- First - it has an exhibition within an exhibition - with the exhibition of work selected for the SELF Portrait Prize exhibition (see yesterday's post - Jan Mikulka wins £20,000 SELF Portrait Prize)
- Next, when I walked into the North Gallery I thought I'd gained an early admission to the BP Portrait Award. What I saw was an awful lot of very high quality work in a diverse range of styles
- Finally, two portraits of women with facial disfigurements won major prizes. The RSPP, along with the charity Changing faces, is to be congratulated for the way in which it celebrates portraits of people with a disfigurement.
One quick comment before I start. Four of the prizes this year went to artists who submitted via the open entry. This art society more than any other always manages to persuade me that artwork from the open entry which wins prizes has been executed by painters who are being seriously considered as prospective future members of the RP. I don't know if it's true - but it's certainly the case that this year all the artists chosen for prizes from the open entry are serious professional artists.
The Ondaatje Prize for the most distinguished portrait of the year (£10,000)
Mark Roscoe won the 2013 Ondaatje Prize for Portraiture with his portrait of Olivia Roberts. This portrait was a commission from the Changing Faces Charity which he got after last year winning the Changing Faces Prize at this exhibition.
|Winner of The Ondaatje Prize for Portraiture (2013)|
oil, 120 x76cm (47" x 30") NFS
© Mark Roscoe
Having a T shirt with its message backwards is a neat attention getter - and makes us realise this image is the way Olivia sees herself in a mirror. Her steady gaze is very engaging. Plus I loved the fact the portrait is of a girl who obviously loves horses and painting portraits of horses!
Mark Roscoe’s portrait of 18 year old Olivia was commissioned by "Changing Faces" as part of its strategy to ensure that people with facial disfigurements are represented throughout the arts.
When the commission prize was placed kindly in my hands I began thinking of a way to challenge people's ‘first impression’ as it can so often be highly superficial and therefore very wrong. I painted Olivia in the manner of a self-portrait to encourage the viewer to see life through her eyes. The image is a mirror reflection of Olivia in her bedroom wearing her favourite T-Shirt with the slogan "Love is the only solution, Love is the only way."His prize was presented to him by BBC News art Editor Will Gompertz who opened the exhibition and Alastair Adams, the President of the Royal Society of Portrait Painters
Our reflection in a mirror is most familiar to us however as everything has been reversed it is the opposite view to a camera and that of everyone we meet including our friends and family. This raises the question, what is more important, how we view our self or how we appear to others?
Visit Mark Roscoe's website to see more of his portraits. I also have a feeling it can't be long before Mark is invited to join the RP and have a page on its website.
|Mark Roscoe - Winner of the Ondaatje Prize|
with (left) Will Gompertz and (right) Alastair Adams PRSPP
The De Lazlo Foundation Award (Silver Medal + £3,000)
This prize is for the artist, aged 35 or under, who is judged to have submitted the best portrait.
This award went to Kelvin Okafor for his drawing of Melvin in graphite, charcoal and black coloured pencil of Melvin.
|Winner de Lazlo Foundation Award|
Graphite pencils/Charcoal/black coloured pencil/on sketching paper; 17 x 24 inches; (£10,000)
© Kelvin Okafor
Kelvin's post on his blog Kelvin Okafor Art creates a step by step of how he drew his portrait of Melvin - see Melvin - Evolution and Melvin
Kelvin has garnered some amazing publicity in the last year - here's some of it:
- BBC News: Kelvin Okafor pencil drawings amaze art critics - this includes a video of an interview with Kelvin
- The Guardian - Kelvin Okafor's drawings may look like photographs but are they art?
- The Daily Mail: Portraits of perfection: No, they're not photos, but pencil drawings by a young genius from a tough council estate
- Flickr: Kelvin Okafor's Photostream
- YouTube: Kelvin Okafor Channel
The Changing Faces Prize (£2,000)
The Changing Faces Prize was established in 2002 and is awarded to the artist whose portrait best conveys the energy of their subject, the directness of their gaze and an attitude that exudes openness and confidence. The Prize is a £2,000 commission to paint a portrait of a person with a facial disfigurement for the Changing Faces Collection. The Collection aims to ensure that people with unusual faces are fairly represented in modern-day portraiture.This portrait by Andrew James VPRP is of his father and comes within the category of someone with an "unusual looking face".
|Winner of The Changing Faces Prize|
Oil, 122 x 91cm (48" x 36") NFS
© Andrew James VPRP
See more of Andrew's paintings and portraits on these websites
The Prince of Wales's Award for Portrait Drawing (£2,000)
I'm a huge fan of Toby Wiggins RP's drawings and was very pleased to see he had won this prize for his pencil drawing of Mary Spencer-Watson. He has an ability to create an incredibly 3D drawing using only pencil. It's precise without being prissy.
|Winner of the Prince of Wale's Award for Portrait Drawing|
Mary Spencer-Watson, Sculptor
Pencil, 83cm x 46cm (33" x 18") £1,800
© Tony Wiggins
You can read other posts on this blog and more about Toby Wiggins below
- An Interview with Toby Wiggins RP
- Exhibition review: Toby Wiggins wins Lynn Painter-Stainers Prize 2009
- Toby Wiggins - website
- Royal Society of Portrait Painters - member page
The Arts Club Charitable Trust in association with The Arts Club (£1,000)
Winner of the Arts Club Charitable Trust Award in association with The Arts Club
Oil, 61 x 59cm (24" x 23") NFS
© Tim Benson ROI
Tim Benson ROI won with his painting of Alison. The portrait was initially prompted by the Changing Faces prize and the notion that portraiture can make a difference to those whose faces are disfigured in some way. He contacted the charity and his sitter Alison Rich works for Changing Faces challenging the prejudices surrounding facial disfigurement.
You can see more of Tim's paintings in
SELF Portrait Prize
See my post yesterday - Jan Mikulka wins £20,000 SELF Portrait Prize - for a commentary on this brand new prize which has an exhibition within the exhibition -
Royal Society of Portrait Painters - previous posts
- Review: Royal Society of Portrait Painters - 121st Annual Exhibition
- Antony Williams wins Ondaatje Prize 2012
- Analysis of open entry to RSPP Annual Exhibition (2012)
- Review: Royal Society of Portrait Painters Annual Exhibition 2011 (Part 1)