Stella Vine

English artist

Stella Vine (born 1969) is an English painter and former stripper, who found success when Charles Saatchi bought a controversial painting by her of Princess Diana in 2004. She owned the Rosy Wilde gallery in London.

Stella Vine

Quotes edit

  • This is a dark painting with a bit of violence because I was very affected by Diana's death. I cried all day because I liked her, warts and all. Most of all I liked the way that she wanted to be loved and didn't mind admitting it.
  • I’ve lived on my own since I was 13 and not been to school and brought a son up who’s now 18 and run theatre companies and bought a butcher’s shop, learnt guitar by myself, taught myself to sing and that sort of stuff.
  • I identify with people like Diana who just want to be loved by everybody. If somebody doesn’t like me I find that very upsetting.
  • I heard Postgate's Desert Island Discs last year and I was very impressed by him as a man, and thoroughly enjoyed his choice of "When the Saints Come Marching In". Listening to a creative visionary, one's life suddenly feels exciting again - you just want to get making, and doing. Thank God for people like Oliver Postgate - when you discover them, life takes on a whole new meaning. What an incredible man.
  • No, it doesn’t mean anything, does it? People occasionally ask for your autograph or say, ‘I saw you in the paper’, but that doesn’t mean anything at all.
  • My background has been pretty abusive, nothing extreme, mainly psychological. There have been a few times when I have been slapped by partners and I have slapped back. I have enormous sympathy for those affected by violence. We need to progress beyond violence towards women and not cancel it out by saying women are also violent towards men.
  • I always wanted her to say, "I love you, I’ll stand by you, you are very important to me," but she never did. She loved me inside, but I didn’t feel it.
  • You’re very vulnerable when you’re naked. The psychology is a bit weird. It’s all in the eyes between the two people so you’ve got to be confident. You’ve really got to pretend you are enjoying it. I tended to have lots of conversations with lonely old men and to meet lots of nutters as well. I have incredible tolerance for darkness. I can take on board quite a lot of damaged people, but it takes its toll psychologically.
  • I have always been ambitious, no doubt about that. I always felt like I had to reach the dizzy heights of fame and success or whatever the heights are of a number of given professions I have dabbled in, to prove myself, "Stripper of the year" a bafta or whatever, for me it was by creating something interesting and entertaining or moving, but not by compromising the thing I was creating, that thing had to reach those heights, I guess it's about being accepted and loved a bit or a lot.
  • The art world is really exactly the same as the sex industry: you have to be completely on guard, you will get shafted, fucked over left, right and centre. And you will also meet charming, wonderful people like a rainbow at the end of the day.
  • I like to watch old films. Meet Me in St Louis, Cul-de-Sac and Buffalo 66 are some of my favourites.
  • I hope that whoever stole it, stole it because they loved it, and not because of all the hype.
    • Lomax, Cathy. Lost Kitten, Retrieved 29 January 2009.
    • On the painting Kitten (2004) which was stolen from Vine's solo exhibition Prozac and Private Views at Transition Gallery, London in July 2004.
  • I have always been drawn to the beauty and the tragedy of Diana’s life which I hope I’ve captured in this new series of paintings. I wanted to show her

vulnerability as well as her strength, and the close relationship she had with her sons.

  • The freedom is far more important than the money. The endgame is to be an extremely famous artist in lots of museums all around the world so lots of people can see my work for free. I know what I'm making, I know it's good. I will reserve the right to paint the [bombed] bus or anything that is shocking in life. If someone wants to come and shoot me because they find that offensive, they can. As an artist, if you can't take that freedom, you're a wanker.
  • I had been painting Kate Moss for a long time, both before the time of her crisis and during it. I felt very strongly for her - she's a hard-working mum and it seemed as if suddenly the world turned against her. Holy water cannot help you now is painted in very warm pretty colours...
  • I will look through 200 photographs of Kate Moss and there will be just one that I connect with for some reason, maybe because of the composition or something in the eye... Something touches me and I know I have to paint it, in the way a child knows it wants something.
  • I was making very aggressive provocative paintings. Whether the Rachel paintings, or the Diana paintings, I've sensed over the three or four years that I've been in getting press attention, I've sensed that it has not been that long since the woman painter was not allowed in the Royal Academy, and not allowed to paint nude men, and thee is such a huge body of work that men have made, versus the small body of work made by women, that I am not surprised to get this response.
  • I was just falling in love right, left and centre with these gorgeous young artists who came in the gallery. They’d see this fat old stripper, this nutter who runs a butcher’s shop that she thinks is an art gallery, and who thinks she’s some artist but hasn’t even been to art school... They probably thought, "Christ, who is this woman who’s texting me 20 times a day?"
  • (I) imagined the princess, too scared to use the phone at the palace because she knew it was bugged. So she decides to go out, still wearing her best princess dress, and with her make-up smudged because she’d put it on in a hurry. And I thought she’d have gone to the shops and used a public phone. There’s a whole string of Asian newsagents at that particular place. It’s all very vivid… ‘Hi Paul, can you come over.’
    • Januszczak, Waldemar. "The Paint Stripper", (2007-06-10)
    • On getting into character to paint Princess Diana in the work 'Hi Paul, can you come over...'.
  • When Alexander McQueen bought the Kate Moss painting, she was really being persecuted. I can't remember the exact timing, but I think it was before the cocaine, when she was just having a hard time with Peter. I think that was when he bought that. I was really pleased because he was such a huge supporter of her. It was so terrible what was happening to her.
  • My working hours are not that conventional. I often get up about two in the morning and do a painting, and then I'll have a bath, and then I often feel very hungry around 4am, so I'll go into Soho and have a meal somewhere like Balans. That's what I love about living here - there's always life around me.
  • On Christmas Day I'll head off for a couple of laps around the Serpentine, or a trek around the whole of Hyde Park. Or I'll walk right across town, with Curtis, my son Jamie's bull mastiff

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