- Read about my review of the BP Portrait Award 2014 Exhibition in which I highlight the portraits I particularly liked and focus on key themes and points to note for those aspiring to enter.
- View my latest walkabout film of the exhibition in the gallery.
A walk around the BP Portrait Award 2014 Exhibition
Followers of my previous videos of the BP Portrait Award exhibitions (see a list of those from previous years at the end of this post) will note a much lighter brighter better picture in this year's video BP Portrait Award 2014 Exhibition. That's because I now video using my iPad Mini and I'm getting a much better light balance - so long as I'm using HD! It's also an awful lot simpler. However you still get the "walking around effect" since that is literally what I'm doing....
This year I also managed to do my walk round just after the Wolfson Gallery - where the exhibition is held - had been cleared. I've got special permission to do this from the NPG but cannot hang about because the security people need to lock up so they can have their lunch - so apologies if I don't linger on your favourite portrait.
The wonderful thing about doing it in an empty gallery is I can walk backwards without having to watch where I'm going!
Here's the video - A walk around the BP Portrait Award 2014 Exhibition
|BP Portrait Award 2014 Exhibition opened last week|
This is my favourite corner!
I love the juxtaposition of the monocromatic portraits
- different sizes, different approaches, different subjects
Themes this year include:
- all the "big heads" (there were three really big ones this year) had levels of interest in the nature of the way they had been painted - none of them were trying to be photorealistic in the way some portraits have done in the past.
- a number of portraits of artists in their studio (I counted 3 artists in their studio and 1 portrait of a wife in the artist's studio). I also loved the portrait of the artist's dog in one such painting!
- there are fewer groups of people. Only one artist (Lantian D) submitted a group and he submitted three paintings as a triptych of people on a train. It worked very well and was hung on its own on a short wall - and looked very good.
- There are in fact three triptychs this year
|Vulkan Baga with his portrait of Markus|
oil on panel, 240mm x 300mm
|Passers by Lantian D|
oil on canvas
- Plus three nudes
- Hair is all the more interesting when it's a bit different - and there were some good 'hair' paintings this year. Such as the painting of Engels Souffrant a.k.a. EngelsInBrooklyn by Patrik Graham. Of more interest was how a Haitian born artist living in Brooklyn came to be painted by a Swedish born artist who trained in Florence. Plus it's a very striking portrait and was chosen for the banner outside the National Portrait Gallery (see photo at top of post).
Engels is a remarkable artist and we met in 2006 when I started renting a studio in an old industrial area called Gowanus named after the local Gowanus canal. Our studios where a few doors apart and we quickly became close friends. Though coming from very different backgrounds in art, Engels from the 80's New York art scene and me a classical realist school in Florence, we found that we had a great affinity and understanding. We ended up frequently spending time in each other's studios discussing and critiquing each other's work. Over the years I ended up on Engels wall of fame which is one of his ongoing projects, he takes snap shots of all the people that come through his studio and then covers the entire walls of his studio with this ever growing photo collage of friends. I have always painted friends, their friends and who ever excites me that would drift in to my life, unusually though, it took me five years to realise my desire to paint Engels and that he would make an exceptional portrait.
|Engels by Patrik Smith - great hair!|
oil on canvas, 762 x 457mm
- quite a few artists chose to have a plain background. It's apparent quite a few of them were careful to either create an understated texture or selected a colour which would enhance the overall impact of the portrait
|Portraits by (left to right) Isabella Watling, Benjamin Sullivan and Ignacio Estudillo Perez|
|Portrait of Jean Yves, a man looking like Vincent Van Gogh by Gauthier Hubert|
oil on canvas, 700 x 610mm
It was impossible to ignore this portrait by this contemporary Belgian artist with a strong style
indeed it needed to be hung on its own as it had such a big impact
|Eddy in the Morning - a painting of his sone by Geoffrey Beasley|
oil on canvas, 500mm x 500mm
(I overheard somebody saying this was their favourite!)
- I also saw portraits which expanded the portrait into the context for the sitting. I do like detailed contexts when they're both interesting and painted well. My boy Adam is a great portrait of a teenager (note all the trainers!) by Melissa Scott Miller. Melissa can be commissioned and specialises in portraits with lots of interesting background detail.
|Melissa Scott Miller with her portrait of her son 'My Boy Adam'|
oil on canvas 1020mm x 770mm
|Edward Lucie Smith and John Williams|
oil on canvas, 655mm x 500mm
|James Martin by Henrietta Graham|
|(centre) Henrietta and Ollie by Tim Hall, oil on canvas, 2032mm x 1422mm |
- I love the fact the portrait includes all the painting paraphernalia and the office dog
(left) Astrid by Robin L Muller acrylic on board, 431 x 381mm
(right) Northern Bather by Gareth Reid, oil on canvas, 645 x 520mm (former BP Travel Award winner)
Still to come
Still to come are:
- a post about the two other winners of the Young Artist Award and the BP Travel Award 2014
- a post about the BP Travel Award year and exhibition by Sophie Ploeg, winner of the BP Travel Award 2013
- a post about the statistics and the selected artists - including links to their websites. I've also worked out an analysis of what type of portrait got selected this year.
