Competition for a spot at a grand exhibition at the Mall Galleries. Featuring a bronze sculpture of a figure clutching a teddy bear and a portrait of a Florentine jeweller.
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Britain's top artists make big money.
Their works can go for millions.
Nine million five, ten million, ten million five, 11 million.
Up and down the country, thousands of ordinary people
are also trying to get a piece of the action.
They're putting their necks on the block
for the chance to sell at the hottest exhibition in town.
I must admit, I take my hat off to you for being so courageous.
I feel ecstatic. It really means a lot to me.
Those who doubted me, maybe they won't now.
These artists could stand to make some serious cash.
This one is £2,000.
But first they need the seal of approval
from three of the art world's toughest critics.
I think areas of this are so crude,
it's almost like looking at painting by numbers.
Their hopes are in the hands of the Hanging Committee.
-You're making it up as you go along.
-You're just not opening your eyes.
Is it enough to be...to be art? I don't know.
-I think Roy's mad. I'm going to say yes.
It's time to show me the Monet.
Hello and welcome to Show Me The Monet.
Over the past few months,
amateur and professional artists have had to withstand
razor-sharp critique from our judges in the hope they get a chance
to show and sell their work at our prestigious London exhibition
at The Mall Galleries.
But to get there, they must impress three of the most demanding critics in the business.
David Lee is one of the art world's most outspoken critics.
Renowned for his tirades against conceptual art,
his pet hate is work that's all explanation and no substance.
Emotional content is a constant in art,
because what moves us hasn't changed over the centuries.
Charlotte Mullins is the newly-appointed editor of the prestigious magazine Art Quarterly.
A contemporary specialist, she knows what it takes to cut it in the modern art world.
So long as a work is technically well executed,
any material can be used successfully to make art.
And Roy Bolton is our resident money man.
As an art dealer, he's sold thousands of paintings over the years.
But he knows there's more to great art than just commercial value.
Art is a conversation between the artist and the viewer.
So if an artwork doesn't engage with the public, how can they be interested in it?
Thousands of hopeful artists applied,
but only the very best would be selected to show their work
at The Mall Galleries.
If you come back next year, I may say yes.
Coming up on today's programme, David reveals his sinister side...
I would expect to see this portrait on the walls of a museum of...
..and emotions are running high for one hopeful artist.
It's all-consuming. It is... It's everything. And it's like showing someone your soul.
Eltham Palace, London -
home to kings and queens from the 14th to 16th centuries,
and Edward IV's favourite residence after Westminster.
It was here in the spectacular Great Hall
that the judges set up their Hanging Committee,
and artists from all over the country
came to showcase their work.
'First to face the panel was 32-year-old Craig Hudson, from Ipswich.
'Craig left his job in retail after ten years
'and signed up for a degree in fine art.
'Now he's got his sights set on becoming a professional artist.'
So what are your ambitions, then?
Well, just to be able to survive.
To be able to make a living and do something I love doing every day.
Do you feel if you get into this, you're joining the big boys?
Well, I don't know about joining big boys,
-but it's definitely a start, a rung on the ladder.
I'm excited now. What would you do if you got to the exhibition and sold?
If I sold, then... I don't know. I'd take my family out for the day.
-Mate, good luck.
-I hope it goes well. The judges are just through that door.
What a moment for Craig.
He only graduated last year,
and now he's got a chance to make an impact on the London art scene.
He's pinning his hopes on this bronze sculpture
clutching a teddy bear.
But will the judges see a place for it in their exhibition?
Please explain your hulk and his teddy.
OK, this piece is called You Can Have My Ted.
I made this piece in response to my brother,
who recently was diagnosed with testicular cancer.
When it came to his chemotherapy,
I was at the hospital with him
and basically there was no consoling him.
So, really, to see such a man regarded quite highly in my thoughts
to be brought down to this level was a bit upsetting.
So I wanted to make a figure which represented him.
This big, bold personality.
And basically when I was younger, obviously if I was ill,
then I'd always want my teddy bear.
So I decided to give the figure the ted.
That's great. And what price do you put on this work?
-Great. Well, we'll have a closer look, then.
This is obviously a very personal piece for Craig,
and he's placed a high price on it.
But will it also appeal to a wider audience?
The judges are looking for originality, technical skill
and emotional impact.
And Craig's sculpture will have to tick all those boxes.
