BP Portrait Award 2013

When they're not getting in trouble at court over the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, oil giant BP sponsor an outstanding award; The BP Portrait Award at the National Portrait Gallery

This brings me on to the two main reasons why I love the National Portrait Gallery: 

Number 1: Taylor Wessing's National Portrait Prize
Number 2: BP Portrait Award. 

Now I know the BP Portrait Award isn't photography-based, but it is a competition of portraiture paintwork. You all know by now how much I love Tim Walker's work, in particular many of his photographic portraiture work, so it should be no surprise as to my partialness towards this award. 

The BP Portrait Award has received some criticism about the choice of winners over the past few years, yet despite that, we can't deny how wonderful it is to see such a variety of work and the examination of the human face through art, thus engaging our senses and thoughts as a viewer. Painting is so much more personal than photography. It allows the painter to create his interpretation of his subject, making the work equally more available to both a psychological analysis and analysis of visual semiotics.

After all, was it not Rene Magritte, who said "What one must paint is the image of resemblance—if thought is to become visible in the world"?

To draw is a human instinct; it's a natural way of understanding both people and history. Most people have communicated or created through portraiture in their lives; the cavemen did, the Egyptians did it, Romans, Greeks, Turks, the Mongols etc.  

So to end this post, I want to tell you all that the exhibition of the fifty five paintings is now open until September 15, 2013. Take your time whilst you are there. 

Let yourself be enganged.

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