Vampire portraits unveiled

BLOOD ON THE WALLS: Napier artist Freeman White unveils his three paintings of What We Do In the Shadows directors and actors Jemaine Clement, Taika Waititi and Jonathan Brugh at the New Zealand Portrait Gallery.

BLOOD ON THE WALLS: Napier artist Freeman White unveils his three paintings of What We Do In the Shadows directors and actors Jemaine Clement, Taika Waititi and Jonathan Brugh at the New Zealand Portrait Gallery.

Fangs for the chance to draw stars
NEIL RATLEY
Last updated 05:00 17/10/2014

Artist Freeman White’s portraits will “hang about” for eternity, just like his subjects.

Several of his portraits that featured in the hit movie What We Do In the Shadows have been acquired by the New Zealand Portrait Gallery for its permanent collection.

White was asked to paint pictures of the mockumentary’s immortal and fanged protagonists Viago, Vladislav and Deacon, played by joint actor-directors Taika Waititi and Jemaine Clement, and Jonathan Brugh.

The portraits were unveiled at a ghoulish party at the gallery last night.

Being tasked with creating the portraits for the film allowed White to suck inspiration from his favourite artists. “I have always loved 16th and 17th-century artists like Caravaggio, Anthony van Dyck and Diego Velazquez. They have been a great influence on me and I have travelled to see their work,” he said.

“So being asked to paint 16th-century-style portraits was a fantastic opportunity to have some fun and draw from artists that have inspired me.

“I think when they [the directors] saw the portraits, they were really happy with them and gave them some extra scenes.” […]

Now the two paintings of Waititi and Clement belong to the portrait gallery, and have been described as the most unusual additions it has made to its collection of living and dead New Zealanders.

Gallery director Avenal McKinnon predicted they would attract a lot of attention, especially from a younger audience, as they showed that the collection was not just about old people and the past.

source: Dominion Post

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