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Painting Of Roy Keane Wins Inaugural Football Art Prize

Painting Of Roy Keane Wins Inaugural Football Art Prize
By Donny Mahoney Updated

A portrait of Roy Keane has won the first-ever Football Art Prize in the UK.

The artwork by English portrait artist Toby Michael entitled Roy Keane depicts the former Manchester United captain in the process of painting a self-portrait. It was painted in 2020 and is currently on display at the Millennium Gallery in Sheffield.

In the painting, Keane in grey beard, is painting a satanic-looking figure with a football at his feet. He holds a paintbrush blotted in red in his left and four paintbrushes in his right hand.

Toby Michael, Roy Keane, 2020. Image © the artist

Here's how the artist described the painting:

“The painting is derived from Will Carling’s infamous “Ice cream Roy” photograph. Roy Keane often paints a clear and concise image with his plain-speaking brand of punditry, and here he is depicted simply painting a self-portrait.”

Fans of Keane's awkward fan photos will recognise the pose.

A jury of art professionals and former goalkeeper David James opted to award the gong to the Keane portrait.

Roy Keane in an art historical lens

Writing in Apollo magazine, art critic Bakewell paid homage to the painting, saying:


[It] depicts his subject as a painter, brushes in hand and seemingly inviting comment on his handiwork from the viewer. The scene seems to be set in a different era, with Keane decked out in a soft suit or painter’s jacket that recalls the early 20th century, its muted palette perhaps suggesting the influence of Sir John Lavery

This is not the first time Keane has inspired a work of art. His portrait by Scottish photographer Murdo MacLeod with a raven's head can be found at the Crawford Art Gallery in Cork.

Of course the Peter Crouch podcast famously staged an exhibition of the best awkward Keane selfies, including the ice cream one.


About the prize itself, James said:

“The Football Art Prize judging was a thrilling experience. The depth of content was quite amazing, not just in material presentation, but subject matter too. In the past I had questioned the reason why football wasn';t being represented in 2D art to a level of its popularity. What I saw was a recognition that football touches nearly all aspects of life and is visible in social areas across the world, beyond the stadia.”

You can read more about the Football Art Prize here.


h/t Michael Canning

SEE ALSO: Roy Keane Seemed To Enjoy Receiving Croke Park Boos

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