He also needs two yeses from the panel to get through to the exhibition.
-2,100 or thereabouts...
-..is extremely attractive pricing, I would have thought.
People don't expect to be able to buy bronzes for anything less than that, you know.
Just purely cos the material cost is so high.
2,100 for a bronze that size is giving it away.
That's a good start for Craig.
If he makes it through to the exhibition,
he might actually want to boost that price tag.
Have you made sculpture before?
Not really, no.
I've recently graduated from university,
where in the last year I made, started making sculptures.
And alongside the course I took an internship at a local foundry,
so that's where the progression has come from.
So you've been lucky enough to work in a material
-as expensive and tricky as bronze straight away.
-That's very fortunate.
I love the fact that the arms are fat and huge
and the hand's covering his feeling of... Well as I take it,
a sort of feeling of, "Don't look at me, this is my crying moment, I can't be seen."
The head is so small in comparison to those cast hands.
It gives a very strong emotional presence to the work
that takes it way beyond your brother and into something bigger, I think.
Craig's sculpture seems to be really resonating with the judges.
They're impressed with his technical ability
and the unusual proportions of his bronze figure.
I think you've got a problem with that teddy, to be honest.
I think you should've found some...
more permanent way
of linking the idea of the teddy to the bronze,
because it kind of brings it down to the level of something
which is a little too throwaway.
I think maybe a slightly more battered, older teddy
might have slightly more impact.
Oh, dear. It was all going so well,
and I can't believe I'm about to say this,
but has the TEDDY cost Craig a place at the exhibition?
It's time for the judges to vote.
-Thank you for bringing it. Looking forward to seeing it again.
Craig's sculpture will be dragging that teddy
off to The Mall Galleries.
And Craig now has a big decision to make.
Will he take the judges' advice and put up the price of his sculpture?
And will anyone buy it?
The Mall Galleries, London, and Craig's sculpture took pride of place right at the front.
It's the best venue that I've been in so far,
so it's just nice to be able to come in and see it where I think it should be.
The hulk with his teddy was quite a talking point.
There's a sculpture behind that's of a figure
and he's pulling a teddy bear.
And it's sort of like a... It's a big monster-type thing,
but really wants his teddy bear as well.
You look at them and they just strike an emotional chord.
Craig took the judges' advice and upped his asking price to £3,300.
If anyone wanted to buy his sculpture,
they had to make a secret bid to an independent agent,
who would take a 10% commission of the final sale.
I was given the results of these bids in a sealed envelope,
to be revealed to Craig at the end of the exhibition.
Remind us and everybody standing here how much you wanted for this?
Well, I put it up for £3,300.
OK, let's find out if you've got some money to spend.
So, you wanted £3,300...
We didn't get any offers.
Yeah, a big "aah" on that one.
That amazes me, actually,
cos it was really popular, wasn't it?
-Yeah. No, it's fine. It's fine.
-Yeah, you're sure?
-I honestly think that this should give you confidence.
And believe in yourself, cos we all love it, don't we?
-All right. Well, good luck. And give him a round of applause.
'No sale for Craig this time around,
'but the great news is that only a few weeks after the exhibition,
'he held his first solo show in a gallery in Kent,
'which is impressive stuff after only a year out of university.
'Hopefully this is just the start of a successful artistic career.'
Amateur and professional artists from all over the country
sent in their artwork in many different media
and of all shapes and sizes.
But only the very best got through to our Hanging Committee.
Next up was Abigail Brown,
a 33-year-old professional silversmith from Cornwall.
Abigail graduated with a degree in silversmithing and jewellery in 2001,
and she has since developed a sizable reputation in her field.
'But her dream is to be recognised not just as a silversmith,
'but also as an artist,
'so she's hoping the judges will see her work as art rather than craft.'
-Hi. Nice to meet you, welcome.
-And you, thank you.
What would it mean to you if you got to the exhibition and you sold?
Clearly someone like you, multi-successful, multi-rich, you don't need the money?
Er, yeah! Yeah! Always need the money!
I have sold big pieces, but not as big as this,
so it would be good to sell it.
And what would you do with the money?
I might buy a boat.
-Do you mean a speedboat or something?
-No. Well, a boat to live on.
-Ah. Do you live on a boat now?
-But you fancy a bigger one?
-It doesn't belong to me.
