Comparisons are being made between a Renaissance masterpiece and a photograph capturing Swansea police apprehending an intoxicated individual.

A viral photo has been circulating, depicting the arrest of an intoxicated individual outside a takeaway in Swansea on the notorious “Black Eye Friday,” known for its drunken revelry. Some have compared the image, captured by Dimitris Legakis, to a Renaissance painting due to its depiction of chaotic celebration. One admirer even suggested it should be displayed alongside the Mona Lisa and Venus de Milo in the Louvre.

Legakis took the photo around 12:30 am on the last Friday before Christmas, a night infamous for excessive drinking, which has earned the monikers Mad Friday or Black Eye Friday. The image showcases three police officers in high-visibility jackets restraining a man while one communicates via radio and the other two attempt to handcuff the suspect.

In the foreground, a young man nonchalantly lies on the ground holding a cigarette and his phone, taking a selfie. Beside him is a blond girl sticking out her tongue and giving the victory sign. Breaking the fourth wall, a sober-looking individual, not wearing a uniform, gazes directly at Legakis’s lens while clutching one of the police officers’ helmets.

Cultural enthusiasts have drawn parallels between this photo and French Romantic artist ThĂ©odore GĂ©ricault’s 1817 painting “The Raft of Medusa.” Just as Joel Goodman’s well-known image from New Year’s Day 2015 in Manchester captured a man lying on the street reaching out for his beer amidst chaos, reminiscent of Adam in Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel, these photographs leave similar impressions.

Legakis, flattered by the comparison to Goodman’s work and a distinguished French artist, commented that painting requires tremendous effort and skill, emphasizing the uniqueness of his photographic composition. He considers the comparison to the Renaissance and Romantic styles highly flattering, describing Goodman as “a legend.”

Legakis revealed his secret to capturing such candid street photography is to seize opportunities and be in the right place at the right time. On this occasion, he ventured out to the streets of Swansea shortly after 10 pm, as he often does during significant drinking events in the Welsh calendar. Observing the police interacting with the drunk man earlier in the evening, Legakis noticed him entering a takeaway, where the arrest eventually took place. Despite resistance, the officers managed to handcuff the individual, with at one point seven officers holding him down.

During the photo shoot, other revelers began inserting themselves into the scene, attempting to be included in the shot. Legakis found their behavior amusing, and currently, only the person holding the helmet has reached out to request a copy of the photo, being the seemingly most “normal” individual captured in the picture.

Although originally from Greece, Legakis has resided in Wales for 23 years and remains perplexed by the British fascination with alcohol. He stated, “I still do not understand it at all. You get people on a Monday saying ‘I can’t wait to get drunk on Friday.’ This would never happen in Greece.”

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