Blairism oil painting by Gheorghe Virtosu

by Shane Lewis

21 June '18

Blairism - the falling mask through the artistic eye!

An illusory vision translucent in contemporary oil painting


This painting's many evanescent forms and colors overlapping and intersecting could be a visual rendering of the many aspects of Tony Blair and perhaps of his deceit, especially in relation to the motivation for the Iraq invasion of 2003. Also, it could relay the differing positions in relation to and the different definitions of Blairism new 'Third Way' itself. For instance, was it free-market conservatism or was it a modified version of the ideology of the traditional British Labour Party?


The central figure of the spectral 'genius' or spirit that seems to overarch both the dark figure on the left which is a more fully formed – if distorted – standing figure and the bust on the right whose gaze is directed out to the right of the painting visual space and whose mouth is open as if to orate. So, the darker left-hand figure can refer to the opaque political proceedings that led to the great deception over Iraq, and over the unfulfilled promises of the Blairite ideology; and the right-hand bust to the insistence by Tony Blair 's government upon self-presentation in the public sphere.

The central specter, thus, perhaps encapsulating the emptiness felt by many who lived through the Tony Blair years in Britain.

A period of vacuous pontificating based upon an illusory vision, as its translucent coloring arches over both deceits on the left and the affectation of rationality that Tony Blair cultivated in public appearances on the right.


Gheorghe Virtosu, in his Blairism, sees the ideology perhaps as Janus-faced and motivated by both mendacity and the public effort to conceal this, which culminates in the perception of a transparent exercise in self-preservation in power. The core message of Blairism would seem to be, then, the process of public relations itself as an end, the carrying of public favor – as is evident in the prominence of spin doctors during the Blairite premiership.

This visualization of an ideology shows the ideology to have no idea, the delivery of a message being alone the message.

Blairism oil painting by Gheorghe Virtosu


Gheorghe Virtosu abstract art hovers and is difficult to definitively pin down, the 'genius' figure lapses into the immateriality of a vaporous vision.

The falling mask

From the dark figure of the oil painting, we can see what appears to fall like a mask an impassive and maybe more rational face, falling from the face which, by its angularity of the narrow eye and the fulminating red of the mouth, reveals itself in wrath. Together, the falling mask and the face uncovered show the public pretension to diplomacy and the contrast with the real fact of Tony Blair 's interventionist bellicosity and is reflected in his government's complicity in a beguiling warmongering.

About author Shane Lewis was born 1962 in Dublin, UK. He studied at National College of Art and Design, Dublin. Educated in Ireland and the US. Lives in New York. Has also lived in UK. Modern Art. Contemporary Art. Build up collections, Institutions, Preservation, Research. E:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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