In 1972, his father, John Durkin, stole and held ransom a Lowry painting of Middlesbrough Town Hall and Saint Hilda’s Church from the local art gallery.
In exchange for the painting’s safe return, he demanded that the Lord Mayor raffle his underpants for charity and that the gallery be installed with a better alarm system as well as be opened on Sundays “to allow the working man to get some culture.”
Young Sean at the time remembered this and was fascinated by Lowry’s “Matchstick” people, which lead to inspire his paintings today.
Because of this story, each of Durkin’s paintings features a robber, a policeman and sometimes a pair of underpants disguised as bunting!!All Artists