I had the chance to have a sneak preview of Ben Johnson’s Liverpool Cityscape last night. Blocking my view of the painting were several famous faces including the artist Peter Blake whose studio is next door to Ben’s and Weakest Link presenter Anne Robinson who came to see the portrait of her home city.
Seeing the work close up really enables you to appreciate the amazing amount of work and effort that goes into each tiny detail. I chatted to Ben’s assistants who help produce the separate computerised drawings of each building in the painting. We discussed the enormous amount of time that goes into each key building, some taking several weeks. One mentioned that a few months ago they had worried about how they would possibly get such an enormous painting finished on time. Thankfully he seemed quite confident it was all on schedule now!
Visitors to the Walker Art Gallery will get the chance to see Ben complete the artwork from 28 January - 7 March 2008.