The Guy, the Girl, the Artist and His Ex by Gabrielle Williams
Published April 2015 by Allen & Unwin
Rating: 5 stars
From the blurb: A rock chick.An artist with attitude.A girl with a past.A party animal.Four lives collide when one of the world's most famous paintings is stolen. It's a mystery that has the nation talking, but while Picasso's Weeping Woman might be absent from the walls of the National Gallery, in other parts of Melbourne the controversial painting's presence is being felt by Guy, Rafi, Luke and Penny for four very different reasons.
The Guy, the Girl, the Artist and His Ex by Aussie author Gabrielle Williams, is set in Melbourne during August 1986. It revolves around a true story: Picasso's painting, Weeping Woman, was stolen by the Australian Cultural Terrorists and ransomed for better funding for the arts. It was later returned but there has always been some question as to it's authenticity.
This was an event I'd never heard of, but it made a great starting point for this novel, giving our four main characters a place to intersect. Guy is in his last year of school and is in a bind because he faked his last school report, hoping he'd improve before anyone found out, only that didn't pan out. Rafi and her mother live about her uncle's bistro, they moved here from Bolivia, after her younger brother drowned. Her mother is haunted by La Llorona, a horse-headed ghost that drowns children. Luke is a popular artist, who takes part in the theft, and Penny is his ex-girlfriend and a new mother to their son, Joshie.
I'm always a fan of stories that manage to weave together so many characters and plot lines well, and that is definitely the case here. Each character had a unique story and I felt like I got a peak into their respective worlds. It was really clever how their live eventually connected, it was also quite sad, especially for Rafi and Penny. I
Keeping this set in the eighties was a treat too, it was hilarious to read about how easy it was to steal a painting from a national gallery back in the day, and all I could think about how hard it would be now, unless you're Neal Caffrey.
The Guy, the Girl, the Artist and His Ex is a bittersweet story of family, love, and art. and after you've read it, you'll probably never look at a famous artwork the same way again.
I knew I had to have a go at
forging painting this wonderful cover. I started with a base coat of white polish and then used acrylic paint for the characters and the empty frame.