The BP Portrait Award

August 23 2017

Video: NPG

Here's a charming video of the winner of the BP Portrait Award, Benjamin Sullivan and his subjects, his wife and daughter. Whoever had the idea for this at the National Portrait Gallery, take a bow.

I thought Sullivan's portrait was a worthy winner. The entries were, as ever patchy. A stand out portrait for me was 'Alejandro' by Anca-Luiz Sirbu, above. Beautifully and originally painted, it didn't get any notice from the judges.

Slavishly painted photographs Photo-realist works were as ubiquitous as ever. In one example the artist had even painted the reflection, in the sitter's eye, of themselves taking the photograph. The portrait drew many admiring remarks from visitors, who said 'it's just like a photograph'. Well, it is a photograph.

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