Graduate: David Booth

What Lies Beneath: 'Putin' by David Booth

What Lies Beneath: 'Putin' by David Booth

Caesar Domitianus Augustus (51-96 AD), one of the 12 Caesars and one known for his reign of terror, liked, says Roman historian Suetonius, to spend an hour each day, on his own, catching flies and sticking pins in them.

Does today's ruler, sporty, outdoorsy Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin like to spend time killing flies?

Irish artist David Booth doesn't know either, but he's drawn to this "universal associative figure" and, in this recent portrait, three-time President Putin is a don't-mess-with-me presence. Mr Icy-eyes stares the viewer down. Putin on the Ritz, it ain't.