Portia and Bruce dearer than Bob

Written by Ross Sheil

There were surprised looks on the faces of people viewing the price tags on three paintings exhibited in the lobby of the Hilton Hotel in New Kingston.

A portrait of Bob Marley, a face instantly recognisable to tourists was on sale for $35,000, while those of Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller and Opposition Leader Bruce Golding, two images presumably less marketable from the hotel gift shop, were priced at $70,000.


Photo by Ross Sheil: Paintings of (left to right) Opposition Leader Bruce Golding, the late Bob Marley and Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller exhibited at the Hilton Hotel in New Kingston.

“Bob is an icon!” exclaimed one Kingston resident who epitomised the view that the reggae star was being undervalued; sandwiched between the two political leaders. “He has taken this country far away from days gone by when it was nowhere and from that people have wanted to come to this island.”

He valued the politicians at $25,000 each since in his opinion they have not yet made a similar contribution to national development.

Another local observed that with elections pending, artist Junior Moore was being commercially aware. “Typical opportunism from a Jamaican!” he smiled.

None of the above, replied Mr. Moore when contacted by Gleaner Online. He said that having been painted two or three years ago the Marley painting was simply less valuable than the other two portraits, which were completed one month ago.

“I was just thinking of the persons themselves and someone had commissioned me to do Portia and since I had an exhibition I thought I wouldn’t be right to do just one person, so then I put Bruce Golding in,” he explained.

The Hilton is exhibiting 17 of his paintings until the end of this month. The prices of the three paintings mentioned in this article have now been adjusted to $50,000 each.

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