Gimmicks.

coronation-street.jpgThroughout his life Isherwood courted publicity. Nothing pleased him more than seeing his photograph staring out of some newspaper or other. In dawned on him in the early days of his career that the papers were not interested in him – “local artists” were two a penny. If they wanted to have news of their shows in the press, then they could stump up cash and advertise.
Isherwood didn’t see it like that and realised that if he was to be recognised in the papers – and on tv – he needed a gimmick and hit upon painting nude portraits of famous stars, the most famous of which remains Mary Whitehouse with Five Breasts.

the-beatles-in-2024.jpgThe newspapers were only too happy to oblige with cheap publicity when he painted George Best with breasts or Dusty Springfield in the nude. He created a scandalous portrait of Marcia Williams, Prime Minister Harold Wilson’s secretary, as well as the Bald Beatles and Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones on the cross. He captured a bald Dora Bryan in vivid colours.
He rowed with a Wigan bookmaker and portrayed him in paint as the devil. He also hated a particular local councillor, now long dead, and the results showed no mercy.