Home » Blog » diary » An Exhibition at the European Parliament, Exposition a la Parlement Européen.

An Exhibition at the European Parliament, Exposition a la Parlement Européen.

EP_logo_2_JPEG.jpgAt last I have met the famous marine artist Gordon Frickers” – err excuse me, not today you don’t.

One very exhausted Gordon Frickers who arguably should have been at the bar near his paintings and available to meet people  took a walk around part of beautiful Brussels then had a long slow lunch with friends.Museum_Royal__Art__history__Brussels_IMG_1002_d.JPG

His main achievement today was to sit outside a cafe in the sun and get quite sun burnt, particularly fore head and nose.

As things turned out this was a mistake at least in terms of selling.

Unknown to me and unbriefed by me my good friend Bob Brennan went to the Parliament, managed to get in and very kindly kept my babies company.

Bob found people did want to buy; in his words; “I think I met Jeffrey Titford, who stepped down from being an MEP for the Eastern Counties in 2009, was on his way that night to Israel. When I hoped he was not in favour of dividing up Israel land, he said “Amen” and rushed away, taking one of your brochures with him!

A young French sailing school instructor was very impressed with the paintings, and wanted to know if he could introduce his students to details of sailing ships from the pictures. I offered him a brochure, which he took. Ans; yes happy to help people of any age better understand sea life.
A Bulgarian lady said that her son wanted to acquire all he could about Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, especially that painting at Cape Horn.
Ans; no problem, get in touch, pay securely on line via our Print Gallery page or bank to bankl or send a Cheque in sterling or Euros to my English address, and we will post you a copy signed by the artist and RKJ who is also a hero of mine!
An Iranian lady, who declared herself AGAINST the present Iranian Government, said that she thought her work good, but by no means equal to your standard of painting.
I think her first name was Carolyn, so I shall call her Carolyn Draycott; she declared an interest, took a brochure and said she was from Exeter!”
Ans: I am in Plymouth very soon and would be happy to meet this Iranian lady and discuss our arts.

UnfortunatelyI’d not briefed Bob so we omitted to gather contact details.

The exhibition taught me that in future I should have a visitor’s book and ask everyone to sign leave an address and become friends of The Art of Gordon Frickers and maybe the man too.

Equally serious and Bob was I think you may agree the guardian angle sent hero of the hour.

A fellow named Mr. Antiono Rizzico turned up looking to cause trouble.

Wot? At an art exhibition? Err… yes it does happen and according to the law of inverse probability which I first saw in the late Douglas Adam’s brilliant “Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, the less likely some thing is to happen the sooner it will happen.

Our Mr. Rizzico removed the price lists which were discreetly on the from the book /catalogue stand as separate sheets, saying that the lists were forbidden!! – Err no Mr. Rizzico read the EP rules; the lists are not forbidden, selling is merely not allowed which in EP terms means not to be encouraged.

The rules do not ban the display of price lists and in practice only visitors who helped them selves had a price list which is why they were on a separate sheet not in the booklet.
Now Mr. Rizziani return immediately my property which you illegally confiscated – or must I mark it as stolen?

Bob reported to me that fizzi rizzi spoke in staccato French, and went angrily about complaining to Brian Wilson, and various others that he had not been told of the permission for the  Exhibition.

Had Bob not been at the desk, Rizzi would have tried to dismantle the whole thing!!

Bob Brennan was distressed and VERY embarrassed.

He took Bob’s name “as if I was a naughty schoolboy“, and more seriously damaged my interests because Mr. Brennan reported “thereafter not many went looking at your pictures“.

There was one moment when we could have sold the painting “The Port of Saltash”, but as Mr. Rizzico had forbidden any mention of sale, Bob had to tell the potential buyer by word of mouth, in case on exit he would have been discovered with a price list on his person.

It all began to seem like a scene from the BBC’s comedy wartime Belgian café programme, “Hallo, Hallo!”

Mr. Rizzico was not very bright and must be a very insecure person.

If this ‘gentleman’ had an active brain cell he might have realized some one had given permission or the exhibition would not have been in place so if he was not informed that is an internal problem not of the exhibitors making.

He might also have realized he could be liable for damages if he attempted to dismantle the exhibition.

He might also have realized the European Parliament was lucky to get this exhibition which adds to its prestige just as it adds to The Art of Gordon Frickers.

Had Mr. Rizzico dismantled the exhibition I would have sued him for damages so  he is a lucky lad and he should thank Mr. Brennan for his patience and politeness.
As it is although we were not looking to sell Mr. Rizzico has lost us a £4,000 sale “and thereafter not many went looking at your pictures” so if I meet him the exchange will not be friendly unless he apologies and compensates me.
He should immediately return my property which he removed with out authorization.

If you meet this not very gentleman, you may like to tell him, I have not yet but will be am inclined to publicize Mr. Rizzico’s behaviour and very likely to do so if he creates any further trouble.

If Rizzioni wants a fight he can have one and the above will make useful ammunition.

As our American cousins put it during their revolution, paraphrasing the Greeks, “No one steps on me with impunity“.

However I’d far sooner ignore Mr. Rizzico if possible.

The damage is done.

I doubt he is man enough to compensate the artist and if there is no follow up he moves from irritant to irrelevant.

Although he has clearly damaged my interests, unless he causes my host any further problems I am prepared to over look his rudeness and obstructive behaviour.

I am very offended by Mr. Rizzico’s rudeness to Mr. Brennan to whom he owes an apology.


The evening saw me driving to Amsterdam to meet my friend Maryse and her children on their home territory.

The intention was to stay in a hotel and the next day, my birthday, drive north east and visit the world famous Royal Huisman Shipyard at Vollenhove (Holland).

I had been hoping to also visit the Batavia Wherf home of the 1200 ton VOR replica ship “Batavia” and where a fantastic replica ship the 84 gun “Zeven Provinciën” is building.

http://frickers.co.uk/marine-art/zeven_provincien_2.html  Z_Prov_d.JPG

The origianl ZP painting has been long since sold.

This fine picture has though gone into print.

You can order a copy for your collection from page:


I’d like to find out if the picture may help raise funds for the yard and replica ships.

Unfortunately I’d not had time to check out where in the Netherlands the Batavia Wherf is or arrange an appointment.

I’d have loved to see the progress.

Still, a visit to Royal Huisman is a rare event, a big privilege and I am looking forward to it hugely.

I am very keen to see the newest and best.

I’d like to paint one of the Royal Huisman super yachts to use on my next brochure.

In any event for me as a former ship and boat builder, former director of South East boat Builders Ltd the visit to Royal Huisman will be an occasion to remember.

In effect they have done what I once dreamed I might do with South East boat builders Ltd of Rye.