Friday, September 10, 2010

The BP Visitors Choice Winner is...

iDeath by Michal Ožibko
oil with acrylic background on canvas, 2200 x 1700 mm
photo copyright Katherine Tyrrell>

I'm really enjoying the more interactive approach to exhibitions even if it does make artists, curators and galleries squeamish at times - primarily because it can produce some apparently odd results on occasion.  I'm all for a more democratic approach to people being able to express views about what they like and think is good.

It is after all a fact of life in this digital age that the art which is likely to get featured more on the Internet is the art which catches the eye of the masses who then all press the icon and share it on Twitter, Facebook etc.  I suppose it was just a question of time before the galleries caught up with what is becoming a perfectly normal approach to life for an awful lot of people!

To which end the National Portrait Gallery this year had an interactive screen at the entrance/exit to the BP Portrait Exhibition.  While people have always been able to vote for their favourite portrait, this year people leaving the exhibition could press the screen to indicate the portrait they favoured and hence vote for this work to win the Visitors Choice Award.

This year, a record 25,980 votes were cast between 24 June and 5 September 2010 and in the year when I remarked how we seemed to be through the phase of big heads guess what won the Visitors Choice Award!  It is however a very attractive picture and the iPod leads are a nice touch.
  • The overall winner was iDeath by Michal Ožibko, which received 4,127 votes. 
  • The second most popular was Sentinel by Lyndsey Jameson (2,500 votes), and 
  • the third Le Grand Natan by Daniel Enkaoua (2,098 votes). /li>
Interestingly these three had maintained these positions at the top of the table since voting started.  The exhibition continues until 19th September 2010at the National Portrait Gallery, and subsequently in 2010-11 will tour to the Usher Gallery, Lincoln, and Aberdeen Art Gallery. You can see the full results on www.npg.org.uk/visitorschoice Here's a little bit about each of the artists.  I'm especially pleased for Lyndsey Jameson, not least because I voted for her!  I'm just waiting now for Declan to turn up and win a prize in a few years time to make it three siblings  from the same family who have had work in the BP Portrait and won an award - except I guess Declan might argue he's already done that!
Michal Ožibko(17.3.1981) for iDeath (4,127 votes) (oil with acrylic background on canvas, 2200 x 1700 mm): Michal Ožibko, an artist and art director from Prague, Czech Republic, created his first oil painting when he was 14 and went on to study at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague in 2005. This painting shows the stylization of Jana, a school friend who Michal thought was an interesting person. She is shown in a large head-and top-of-shoulders study with her hair centre-parted and side-bunned behind her ears from which two earphone wires drop to the edge of the canvas. Her eyes do not look out at the viewer but are cast downwards as she listens to her music. The iPod itself is not pictured. By picturing her in this way Michal felt his work became representative of people he met each day in the street.

Sentinel by Lyndsey Jameson
Oil on linen, 1220 x 770 mm
Lyndsey Jameson (30.10.1982) for Sentinel (2,500 votes) (oil on linen, 1220 x 770 mm): Lyndsey Jameson, a teacher from Darlington, County Durham, studied Fine Art at Sunderland University. This painting shows her younger brother Declan, standing on the bank of the River Tees on a sunny day, with wet hair and skin coated by the dark silt of the river bank. The broken branch which he holds vertically echoes his own proud posture and perhaps naively assumes ownership of this publicly owned land. A portrait of Lyndsey in last year’s BP Portrait Award exhibition by her brother Mark Jameson won the BP Young Artist Award 2009, and a self-portrait by Mark is also included in this year’s exhibition.

Daniel Enkaoua (24.7.1962) for Le Grand Natan (2,098 votes) (oil on canvas, 2270 x 1825mm): Daniel Enkaoua, an Israeli-born teacher based in Barcelona, Spain, studied at the Avni Institute of Art in Tel Aviv, Israel. When his son, Natan was four years old he asked his father to paint a picture of him as big as possible. This request informed the making of this portrait. Following his wish, Daniel now understands that while children yearn to act like adults, we conversely desire to acknowledge the child that resides in all of us.
Links to other BP Portrait 2010 posts

2 comments:

Nelson Castañeda said...

Is tehe "ideath" name, an ironic one?

Katherine Tyrrell said...

Could be - what do you think?

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