-So you're renting it and you'd like to buy your own?
-Ooh, what a lovely dream.
-OK, I know you're nervous...
-..and I do feel for you.
-The judges are through that door there. Good luck!
Abigail has shown her silverwork in craft centres and trade fairs
in both the UK and abroad, and her work already commands a high price.
But she now wants to break into the fine art market.
-Welcome to the Hanging Committee.
-Please tell us about your work.
-This piece is called Isis.
It's hammer-formed from a disc of fine silver.
So it starts life as a flat sheet.
It's all manipulated by hand using hammers.
My initial source of inspiration is the female form,
so I aim to portray areas of the body that aren't normally thought of
as an obvious place to look,
and to portray sensuality and femininity.
And what price do you put on this?
-This is 18,500.
-We'll come and take a closer look.
I suspect Abigail will have to justify that price tag.
If she gets through and manages to sell this piece,
she'll be one step closer to buying that boat home she wants.
But do the judges believe it's worth such a large amount of money?
-£18,500 - that seems a lot.
Can you explain WHY it's that price?
It has a significant quantity of silver in it,
which obviously has an intrinsic value in itself.
What was the raw material of the silver? What did that cost?
-It cost £3,000.
And do you sell works at roughly this price?
This is the largest piece I've made, to date.
So what's your average selling price?
Oh, well, I go from £750 up to this price,
but previously I've sold pieces for 10,000.
10,000. So although this is significantly more,
-this is a significantly bigger piece?
The judges seem to have some reservations
about Abigail's valuation of her sculpture.
But let's get down to the nitty-gritty here.
Is it art or is it craft?
Abigail, let me play devil's advocate here.
Why is this more than a very pricey bowl with a name?
Erm, because of the sculptural form,
and I think it's to do with the way I feel when I make the work.
I don't have a design before I start.
I have a rough idea of where I'm going to place lines on the metal,
and then after that I work intuitively as I'm going along,
so it's drawing in metal.
If a surrealist artist had carved that from stone,
I don't think we'd be questioning whether it was art, would we?
My problem is the material.
I kind of associate silver with opulence
and vulgarity, almost,
and seeing something like that made of silver
makes me think of rather vulgarly rich people's houses,
where you see that kind of thing prominently on display.
Possibly the issue here is that
we do associate silver with many things that are precious.
You and I both have silver necklaces, for example.
So there are things working against it as a sculptural form
that are connected with the material.
I think that is beautifully, beautifully made.
It's lovingly made, that piece.
But it's in a material which is associated with jewellery,
which is a form of decoration,
and I can't get past the fact that this is a very decorative object.
Is it enough to be, to be art? I don't know.
I think I'd just walk by it every day, if I owned it,
and see it as a bowl made of bums.
Go and wash your mouth out, Roy!
At least David recognised that it's beautiful and lovingly made.
But will this be enough to get Abigail a place at the exhibition,
and the new houseboat she wants?
I really do want to break free of my prejudices, but I don't feel I can at this instance.
It's a no from me, I'm afraid.
I'm on a bit of a knife-edge. I think you can see a lot of us are.
But I'm going to go with my gut instinct, and that's no.
Abigail, I'm so sorry. We think you're a fabulous silver-worker,
but sadly not quite right for this exhibition.
'Abigail's mission to convince the panel that her silverware
'deserves a place in their fine art exhibition has failed.'
I can see you're slightly emotional about that. Did that hurt?
-It did hurt.
-Yeah? Because you were trying...
so hard. Are you all right?
I feel for you. I think we've got a tissue somewhere in a minute.
Do you think their views are harsh? Do you think they're unfair? How do you feel about it?
I think they are prejudiced against the material.
People have a traditional view of what silversmithing is,
and are not prepared to see anything other than that.
It's wonderful to see someone so emotional about their work,
because it gives everybody an impression back at home...
how much you invest in your work.
Oh, it's all-consuming. It is... It's everything.
I was always going to be an artist,
and it just happens that silver is the material
I chose to be an artist in.
And it's like showing someone your soul when you show them your work.
I hope we haven't put you off, I hope you'll carry on fighting.
Oh, I'll never stop doing what I'm doing. But...
maybe I won't be showing it in a fine art context.
Artists arrived in their droves
to present their work to the Hanging Committee.
