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Builder ronan hanging out with beckett in art world's major league

HE'S no oil painting -- until now that is.

Diminutive developer Johnny Ronan has been immortalised on canvas in a piece that has been raising interest in the art world.

Dublin artist James Brohan (59) featured the controversial builder for a series of portraits of national personalities that are being exhibited in the Sol Gallery, Dublin.

The portrait of Ronan, who is one of the biggest providers to NAMA, has attracted as much attention from enthusiasts as that of successful pop mogul Louis Walsh and former Taoiseach Garret FitzGerald.

However, these three were eclipsed by literary giant Samuel Beckett, whose portrait was so popular that it "could have sold several times".

"I didn't set out to paint anyone in particular," professional artist James Brohan told the Herald.


"I was just looking for people who had strong characters and faces."

The portraits are estimated at between €7,000 and €10,000 each, and Sol Art gallery manager Karl Jennings confirmed that while the Beckett painting was the first sold, they had all attracted a considerable amount of interest.