ST JOHN’S, Antigua, (CMC) – Legendary former West Indies captain, Sir Vivian Richards, was recently honoured with a large portrait himself, during the second Test of the just concluded Test series here.
Created by British artist Brendan Kelly, the oil on canvas painting was presented to Sir Viv at the Vivian Richards Cricket Ground – the stadium located in North Sound which bears the legend’s name.
The artwork is a copy of the original which hangs majestically just outside the Long Room in the pavilion at the Lord’s Cricket Ground in London.
Cricket West Indies staff, along with ICC Women’s World T20 2018 personnel and Clare Skinner, the Film and Photography Manager for the Marylebone Cricket Club in England, subsequently organised the delivery of the new painting.
“I first saw the painting at Lord’s last year when I was over there in England for the charity match as we helped raised funds for the people in the Caribbean who were affected by the hurricanes (of 2017),” Sir Viv said.
“I came across it in the pavilion and I said ‘wow that looks a bit like me’. I was truly impressed with the way he captured my image and I was quite thankful the MCC saw it fitting to have it in the pavilion.
“I’m really pleased with what I’m seeing here. I want to say a special thanks to Brendan for his wonderful painting and it’s one if these things I will cherish. Also, thanks to everyone else who went out of their way and helped in making this happen. I truly appreciate it.”
Kelly said he wanted to recreate the power which had come to symbolise Sir Viv’s batting during his illustrious career.
“Sir Viv is defined partly by the sheer power and precision with which he wielded his bat. I wanted to find a way to paint his portrait that echoed that ‘crack’ as he hit the ball,” Kelly explained.
“Hence the massive scale – the painting is over six-foot square, directness of the pose and the explosion of paint.
“I used techniques whereby I could slam and whip paint all over the canvas yet at the same time still tie down his likeness with pinpoint accuracy. This painting won the 2007 Changing Faces prize. It is always interesting for an artist to see the reactions of different people when they view a painting.”
He continued: “I am delighted that Sir Viv was so pleased with the resulting portrait that he wishes to display this print in his home.”
Sir Viv is widely considered the most destructive batsman of his era and is the only Windies skipper never to lose a Test series.