But the judges' standards were exceptionally high,
and not everybody made it through.
Former science teacher-turned-artist, Jenny Urquhart,
presented her painting of St Ives in Cornwall.
It's a very special painting to me
because it's basically my first painting since GCSE Art.
David was in no doubt about the painting's commercial appeal.
I don't doubt for one minute that you couldn't paint that same picture 50 times
and sell it 50 times in one summer.
-But Charlotte was unmoved.
-I think this is an incredibly emotional picture for you,
and I can see why, but I'm not sure that emotion translates to us,
and why should it?
Paula Trower wanted £1,500
for her bronze sculpture of a seashell.
So what I wanted to do was...
bring the beauty of the inner part of that shell
to the attention of the viewer.
But while Charlotte acknowledged the skill involved...
Technically, you're a very gifted sculptor and you've created a work that's very well done.
..David found it ornamental.
It looks a bit like trinketry.
Take a few chances,
don't be so polite.
Professional photographer Marc Wilson
went up before the judges with this photograph
of a former coastal military defence in Dorset.
It was very important to me
not to try and glamorise the objects, themselves individuals,
which is why I've shot it in the way I've shot it, with the lighting.
Charlotte's feedback was encouraging.
It feels like the work of a very mature,
sophisticated photographer, just in terms of the composition.
And I do have a very emotional response to it in a way.
The quiet poetry of the image, beyond the war,
about how all our lives will be passing.
I like it. It's a yes from me.
But David didn't share her enthusiasm.
You are very competent, and a thoughtful documentary photographer.
But this is a boring image, so I'm gonna say no.
Next to face the Hanging Committee at Eltham Palace
was 69 year-old Josette Carroll from Lincolnshire.
Josette retired five years ago,
after over 30 years working in special needs education,
and she decided to sign up for a degree in fine art.
'But this was no sudden decision.
'Her passion for art actually started when she was just 16.'
Hello, Josette. Lovely to meet you.
Hi, nice to meet you too.
What happened was that in 1959, when I left school, I got,
I won a scholarship to the Hornsey College of Art.
I spent a year there, until my father discouraged me from that,
because he thought it was too frivolous a pursuit for a young girl.
-You know, I should get a proper job.
-Did that hurt?
Did you really desperately want to be an artist then?
When I was young, I used to always draw, so I was quite disappointed.
So, you've got the Show Me The Monet judges waiting to see you now.
-Three of them.
How will you find that experience? Because they can be quite tough.
Well, as long as they're, sort of quite constructive
about what they say, I'm not, you know, I don't mind.
And I'm quite, I really do, in a way I'm looking forward to their,
to their comments, you know.
It's nice to have this opportunity to actually get feedback from,
from people who are so experienced.
What would it mean to you to be at our exhibition?
I would feel as if I've kind of like, made it.
And I'd say, "Yes, Dad. Did it!"
Well, I wish you all the luck in the world.
I love this rebel with a cause now.
Thank you very much.
Away you go. The judges are through that door.
-Thank you very much.
-I'll see you afterwards.
50 years after her artistic hopes were dashed,
Josette is getting a second bite at the cherry.
And she's determined to make a success of things this time round.
If she gets through to the exhibition, and sells her work,
she's decided to treat herself to a trip to Berlin.
'I'm feeling a little bit apprehensive
'and perhaps a bit nervous about going in front of the judges.'
Would you tell us about your work?
Yes, this is called Yard Bird,
and it's made from salvaged corrugated cardboard,
which I retrieved from markets and supermarkets.
And what I do is cut out the base of each one
and I laminate them with wood glue, and I glue together and have a block,
and then with a saw, I cut the block,
to make it a nice neat, sort of block, like a block of wood or stone.
And then I make some sketches of whatever I want to do
and go in with the saw.
Some of the cardboard base, they have, they have holes in them.
And this particular one had about six holes in them.
And I thought I wanted to incorporate that
-into the sculpture, basically.
-Thank you very much.
And how much will this set somebody back?
-£300. Thank you very much. We'll come and have a look.
Josette only completed her degree two years ago,
so she's very new to the highly competitive world of fine art.
Will her sculpture impress the judges enough
to secure her a place at The Mall Galleries?
This is serious business.
Josette, I think it's lovely to see sculptors and artists
working with new materials.
And I think you've worked this material really well.
I do like the way we can see through the cardboard.
