By Cate McCurry, PA
An Irish artist is auctioning a painting of Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy to raise money for the Irish Red Cross.
Dunboyne artist Niall O’ Loughlin created the canvas painting of Mr Zelenskiy, which is being auctioned at Balla Ban art gallery in Westbury Mall, Dublin, with a reserve price of €1,200.
All the proceeds will go to the Irish Red Cross Ukraine Crisis Appeal.
Frank O’Dea, who owns the Balla Ban art gallery, where the painting is on display, said it reflects the serious tone of the war.
My tribute to the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy. My plan is to sell this original painting with all proceeds going to the @irishredcross . This will be on display shortly in the @ballabanartgallery in Dublin #ukraine #ukrainewar #slavaukraini @zelenskiy_official pic.twitter.com/kIyRLFuwKh
— Niall O'Loughlin Artist (@nialloloughlin) March 9, 2022
“It was something that Niall had been looking to do, so Niall approached myself at the gallery with the intention of doing this painting,” Mr O’Dea said.
“Niall would be a caricature artist in general, but he wanted to reflect a more serious tone with this portrait, as opposed to his more humorous ones, because of the nature of the war.
“He wanted to incorporate the Ukrainian colours within the painting and also the horror. The pain that is going on is reflected in the tear that Zelenskiy has in his eyes.
“The painting looks at his suffering as well as his leadership, but also the pain of what is happening in this humanitarian crisis.”
He added: “There’s a reserve price of €1,200.
“So rather than putting a price on it, we thought we would have a silent auction. People can put a bid on it by email or contact me at the gallery.
“The highest bid will get the painting.
“Niall is also hoping to sell prints for €50 as well.”
Mr O’Dea added: “This man, Zelenskiy, has become an heroic figure around the world and a symbol of bravery and determination.
“He shows what a leader can do for a country, despite being up against the most powerful nations and military armies in the world.
“It’s a bit like a David and Goliath story. I think he’s captured the hearts and the support of the world.”