We have a small selection of paintings for sale by Braaq, the Liverpool born artist whose townscapes and sporting scenes are now very collectible. Art connoisseurs who are looking for beautiful contemporary artwork that is almost certain to increase in value over time will find Brian Shields lively and humorous depictions of life in his hometown fit the bill perfectly.
Liverpool born Brian Shields 'Braaq' spent most of his working life in Harrogate, North Yorkshire moving there in 1968 until he left for Portugal in 1982 after he declared himself bankrupt.
Recently dubbed as one of the countries six most successful artists by The Times newspaper, he received no formal training but was born into an artistic family, his father was an accomplished artist and grandfather painted commissions for the Royal Family. Braaq was the fictitious name he adopted, acquired from an old nickname given to him at school because of his flair for art.
Talked out of becoming a professional artist initially by his family he trained as a chef in a Harrogate hotel and started painting murals to occupy his time. He achieved notoriety in a similar vein to Banksy the graffiti artist, in that he anonymously painted murals on the walls of a friends house who contacted the press as part of a prank suggesting that his house had been broken into. For five weeks the search was on for this unknown artist until a journalist named him but the prank actually helped launch Braaq's career as the murals achieved world wide coverage.
Aged twenty three he decided to launch his career as an artist and his first exhibition in 1973 received high praise and critical acclaim.
His humour is reflected in his paintings which depict his memories of his life growing up in Liverpool. It has been acknowledged that his father gave him inspiration for some of the titles of his paintings and his mothers name, Agnes, often appears as graffiti on walls in the scenes. Braaq himself can also can be seen in many of his paintings as a rough and ready character in a black and white striped jumper and wellington boots. After the premature death of his sister, Ann, Braaq often signed her name after his signature on each of his paintings.
Braaq favoured depicting populated townscapes and scenes teeming with life. Recently prices for his work have soared especially his sporting scenes, cricket and football in particular. In 2014 a rarely seen racecourse scene sold for more than £70,000 which holds the record currently for his work.