lovely if he got to see the original because I’ve been told I have captured him spot-on.

“I respect Jurgen and he seems like a good man and a great manager.”

Collette, who’s well respected for her landscapes and seascapes, will be putting portraits to one side to take part in the Wirral Open Studio Tour which returns this year on June 8-9, inviting people to meet local artists in their studios, workshops and display spaces: “I’m in the middle of two very large canvases of Wirral.”

Read more about the Klopp poem created by poet Sean Cullen here.

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