In the wake of Michael Stone's recent attack on Stormont, many of the news reports noted that Stone was an artist, although none mentioned how amateurish his artworks actually are.
The pictures I've seen display no understanding of technique, composition or ability.
Two of his dreadful paintings appeared on eBay in the last week. One, entitled ‘Kneeling Nude on a Red Background’ had a ‘buy-it-now’ price of £9,995. It wasn’t met and the item mysteriously vanished from eBay before the auction closed.
A second, untitled, nude came with a signed photo of Stone posing by its “sister painting” which is entitled ‘Coeruleum Sunrise’. The bidding started at £4,000 and the auction closed this afternoon without any interest.
These works are really bad. The reds and blacks which act as a background to the nudes, coupled with the clumsy graphic style, suggest a boy's bedroom from the 1980s. The female nudes look as if they've been badly copied from a pornographic magazine.
Bizarrely, the listings noted that a percentage of the sales would be donated to Relatives for Justice, a Northern Irish victims charity with offices on the Falls Road and an interest in uncovering British Army and RUC collusion in murder.
However, Stone's artistic nadir has to be a sculpture, currently on eBay with a starting price of £3,500. Behold the red hand, cast from a Glaswegian loyalist as it arises from a piece of bog oak, slate and a cog wheel.
I'm not quite sure what this piece is trying to convey. Perhaps, in his delusiory state, Stone thought that the presence of the bog oak provided him with some kind of artistic credibility. Alternatively, Stone may have recently become aware that his art was rubbish and decided to go back to the day job.
We all know what an exhibition that turned out to be.