Photo painting voted NPG favourite

September 19 2011

Image of Photo painting voted NPG favourite

Picture: Daily Mirror

Jan Mikulka's portrait Jakub (detail, above) has won the Visitor's Choice Award at the National Portrait Gallery's BP Portrait Award. I'm not surprised the portrait proved popular - I remember hearing admiring noises from people when I went to the exhibition: 'ooh, it's just like a photograph...' they would say. Sure enough, that's what the newspaper's have said too: 'oil painting so life-like it looks like a photo'.

Regular readers will know my dim view of photographs rendered in paint. Here, the artist has even copied the distortion caused by the lens, and the short focus from the wide aperture. Wouldn't it be better if the headline said: 'oil painting so life-like it looks like a human'? Or are we now so conditioned to looking at the world through a lens, be it on our phones or on the web, that we expect even art to be a mere mechanical photo-like reproduction?

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