The Man Who Turned Horseracing Into An Artform

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The Independent Online
MARK WALLINGER sees his marble Christ-figure as a unifying symbol for the millennium. But Wallinger, 40, beaten to the Turner Prize in 1985 by Damien Hirst, has socially stayed aloof from the Britpack artists and brings more of a political dimension to his art than his peers.

Born in Chigwell, Essex, he went to Chelsea School of Art and later took an MA at Goldsmith's College, the alma mater of Hirst and many of the Sensation artists.

Horse-racing has been among his passions since childhood, for political as well as sporting reasons. He once said: "Bookies represent the purest form of capitalism. They buy and sell nothing and, like the money markets, react instantly to market forces."

For a self-portrait he registered the colours of the suffragette movement with Tattersalls and posed in jockey's silks in purple, white and green.

He lives in London and was a regular at the Delfina Studio Cafe in Bermondsey, where "resident" artists could lunch for pounds 1.

But he is not every art lover's cup of tea. The critic Andrew Graham- Dixon said: "Wallinger's [pictures] are pedestrian pastiches of Stubbs."

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