The holes cut through allow us to see the depth of it.
The brass rods connecting it
allow us to appreciate that tension between solidity and air.
On technical ability, I give you a big gold star.
Mmm, praise indeed.
But has Josette produced something new and original?
Something to make the judges sit up and take notice?
I associate this style with the British artists of the 1930s,
who used simplified shapes
and tied their forms together in some way by string.
Is that not where yours came from too?
Oh, yes, yes. I did explore, I mean, lots of, kind of, movements.
I think the form of the sculpture
shows you're still working through your heroes and heroines,
particularly in the form of Barbara Hepworth,
who used the string device
to energise her work so successfully.
So, on originality, I think it's slightly lacking.
But if you look at the inspiration for those works in Garbo,
Hepworth, Moore, Pevsner, and any number of artists who used this,
they're very much more fluid in shape.
Those two, sort of, rather meagre looking holes
cut through the wood, they look to me as though they ought to give us
access to the other side.
That comes down to Josette saying that they're found holes.
-They're the holes that she found in the bottom of the box.
-Why didn't you make them a bit bigger?
-Why didn't you make them a bit bigger?
The challenge was to use the material, the raw material as it was.
That was my challenge.
And also my challenge was to link the geometric pieces together,
hence the metal bars as well. It wasn't just based on artists.
It was also based on my own intuitive kind of feeling.
I'd like to talk about the price, Josette. Because it's very cheap.
-I mean I presume it's a relatively modest price
because the material is, is free.
Locally, from Stanford, Lincolnshire, where I'm at,
it's a sort of reasonable price. I've sold work round about 285.
I did 300.
It's the kind of work that you could make an edition of,
because it doesn't involve a great deal of unique execution
for each piece. You can cut the same pieces again
and you can more or less recreate that,
that's what I'm burbling about.
But it wasn't just, I didn't just piece it together...
No, we're saying when you get a form that works for you,
you could actually copy it using the materials you have.
So you could sell for 300, but you could sell 10 of them
and make a lot more from this form, if you wanted to.
I suppose you could exact, you could replicate it.
But it never occurred to me.
Some constructive advice there from the judges.
But has the sculpture connected with them on an emotional level?
Unfortunately, emotionally I'm not there yet.
It feels like I'm walking through a history lesson too much,
without the punch, without drama.
So Roy feels he's seen it all before
in the work of sculptors from the past.
This is a work about form and beauty,
and I don't feel an emotional connection with it,
but I do appreciate what you've done with the material.
Josette, I get too strong an impression of mimicry about this.
Somebody flicking through magazines looking for styles and so forth.
If you're going to compete with the best British artists
of the last century, then you have to make sure it's really good.
it doesn't seem to me that you're straining yourself that much,
sticking these blocks of cardboard together and...
I assure you there's a lot more than just sticking them together.
It's time for the judges to cast their votes.
Can they see a place for Josette's sculpture in their exhibition?
-Josette, it's a no, I'm afraid.
It's a no from me as well.
-But do continue your studies...
-Yes, I will.
-Thanks for showing it to us.
-Thank you very much.
It's the end of the line for Josette and her sculpture, Yard Bird,
which will wing its way back home instead of to The Mall Galleries.
-How was that for you?
Oh, it's OK. That's their opinion, so that's fine. I mean,
the feedback I have from perhaps the lay person
is the fact they're very original, but they didn't think it was.
They were implying it was just from the copy book or something...
-Mimicry, was it, or something?
I don't think that was very nice, really,
because I don't feel... For me, I've explored lots and lots of ideas
and things like that, so I wasn't copying anyone in particular.
I told them what influenced me, but there we are.
All artists are influenced by somebody.
The only thing that annoys me, is the fact they,
it was suggested I just knocked it together.
Which certainly wasn't the case, you know.
Is there anything that you'll take from today?
Something that the judges said that you might take on board
next time you're working?
Well, it implied the fact that I should still pursue it
and still continue, and I shall do that.
I shall still continue to, kind of, explore.
And I'm not going to stop there. No way.
That's what I like to hear.
It was really lovely to meet you.
-I'm sorry it didn't happen this time.
It was lovely meeting you, Josette.
-Away you go.
Next to face the Hanging Committee
was 24 year-old Timothy Gatenby from London.
