BP Portrait Awards


So with the rain hammering down in Bournemouth and the garden project temporarily on hold, Stormy and I decided to make the most of a rainy day and head of up to London to the national Portrait Gallery to look at the BP National award. I must admit to be suitably hung over from the previous night but this seems to be my default setting for art galleries as my last visit around the Louvre in Paris I was utterly hanging. I guess under these circumstances I take a lot more impressing. I also was rather hoping to take a look at Morgan Howell’s excellent super size art but according to the man himself there’s no exhibition until August unless I broke into Radio 2, but I do recommend checking out his web site, it’s the vinyl opposite of Slinkachu. Super Size Singles

BP award is always busy however I only remembered it was gay pride when I got off the train at Waterloo, so it was even busier than a normal Saturday. It’s fair to say that both Stormy and I were slightly underwhelmed, but then the last exhibition we visited was the utterly sublime The Virgin and the child with Saint Catherine by Da Vinci.
Standouts for me were the Hyper Photo Realism of Antonios Titakis where a staggering whole wall of just black and white looked just like a huge photo, only the closest viewing could provide a clue it was all painting which is a neat trick when you consider it’s only in black and white. Stormy also marvelled at the photo realism of Ivan Franco Gragas LeSalmacis amazing unflattering portrait of his girlfriend that almost required a microscope on an A0 framed size picture to see a brush stroke.
I loved the interpretation of how I was feeling in Iain Cumberland’s picture I also like how it’s realistic enough but completely unrealistic enough to be infinitely more interesting than the hyper realism viewed earlier.

The winner Aleah Chapin’s Aunty( right at the top of this page) I thought had the same deft touch, vivid enough to say something but strikingly, obviously painted as it almost rips through the canvas with the story of her sitter’s life displayed on the strokes of her body.
Enjoyable day and it’s also free, nice lunch and wonderful company.

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