6 September 2010
NPG / BP Portrait Award 2010
Every year I make sure to go and see the paintings at the BP Award. I used to love it and it made me feel inspired. But it seems to me that year on year I am leave more disappointed than the last.
I'd estimate that half of the paintings on show this year were of the photo-realism variety. As I wrote on my (pointless) voting slip, "where's the art in copying things?".
The end results of this kind of 'art' seem, to me, to be too perfect and lacking in humanity; reproducing a snapshot of a moment in time leaves no scope for interpretation either by the artist or the viewer... an artist recreates a photo in paint and the end result itself looks like a photograph. Why not just take a decent photograph in the first place?!
I chatted to a couple of other people there who agreed with me.
Anyway, judge for yourself... see them all here, but be aware that the size/scale online does not really do them justice and, if you haven't seen this year's show already, try to go an see it before it finishes on September 19th.
I got me thinking that there are better portraits on pub signs...
Clockwise from top left: NPG doorway mosaic; my voting slip; my choice: 'I went to a marvellous party' by Dairmund Kelly*; Lord Lyndhurst pub (now residential), SE15; Prince William Henry pub (note tree sprouting from his head!), Blackfriars Road, SE1; Samuel Beckett in Notting Hill; Hoxton paper graffiti; The Duke of Sussex (now Frederick's restaurant), N1.
*just googled him and I don't like anything else he's done!!!