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Tuesday 2 September 2014

Paintings of Nigella Lawson being 'throttled' - for sale on Saatchi website

Seven pictures depicting the image of Charles Saatchi with his hands round his former wife's throat have been listed for sale on his own gallery website

Claire Carter

Published 29/06/2014 | 13:19

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Saatchi & Saatchi by Darren Udaiyan Photo: Darren Udaiyan/ Saatchi
Charles Saatchi vs Nigella Lawson by Carface Margybab (Carface Margybab/ Saatchi)
From left: Last Course by Pete Jones, Art Collector Throttling a Cook by Jane Kelly (Pete Jones/ Jane Kelly/ Saatchi)

Paintings depicting the moment Charles Saatchi apparently throttled his former wife Nigella Lawson have emerged for sale, on his own art website.

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The couple divorced last year after Saatchi was seen with his hand around his wife’s neck as they sat outside Scott’s restaurant in Mayfair.

Seven images of the scene are currently for sale via the millionaire art collector’s website, for prices ranging from £150 to several thousand.

They appear on SaatchiArt.com, closely linked to his London gallery and mean the 71-year-old could benefit from any sales.

Mr Saatchi dismissed that ‘throttle’ art could be a new genre, as he said the works were a small proportion of those submitted by 40,000 artists who used the site.

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He told the Mail on Sunday: “Would it have been a better story if I had censored artists whose work might be personally disobliging?”

Pete Jones, 52, has listed ‘Last Course’ on the site – a picture of Miss Lawson with hands on her throat painted on a bread board - for £17,600. Another picture, painted by Jane Kelly and called Art Collector Throttling a Cook has a price tag of £1,170.

Darren Udaiyan, 41, produced a Van Gogh style painting of the incident, which he uploaded to the site and is currently on sale for £5,870.

He told the newspaper: "It’s not really controversial. Saatchi is strangling Nigella but it’s also about him squeezing the art market.

"It works on many levels. It’s a comment on the art market and how people control it."

Mr Saatchi accepted a police caution for the incident after a photo was taken of the incident, leading to an acrimonious divorce.

Polly Neate, chief executive of Women’s Aid, said it was “extremely insensitive” to all victims of domestic violence for someone who had accepting a caution for assaulting their partner to earn commission from images of the incident.

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Rebecca Wilson, chief curator at the online gallery, said: “Saatchi Art does not believe in censorship unless the material is pornographic or incites racial hatred."

Anyone can upload their work to Saatchi Art, and will received 70 per cent of the sale price with 30 per cent paid to the company for commission.

Telegraph.co.uk

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