'Horrible' Michael Laws painting attracts bids

22:54, Mar 19 2014
Michael Laws

Hamilton artist and Waikato Times columnist Joshua Drummond is attracting lots of attention on TradeMe - as well as some ''crazy'' bids - for a disturbing artwork of former politician and radio host Michael Laws.

''I did this horrible painting of popular New Zealand celebrity Michael Laws for a charity auction,'' Drummond explains in his TradeMe listing. ''No-one bought it. I don't really blame them, because if I'm being really honest it looks absolutely terrifying.''

The unframed stretched canvas is about 25 centimetres wide, 25 cm long, and ''infinitely deep''.

Michael Laws
HAUNTING: Hamilton artist Joshua Drummond has taken to TradeMe to rid himself of this disturbing artwork of former politician and radio host Michael Laws.

''I've thought about this a lot and I think the main problem is that it looks a bit too much like Michael Laws,'' Drummond said.

''Since I painted it it's followed me around. I can't get rid of it. I nearly sold it to a drunk Irishman for $50 one night, but he didn't have cash on him and the next day he wouldn't return my calls.

''I keep trying to hide it in the house or chuck it out but it somehow always makes its way back to me. I can feel it staring at me, staring from dead black eyes. I fear it may be haunted. Don't let that stop you from buying it though.''


Drummond's possession of the painting - or perhaps the painting's possession of Drummond - prompted him to paraphrase Bilbo Baggins in Lord of the Rings. ''I haven't noticeably aged since I painted it. People call me well-preserved, but lately I am feeling thin, sort of stretched, like butter over too much bread.

''So if you like the idea of Michael Laws staring at you every day and/or potential immortality please feel free to buy this horrible painting and free me from my curse.''

Drummond later observed via his Twitter account that bidding on the painting was over the $50 threshold.

''These people are crazy,'' he observed.

Horrible Painting of Michael Laws is also drawing some intruiging comments and queries from TradeMe users.

''Was he acting in Planet of the Apes at the time?'' one asked, while another remarked that ''my dog just saw this and swallowed his own tongue''.

''If I win the painting and burn it, will it release demons that will chase me down and taunt me with bigoted right wing hate speech?'' another asked. ''How would one destroy this painting? Perhaps with the letter H?''

Yet another TradeMe user asked whether the Laws image was ''a Harry Potter-like painting? If I hang it in my toilet will Laws have to watch my bowel movements forever more?''

It appears the painting's subject was not amused by his depiction, or the attention it was generating. When contacted by the Waikato Times, Mr Laws said told the paper he was ''not interested'' in the painting, before abruptly hanging up.

* People can go to the auction and record their own thoughts.