LOT 023

1942 - 2019

The Candidate
bronze sculpture with patina and paint
signed, editioned 1/5, dated 1987 and inscribed with the foundry mark JA/PL
24 x 14 x 10 in, 61 x 35.6 x 25.4 cm

Estimate: $30,000 - $50,000 CAD

Sold for: $67,250

Preview at:

Kenneth G. Heffel Fine Art Inc., Vancouver
Acquired from the above by the present Private Collection, Vancouver, 1987

Joe Fafard, Artists and Animals, Artists for Kids Gallery, 1999, reproduced page 31

Artists for Kids Gallery, Vancouver, Joe Fafard, Artists and Animals, May 6 - 30, 1999, catalogue #3

Joe Fafard was renowned for his ability to capture character and expression in his subjects, from farm animals such as calves and horses to the most important figures in political and art history. He began working in bronze in 1984 and shortly thereafter produced a series of portraits of popular politicians. His subjects included former prime ministers Pierre Elliott Trudeau and John Diefenbaker, and this 1987 work of future prime minister Jean Chrétien. Fafard’s portrait of Diefenbaker, entitled The Politician (1986, private collection, sold by Heffel for a record price in June 2021), provides a useful comparison to Chrétien’s. As a former prime minister viewed retrospectively, Diefenbaker was depicted proudly standing on top of a wooden chair, his face etched with a lifetime’s work. By comparison, Chrétien is depicted in a much more informal pose. He sits in the same wooden chair but backwards, sleeves rolled up and tie loosened, apparently in the middle of conversation or debate. Chrétien had left politics in 1986 after a contentious 1984 campaign for the Liberal party leadership, and here Fafard depicts him with the folksy charm and confidence shown in that earlier run. He is still “the candidate,” not yet the fully resolved leader, and is presented selling himself to an audience and a nation.

Estimate: $30,000 - $50,000 CAD

All prices are in Canadian Dollars

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