Michael Flatley taps into his artistic side and makes €5,600


DANCER MICHAEL Flatley said he was “very encouraged and a little bit stunned” by the sale of his first painting at auction yesterday for €5,600.

He had created the painting, titled I, by applying paint to the soles of his shoes and then tap-dancing on a canvas.

The dance sequence used was the Al Capone solo from his show Celtic Tiger.

Mr Flatley donated the painting to a sale of art and antiques held to raise funds for the restoration of Dublin’s Christ Church Cathedral.

The framed artwork was hanging in the foyer of Sheppard’s saleroom in Durrow, Co Laois, as bidders arrived for yesterday’s auction. One woman said: “It’s magnificent – very Chinese looking”; another said: “I wouldn’t be mad about him; he’s a genius in his own field but I don’t like the painting.”

The painting was estimated at between €3,000 and €5,000. Bidding opened at €2,000 and rose quickly. Before bringing the hammer down at €5,600, auctioneer Michael Sheppard warned the packed saleroom that they might regret not bidding higher and said: “Don’t blame me in a few years’ time when we see these going for millions.”

The buyer was an anonymous telephone bidder in Dublin. Sheppard’s said “it was an amazing price for a first painting”.

After the auction Mr Flatley said he had created other paintings – also using his feet – and plans to do more.