Art is an extraordinarily subjective thing: one man’s Picasso is another man’s junk.
But over at Herbert Smith’s London headquarters the opinion was all but unanimous that partner Murray Rosen QC’s very large painting of a semi-clad boy holding a badminton racket falls squarely into the latter category.
Indeed, the painting has been such a laughing stock that the firm recently held a charity auction to sell it off. But unlike a traditional auction staff didn’t bid to buy the painting. Instead they paid a pound to nominate somebody else to receive it. Such was the fear of being the unwitting recipient that the auction was heavily oversubscribed.
The ‘lucky’ recipient, eventually, was corporate partner Michael Shaw. Shaw, poor man, only discovered he was the winner after the painting was hung in his office while he was away on holiday.
Tulkinghorn isn’t quite sure about what colleagues are trying to say to Shaw, but their generosity raised £2,769. Let’s hope that was all it raised.