In the 60s and 70s, the people of Britain were generally much more interested in art than they are today. And there were two big names in Art, vying for pole position above the mantelpieces of the nation: Spain’s Bruno Amadio and Britain’s own JH Lynch. Some houses had pictures by both of them up on the walls, but in general, normal people had Lynch and weird people had Amadio.
Weird people liked Amadios paintings, because they featured children crying. There were lots of people who enjoyed seeing children cry in those days, partly because it was perfectly legal and acceptable to clout them around the ear holes, whether you were a parent, a teacher, a policeman, someone who felt that their property or rights had been violated, (such as a farmer who had caught some kiddies scrumping apples in his orchard), or even just someone who disliked children.
Of course there are other ways of making children cry, other than clouting, and many of these were explored by members of the disc jockey and light entertainment community, who probably all had paintings by Bruno Amadio on their walls, which they looked at whilst fiddling with themselves.
Amadio’s work became unpopular when firemen discovered that houses where the picture was hanging up were more likely to be burned down to the ground. This became known as “the curse of the crying boy,” although as far as I can see it is more likely to be the curse of the suspected child molester at the hands of outraged sun readers.
Any road, JH Lynch was an entirely different kettle of fish. No little kiddies for him, just sultry looking women with their bosoms on show. Pictures that ordinary blokes could fiddle with themselves in front of without their wives or people glancing in through the windows becoming concerned that they were sexual perverts or anything like that.
“Tina” was his most popular painting, you could buy it in Boots, Timothy Whites and all other leading major department stores. She was probably completely naked as well, but the picture only went down as far as the top of her bosoms. The way she was lolling against that tree with her lips slightly parted and her hair cascading down over her shoulders used to drive the men doolalley.
My Raymond’s brother Bernard had one in his living room. He said it was because he enjoyed looking at the mantelpiece whilst he was stoking the fire. I can’t think what he was ruddy on about because he had a three bar electric, but knowing him it was probably something rude. Filthy so and so.
Like Picasso with Dora Maar, Lynch, painted loads of different pictures of ‘Tina’ but unlike Picasso, there is no evidence to suggest that she was a real woman who he ever had anything to do with. Lynch retired from painting in the early 1980s, he had become incapable of holding a brush properly because of the thick hair which had begun to sprout from the palms of his hands.