'Timothy is so passionate about the Old Masters
'that he followed in their footsteps and went to Florence
'to learn to paint. Now he's back in London,
'where he's hoping to make a living
from his traditional approach to art.'
-Timothy, welcome. Nice to meet you.
So try and paint a picture for me.
What's your normal day? Where do you work?
I have a studio at my gran's house. I have the whole of the top floor.
Which is great, because I get to see her every day.
We constantly have coffee breaks together.
What does she think of your work?
She's almost blind. So she, she pretends she can see it.
-As grannies do.
Like, wanders up to it says, "Oh, I like this one."
What would it mean to get through to the Show Me The Monet exhibition?
Oh, it would be great,
because I hope people enjoy looking at portraiture still,
and don't see it as portraiture,
but they can see it as a work of art on its own, really.
What would you do with the money, if you sold?
Well, actually, my girlfriend's moving to California.
I'd love to go with her.
So I'd put it towards going out there.
Well, I wish you the best of luck. The judges await through that door.
I feel sorry for your granny if you go off to California,
-but never mind. Away you go. Good luck.
Timothy is pinning his hopes on this painting.
Will it appeal to the judges and especially to Roy,
who's an expert in the Old Masters?
Timothy, hello. Welcome to the Hanging Committee.
-Would you like to explain your painting?
-This is a painting of my friend, Andrea.
He's a jeweller in Florence.
While I was living out there,
I painted this portrait of him because,
er, we got along really well.
I thought it would be interesting to get to know him better.
What I was investigating with this painting is how the light falls
on a 3D form and how to represent it in a 2D space...
..as best as I could.
OK, that's great. Can you tell us what price you put on this picture?
I think I'd price this one at about £2,000.
Thank you. I think we should have a closer look at it.
That's a pretty confident valuation.
But to sell his portrait and make enough cash
to go and live with his girlfriend in California,
Timothy first needs to get a place at the exhibition.
So, can the judges see this portrait
hanging on the wall at The Mall Galleries?
You know, I would expect to see this portrait on the walls
of a museum of crime or something.
I mean, he, with a caption underneath saying,
"This is Andrea, he dismembered a woman on the Bath train
"and threw her parts out of the window," or something like that.
Wow. Who knew David had such a dark imagination?
Perhaps our resident Old Masters expert
will have a slightly less sinister take on it.
Timothy, the clothes Andrea is wearing, the hat and the jacket,
they seem to give more than a slight nod to Rembrandt.
Were these the clothes he wore
or were you trying to make the viewer go back a few hundred years?
No, I, like you said,
I really like that idea of a sort of self-conscious piece of work,
knowing that it's really respecting history, but also building upon it.
He's a person who exists now.
So I'm not painting a pastiche or anything of the past.
I'm painting what's happening right now.
So did you give him these clothes as props, or...
-You did? Really?
I really like the way
you are working through that whole tradition.
We can see that tradition,
but we can also see a contemporary painting here,
and I think that's really important.
I think your style has quite a long way to go
in terms of, there's some details like the eyes are blank,
are a bit dead for me. But I think you've got promise.
I like Andrea as a, as a person.
I could see myself knowing him, sitting in a bar in Florence,
drinking into the wee hours, talking to him.
I don't get the mass murderer feel from him at all.
I get a roguish character, with a lot to say and a lot of stories.
But I think there is some, a little bit extra to go.
So, mass murderer or friendly rogue?
Andrea has certainly piqued the judges' imaginations.
But they feel there's room for improvement in Timothy's technique.
I have no idea which way this one's going to go.
I like this mug shot.
It's very conventional.
Technique will only improve, the older you get.
It's worth two grand, yeah.
That's nice of you to say.
-it is a yes from me.
-OK, thank you.
Timothy, I love what you're doing and how you're doing it
and I think you should continue this way,
because I think you could improve a little bit. But absolutely, yes.
-That's really good.
-Thank you very much.
It's a triumph for Timothy.
His Florentine jeweller, Andrea,
will be gracing the walls of The Mall Galleries.
The question now is, will Timothy be able to sell this painting
so he can follow his girlfriend to California?
The Mall Galleries, central London.
And Timothy's painting
took its place amongst the other successful artworks.
And Timothy was in his element.
It's a really good gallery to be exhibiting in.
It's a really nice location as well, right in the middle of London.
And his traditional style was quite a hit.
