Dalton McGuinty portrait set to be unveiled at Queen’s Park
Three years after leaving in tense times, Dalton McGuinty is coming back to Queen’s Park. Permanently.
His official portrait will be unveiled Tuesday and hung outside Premier Kathleen Wynne’s office in a hallway that’s home to two other paintings by the same artist, Istvan Nyikos, who painted former Progressive Conservative premiers Bill Davis and Mike Harris.
McGuinty is his first Liberal premier but Nyikos, who left Hungary as a refugee in 1967 and studied at what is now the Ontario College of Art and Design, says he wouldn’t touch politics with a 10-foot paint brush.
“It’s none of my business. As a taxpayer, maybe, but not as an artist,” he quips from his Collingwood studio.
In fact, Nyikos — who has also painted four speakers of the legislature, six chief court justices and former governor general Ray Hnatyshyn, to name just a few — prefers not to know his subjects too well.
“I take the face value, literally, of what the people give me . . . a superficial knowledge is good enough.”
Nyikos adds, tellingly: “I can’t paint my wife or my family. I’m too close to them. I love them. I know them too well.”
He has several sittings with each subject, sketching or painting the face and taking photographs of hands and other details. He works from those over the course of six to eight weeks, often painting several portraits concurrently.
Nyikos says his clients, who may well have ruffled feathers in their professional lives, are unfailingly polite as they make small talk.
“I try to paint them at their best.”
They face criminal charges of breach of trust, mischief in relation to data and misuse of a computer system following a lengthy Ontario Provincial Police investigation into deleted emails.
Livingston and Miller deny any wrongdoing. McGuinty co-operated with the police investigation and was not a suspect. (Source: Toronto Star)