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Rewk Britannia! Artist looks for royal seal of approval

130459a Scarborough artist Andrew Nurse with his portrait of Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, which is part of his exhibtion in Scarletts hairdressers on Falsgrave Road. He has sent her a copy of the portrait.   Photo by Andrew Higgins 26/01/2013

130459a Scarborough artist Andrew Nurse with his portrait of Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, which is part of his exhibtion in Scarletts hairdressers on Falsgrave Road. He has sent her a copy of the portrait. Photo by Andrew Higgins 26/01/2013

Talented artist Andrew Nurse is used to receiving plaudits for his work – but he’s aiming for a royal seal of approval for his latest piece.

The Scarborough urban artist, who has received praise far and wide for his public graffiti murals, has painted a picture of Kate Middleton.

It is a response to the first official portrait of the Duchess of Cambridge, which has split the public and critics alike.

And Mr Nurse, who is 
perhaps better known by his alias ‘Rew’, is hoping his work finds favour with the royal bride.

“Our lass called up Buckingham Palace, and got through to them, and they’ve asked if we would send a picture of it down to them, probably so Kate can have a look.

“I’ve heard that she quite likes art, so hopefully she will appreciate it.”

The potential future Queen of England studied history of art at St Andrew’s University, during which time she met Prince William.

Recently, her first official portrait was unveiled by Scottish artist Paul Emsley, who has also painted a portrait of Nelson Mandela.

While some critics have lauded the work, others have lashed out at the piece, with some complaining that Kate appeared “ghostly” in the painting.

“I think it’s good, but it’s a bit dull, and it does make her look old,” said ‘Rew’.

The commissioned portrait involved two sittings from Kate - the same number it took ‘Rew’ to complete his work.

In total, he thinks it took him about seven hours to complete it, and he added: “I’m quite proud of it”.

The painting is currently on display in Scarletts hairdressers in Falsgrave Road, where ‘Rew’ is currently holding an exhibition of his work.

The work of ‘Rew’ first came to light in October 2011, when a gigantic 30ft mural, suddenly popped up under the Wykeham Street road bridge.

The alias of the artist was a mystery until ‘Rew’ came forward, following universal praise from Scarborough News readers.

He was quickly nicknamed ‘Scarborough’s Banksy’, and continued to do work all over the town, including a sombre tribute to the war fallen, which was painted for Remembrance Day. Speaking of the work that brought him to light, he said:

“We wanted to do something big, and it was around the time of the 9/11 anniversary, and we thought that as New York is the home of graffiti, we thought it would be the perfect tribute.” Rew maintains he only works on ‘legal’ walls, and still holds down a job to pay the bills, with painting just his passion.

 

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