It might be capable of inspiring some unsettling dreams, but a painting by Hamilton artist Joshua Drummond is in hot demand.
As of Wednesday afternoon the bidding on Drummond's TradeMe listing for his artwork Horrible Painting of Michael Laws has reached $335 and is still climbing.
Drummond said he was thrilled when the work, originally painted to be part of Free FM's Art Grab event in 2012, reached its $1 reserve on the auction website, so the ongoing bids were as thrilling as they were perplexing.
''This has gone crazy. It is well beyond all my expectations. I'm really glad people have taken an interest in my horrible art.''
Laws told the Times earlier this week that he was ''not interested'' in the painting or the TradeMe auction - but Drummond said he wanted to make it clear there was no malice intended.
''I'd like to extend a personal invitation to Michael Laws to come and have a sit-down and a beer with me the next time he is in Hamilton - my shout. His face has basically paid for the cake for my upcoming wedding, so I am indebted to him in a way.''
Horrible Painting of Michael Laws failed to sell at the 2012 charity auction it was created for and Drummond had since found himself unable to rid himself of it.
''It's followed me around ... I fear it may be haunted. Don't let that stop you from buying it though.''
As well as the bidding, a series of witty questions and remarks on the TradeMe listing have taken on a life of their own - as well as Drummond's wry replies.
''Could have been worse,'' one TradeMe user remarked. ''Could have been a painting of Rob Muldoon.''
''I think Rob Muldoon looks pretty cuddly myself,'' Drummond replied. ''I would have painted him with teddy bear ears.''
''What medium did you use? I think this is brilliant and compelling,'' another poster said.
''I used a local medium I found in the classified section of the Waikato Times,'' Drummond explained. ''She conjured up this terrifying visage of Michael Laws and was pretty vague about my dead relatives but ultimately I think it was worth it. When I painted it, I used acrylics.''
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