Anne and me went to the BP Portrait Award dinner and ceremony a few weeks ago which was excellent as ever. When it came to announcing the winner there was a live link to Channel 4 news with Jon Snow but there was a delay witha previous item on the news and everybody was stood around in abject silence staring at eachother with raised eyebrows and baited breath for the link to happen which kind of killed the moment a little.
It’s a nice mixed show this year, it’s got more of a feel of the mid 90′s BP Awards about it I think which is much better, I felt it was getting a too photorealist some years. I really liked Al Freney’s painting “At this time of night ” with the Warhol t-shirt on. I really like the idea of a portrait with the figure repeated in two different poses, it’s something I’ve thouht about on a few occasions , especially with very specific sitters who it would work very well with. I like the economy of the painting and the background resonates extremely well I think. Isobel Peachy’s portrait of RH is lovely too, very traditional, I guess Rembrandt / Sargent esque but like Mike Gaskell’s portrait of his son it has a real warmth.
Edward Sutcliffe’s portrait of Glenda Jckson is a very striking portrait. Edward comes from my neck of the woods and as an enthusiastic A Level student came to my studio a few times to pick up tips and write an essay for his A level project. That must have been over 10 years ago now, I think I was painting “Harry Coleman” the first World War veteran when he came. I don’t think I’d like to have been at Glenda’s unveiling though, my God, Tony Blair’s tenure has surely taken its toll on her because she looks so old.
I have really admired Alan Coulson’s work over the past few years, infact I met him briefly and was a lovely guy. I like his detatched portrait of the lady in beautifully coloured turbon. I was a little disorientated by the coloured eye lashes initially but I think they add something to the portrait now.
It’s on until the end of September so if you’re in London and have a free hour drop in , it’s free too.
July 13th, 2011