I particularly like the old gentleman with the hat, behind you.
I think the way he's framed that face,
even the dark of his ears
and his cheekbones emphasises this, the light on his face.
There's a guy called Tim Gatenby
and I looked at his picture and thought,
"That should be hanging in the National Portrait Gallery."
But would anyone want to BUY Timothy's Florentine portrait?
Encouraged by the judges' positive comments,
he upped his asking price to £2,250.
Any offers would be subject to a 10% commission,
to be paid to an independent agent.
As the exhibition came to an end,
it was time for me to reveal to Timothy the results
of the secret bids.
So, did you smell a bidder? Did you smell that someone might..?
I wasn't sure. I think a lot of people were interested in possibly
getting some more portrait commissions off me.
I'm not sure about this piece. A lot of people really liked it.
So, you wanted £2,250 for this wonderful painting.
But sadly, Timothy, you didn't get any offers on the night.
-So I'm very, very sorry.
Big round of applause for you.
'It's not all bad news for Timothy, though,
'because whilst he didn't sell this time,
'since the exhibition, he has displayed and sold his work
'at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition.
'He'll also exhibit at the National Portrait Gallery later this year.
'And he's still only at the start of his career.'
Well, this is the last in our current series of Show Me The Monet.
And it's been a rollercoaster ride of highs and lows,
triumphs and disappointments.
Let's hear it for Northwich, yes.
Oh, thank you!
I'm extremely disappointed.
We received an amazing array of art,
from the traditional, to the abstract,
to the slightly left of field.
This is the Mona Lisa in literary form.
Basically what you see are some cocktail umbrellas,
and there's the purple thing, which I found in a skip,
a paper doily and there's a frame from a hand-held mirror.
In essence, it's a pile of twigs.
It was a nerve-racking moment, standing in front of the judges,
and some found themselves lost for words.
For this piece I wanted to... Um, how did I start?
What I was aiming to do with this piece was to...
Sorry, I've completely forgotten my line.
Pretty nervous, sorry. Can I start again?
Take your time.
But others had plenty to say for themselves.
I think art should be about war, sex, death and religion,
and this is what I'm aspiring to make with this piece of work.
I don't think that you feel that anything can be more than an idea.
But for you to close off to that is just insulting.
I think you're harming the contemporary art world.
I think YOU are.
I think it's people like you who get contemporary art a bad name.
But the aim of the game was to discover some exceptional artists,
and the judges weren't disappointed.
Whoever bought two of your paintings from this series for the university,
I think they had a very good eye.
I think you're one to watch for the future.
If you maintain this level of work,
-you will be in every collection I can think of.
Charles, this is why I sit on this panel, to find artists like you.
Others didn't quite get the response they were hoping for.
It's terrible. Absolutely terrible.
Who is going to buy an artwork
made from second-hand cigarette butt filters?
I honestly think it would disgrace the walls of a community centre.
But for those who did make it to the exhibition,
it was a dream come true.
Yes from me. That's three bells. You've won the jackpot.
-Absolutely yes, well done. Congratulations.
For so many reasons, I think you deserve to go through.
-So it's a yes from me.
Three yeses, Shona. We'll be seeing you at The Mall Galleries.
Thank you very, very much.
And some sold their art
for more than they ever dreamt it could be worth.
-You've got two offers.
-Mum's smiling already.
-We've got three offers.
You've got seven offers.
OK, let's get serious now,
because this is the highest offer we had on the night.
And it was for...
-..and 95 pence.
..was for £3,950.
-You're a rich man.
Give him a hug!
Well, that's it from all of us on Show Me The Monet.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
Facing the Hanging Committee is Craig, 32, from Ipswich, who left his job in retail after ten years and signed up for a degree in fine art. He only graduated last year, but now he has got a chance to make an impact on the London art scene. He is pinning his hopes on a bronze sculpture of a hulk-like figure clutching a teddy bear. But will the judges see a place for it in their exhibition?
Timothy, 24, is so passionate about the Old Masters that he followed in their footsteps and went to Florence to learn to paint. Now he is back in London, and hoping to make a living from his traditional approach to art. Will his portrait of a Florentine jeweller appeal to the judges - and especially to Roy Bolton who is an expert in the Old Masters? If he were to sell his piece at the exhibition, he would use the money to follow his girlfriend out to California.