It’s not often you can say you’ve played football with the artist. An but not the artist perhaps. But on this occasion of an exhibition of new works by Dundonian Artist Francis Boag -‘Brightside’ it is true. Though when playing football we referred to him as Franny. Referred to him as other things too and indeed to one another. Football is a democratic activity in the sense that you have to take your turn at taking verbals from team mates and opponents alike. No one is exempt. Not even artists. Whether with the ball or with paint.
Franny Boag was a decent footballer and is a former Teacher as well as being a talented successful artist. From Dundee. Which I think punches above its weight in terms of producing talented artists in all sorts of fields. In my year at school for example was the late Michael Marra a Dundee diamond and extraordinary musical talent. My two favourite Michael Marra songs concern football and art. In ‘Hamish’ he sings wittily of Dundee United’s penalty taking goalkeeper Hamish MacAlpine and Grace Kelly’s visit to Dundee. In the same song! That’s THE Grace Kelly by the way. Watching her man’ s team FC Monaco lose to Dundee United. My other favourite is a surreal one entitled ‘Frieda Kahlo’s Visit to the Tay Bridge Bar’. That’s THE Frieda Kahlo the artist who said ‘I never painted dreams. I painted my own reality.’ She’d have found plenty of reality in the Tay Bridge Bar I reckon!
While Franny Boag is slightly older a contemporary of Michael Marra and myself Dave Nicol was such a good footballer he played at senior level. A goalkeeper like ‘oor Hamish’ Dave Nicol has a beautiful photograph on his Facebook page of himself diving at the feet of a great footballing artist Kenny Dalglish. As to what happened next I reckon Davie as we called him might want to erase that particular canvas! But hey Art is life life is football and football is Art! There are rich images of all of them by the Tay. The exhibition ‘Brightside’ is currently on at the Fraser Gallery St. Andrews.