Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Aleah Chapin wins £25,000 BP Portrait Award 2012

Aleah Chapin - Winner of the BP Portrait Award 2012
(left to right: Sandy Nairne, Director of the National Portrait Gallery,
Bob Dudley, CEO of BP, Aleah Chapin and Sir Michael Parkinson)
all photos copyright Katherine Tyrrell
International artists took the first and second prizes at the BP Portrait Awards 2012 ceremony at the National Portrait Gallery this evening.

American artist Aleah Chapin (26) - born in Seattle in 1986 and based in Brooklyn - has won the BP Portrait Awards First Prize - worth £25,000 - and a commission from the National Portrait Gallery - as predicted by me (see BP Portrait Award 2012 - The Shortlist). 

Her large nude portrait (oil on canvas, 58 x 38 inches) of an older lady who is a close friend of her family. Auntie is just one of a series of paintings in her
The "Aunties" project - which comprises nude portraits of women Aleah has known all of her life. The portrait is simply stunning and I knew straight away it would win.

Sandy Nairne, Director of the NPG commented
"Aleah Chapin's portrait is ambitious and beautifully painted, with superbly controlled colour and tone. She is a very deserving winner of the 2012 BP award, which once again demonstrates the vitality of contemporary portrait painting around the world"
I have to say I'm very pleased to see another female winner of this very prestigious prize - and it's wonderful to see what tremendous skill and sensitivity that she has for such a young artist.

Aleah Chapin holding her BP Portrait Award 2012
in front of Auntie
This is what I said back in April when I predicted she would win and the portrait in "real life" is just as good if not better than I thought it was then.
Having studied all four I think the winner will be Aleah Chapin. Reasons being because of the nature of the subject and sheer "grab your eye and keep it" of its composition, its size plus the painterly quality of the brushwork and use of palette. She paints older skin with bravado and huge skill. Her porfolio of work from her series of nude portraits older women are stunning.
Ignacio Estudillo
The runner-up is Spanish artist Ignacio Estudillo for El abuelo (Agustín Estudillo) - which means The Grandfather.  He won £8,000.

Alan Coulson
The winner of the third prize of £6,000 was Alan Coulson for Richie Culver.

The BP Young Artist of the Year Award (£5,000) - for an artist aged went to Jamie Routley for his triptych painting of Tony Lewis.

The presentations were made to a packed gallery by Sir Michael Parkinson and Bob Dudley, CEO of BP who have sponsored the competition for the last 23 years and have just agreed to continue sponsorship for the next 5 years.  Ed Vaisey, the Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries in the UK also spoke in support of the Prize during the Ceremony.

I'll be commenting further on the exhibition after visiting it again tomorrow morning when I'll also get a chance to interview the artists.

The BP Portrait 2012 Exhibition opens to the public on 21st June at the National Portrait Gallery at the bottom of St Martin's Lane near Trafalgar Square.

National Portrait Gallery, St Martin’s Place, London, WC2H 0HE.
Opening hours: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday, Sunday: 10am – 6pm (Gallery closure commences at 5.50pm)
Late Opening: Thursday, Friday: 10am – 9pm (Gallery closure commences at 8.50pm)
Recorded information: 020 7312 2463
General information: 020 7306 0055
Website: www.npg.org.uk
Underground: Leicester Square/Charing Cross

BP Portrait Award 2012

These are all the posts about this year's awards.
Plus my website - which includes other portrait competitions - Portraiture - Resources for Artists


  1. Toutes mes félicitations à l'heureuse gagnante... Un prix bien mérité.

    Gros bisous

  2. This painting "Auntie" is amazing!


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