- Thomas Ganter Winner of BP Portrait Award 2014 243 views / 2 days ago
- Richard Twose Interview - BP Portrait Award 2014 (2nd prize) 149 views / 2 days ago
- David Jon Kassan Interview - BP Portrait Award 2014 (3rd prize) 119 views / 1 day ago
- BP Portrait Award 2014 - Presentation 530 views / 4 days ago
- Aleah Chapin Winner BP Portrait Award 2012 14,314 views / 2 years ago
- BP Portrait Award 2013 2,142 views / 1 year ago
- BP Portrait Award Exhibition 2012 3,396 views 2 years ago
- BP Portrait Award 2010 Exhibition.m4v 5,641 views / 4 years ago
More about the BP Portrait Award
BP Portrait Award 2014
- BP Portrait Award 2014 - Call for Entries 03 Dec 2013
- Shortlist announced for BP Portrait Award 2014 17 April 2014
- BP Portrait Award: From 2,500+ entries to just three artists
- BP Portrait Award 2014 - Video of presentation to prizewinners
- A video interview with Thomas Ganter, Winner of the BP Portrait Award 2014
BP Portrait Award 2013
- BP Portrait Award 2013: Call for Entries The competition is open to all artists living anywhere in the world who are aged 18 and over on 1st January 2013.
- BP Portrait Award 2013 - Selected Artists and Statistics - list of selected portraits / exhibiting artists for the 2012 Exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery.
- BP Portrait Award 2013 - The Shortlist - identifies those shortlisted. See if you can guess which work won before reading my review post.
- Susanne de Toit wins £30,000 BP Portrait Award 2013 - BP Portrait Award 2012 Prizewinners
- BP Portrait Exhibition 2013 - Video & Review - A Makingamark Video of a walk around the BP Portrait Award Exhibition 2013 at the National Portrait Gallery
- Sophie Ploeg wins BP Travel Award 2013 - information for those interested in the Travel Award
- Carl Randall's Japan - the best BP Travel Award Exhibition ever!
BP Portrait Award 2012
- Call for Entries: BP Portrait Award 2012 11 Dec 2011
- BP Portrait Award 2012 - 55 Selected Artists 30 May 2012
- Aleah Chapin wins £25,000 BP Portrait Award 2012 19 Jun 2012
- BP Portrait Award Exhibition 2012 (Part 1) 20 Jun 2012
- BP Portrait Award Exhibition 2012 (Part 2) 21 Jun 2012
- Video of BP Portrait Award Exhibition 2012 23 Jun 2012
BP Portrait Award 2011
- BP Portrait Award 2011 Shortlist - identifies shortlisted entries and artists. See if you can guess which work won before reading my review post.
- BP Portrait Award 2011: links to Selected Artists - artists selected for the exhibition in 2011
- Review: BP Portrait Award Exhibition 2011- my review of the exhibition (later than usual)
- BP Travel Awards: 2010 (Paul Beel) and 2011 (Jo Fraser) - information for those interested in the Travel Award
- BP Portrait Award 2011: People's Favourite & Statistics - this is the post in which I analysed last year's entry statistics
- BP Portrait Award 2010 - Shortlist announced)
- BP Portrait Award 2010: List of Exhibitors and Brian Sewell and
- Daphne Todd wins BP Portrait Award 2010
- Two American Artists win BP Portrait Prizes
- BP Portrait Award: Michael Gaskell's unparalled record
- a video of the exhibition see Video - BP Portrait Exhibition 2010 opens today
BP Portrait Award 2009
- BP Portrait Tour & Portrait of the Nation (24 Sep 2009)
- Sue Rubira makes her mark on BP Portrait (18 Jun 2009)
- Exhibition review: BP Portrait Award (18 Jun 2009)
- Peter Monkman wins first prize in BP Portrait Award 2009 (17 Jun 2009)
- BP Portrait Award 2009 - the shortlist (27 May 2009)
- BP Portrait Award - who enters and who gets selected (28 May 2009)
- BP Portrait Award 2009 - Call for Entries (15 Dec 2008)