These Star Portraits explore the nature of celebrity and our society’s continuing obsession with it.
In the famous words of Shakespeare ‘ Some are born great, some achieve greatness and some have greatness thrust upon them’ (Twelfth Night Act 2 Scene 5). These portraits offer many different ways of portraying and looking at greatness and celebrity.
Both the artist and the sitter of the first ‘Guest Star Portrait’ have celebrity status but in very different ways. The BBC commissioned Rolf Harris to paint a portrait of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in 2005 as part of the celebration of her 80th birthday. They filmed Rolf painting the portrait and the ensuing programme was shown in 2006.