A new series of portraits featuring the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge has been unveiled by Brazilian pop artist Romero Britto, famous for painting Madonna, Michael Jackson and Lady Gaga in trademark colour-burst images of cubism.
The rainbow depiction of the couple conjures a carnival celebration and mixes it with Miami sunshine (where the artist now lives). Prince William and Kate laugh with happiness from the chromatic canvas.
Britto confesses he is 'fascinated' by the couple and their role in popular culture.
He told the Huffington Post UK: "I wanted to capture the beginning of a family, which is something we all want: a happy beginning and a continuously happy life. I think they have so much tradition and so much history... They have a chance to belong to something and someone. I wanted it also to be a physical moment in time.”
The royal couple is painted with matching red hearts on their cheeks in the manner of their official engagement shot.
Kate Middleton is pictured with a floating heart with wings and a crown above her head, cuddled up to Prince William in a moment snatched from a psychedelic dream.
Pop art enables Britto to paint a much 'fresher' portrait of the couple.
He told Huffington Post UK: “I think one thing about today’s artists or artists like myself, particularly Andy Warhol that did many portraits, is that it's the freest style of creating a piece of art.
"Before, in other forms of classical art, such as old masters, the portrait would be a bit more contrived and wouldn’t allow the artist to be openly creative and free. It was almost a form of photography in those days.”
Self-taught, Britto flourished after he was selected along side Andy Warhol and Keith Haring for Absolut Vodka's iconic Absolut Art campaign. The New York Times described his work as "exuding warmth, optimism and love."
Naming Kate, Prince William and Queen Elizabeth as the figures he most enjoyed painting, he describes Michael Jackson as the most challenging study.
It could be his love for the Sceptred Isle that provided such inspiration. Flying in to open his new body of work at Imitate Modern, he describes Britain's 'relationship to time' as particularly unique.
"A lot of times people just think about the past, but here in Britain there is a constant reminder that the present and the future are important – it is a place that is so old with so much heritage, so much history, so many rituals, but that is still ready for something new,” he said.
The pictures can be seen at Imitate Modern Gallery until the 7 December 2011.
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