Nicky Watson bares all

BY CATH BENNETT
Last updated 05:00 26/04/2009
Fairfax Media
BODY ART: A new painting of Nicky Watson is set to show the celebrity in her birthday suit.

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Nicky Watson is about to upstage her famous ex-husband with the public unveiling of a naked painting of the Kiwi supermodel.

Warriors rugby league club owner Eric Watson hit the headlines earlier this week when he was snapped having a mystery night on the town in London with British pin-up Kelly Brook former girlfriend of Hollywood hunks Jason Statham and Billy Zane.

But Nicky will be back in the spotlight on Thursday when a portrait of her by celebrated artist Liz Maw will feature at the Auckland Art Fair.

"Liz explained to me what she wished to paint and as a great admirer of her work I felt very honoured to be asked to be the model," Nicky, 32, told Sunday News.

"I was required to pose nude but it was always Liz's intention to cover much of my body with hair so nudity wasn't really a concern.

"Besides, I actually love the female form and everything it represents so I see only beauty in nudity anyway."

The painting, titled Venus from Hell, took four months to complete.

It will be one of 40 works displayed at the art fair by Auckland gallery Ivan Anthony, showcasing some of Australasia's hottest artists.

Nicky only saw the finished portrait of herself last week when Liz invited her and her mum also a talented painter to a viewing.

"We were both rather speechless as the painting immediately drummed up all sorts of personal feelings for both of us," said Nicky, who met Liz through a mutual friend.

"For me Liz's work is charged with meaning and because I portrayed the character in this particular painting I instantly felt very connected to the image.

"Needless to say, it's rather bizarre to view a larger-than-life painting of a figure that looks in many ways exactly like yourself!"

Nicky admits she is a little apprehensive about attending the Art Fair, at the Marine Events Centre in Auckland's Viaduct, where her picture will go on sale.

"I'm excited as I'm a great lover of art and I'm very supportive of Kiwi artists.

"However, I can't help but be a little nervous," she said. "But that's just me and I'll get over it!"

While Nicky still recovering from two nasty falls from her horse prepares for the unveiling, millionaire businessman Eric, 50, had the gossip columnists working overtime with his evening out with the British model and actress.

Kelly, 29 who dates England rugby star Danny Cipriani and Eric enjoyed dinner, a trip to a casino and ended their evening in a nightclub.

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