BP Portrait Award 2014 at the National Portrait Gallery…

A week ago I was invited to the press preview of the BP Portrait Award 2014 at the National Portrait Gallery. For somebody like me who likes art (ok, a bit of a vague statement, I admit), is fascinated by faces and portraits and always though I had a little bit of talent in that area, this was absolutely amazing and interesting. The amount of talent in that room was staggering and I was confronted with the ugly truth that my "talent" in that area is pretty limited if not negligible which isn't an easy thing to accept...

Henrietta and Ollie   by Tim Hall, 2014

Henrietta and Ollie by Tim Hall, 2014

Hanging on those walls were (still are of course, the exhibition runs until the 21st September) 55 of the very best portrait artists' submissions from all over the world which had been selected from a staggering 2377 entries! From huge scale to small triptych, from clothed to near-on naked, and from very formal to literally "sitting on the loo", the portraits were as varied as the individual artists. The interesting thing is that I didn't have just one favourite (though one portrait was very close) as they weren't comparable in that sense. Each had something spectacular, interesting and its own style. 

Adam Phillips in memory of Jane Brodie   by Eileen Hogan, 2013

Adam Phillips in memory of Jane Brodie by Eileen Hogan, 2013

This is just a small selection with some of my personal favourites which is of course completely subjective. I'm not in a position to judge any of them, so I go with my gut feeling and the ones that captivate me the most, I feel most drawn to or seem to "speak" to me in a way. For me, that's how I look at art. It doesn't matter to me who painted it, how much a painting might be worth or how highly praised it is by critics, if a piece of art draws me in and makes me stop in my tracks, then it's a good piece for me. It's as simple as that. 

Mother #1   by Yunsung Jang, 2013

Mother #1 by Yunsung Jang, 2013

Man with a Plaid Blanket   by Thomas Ganter, 2013 - Winner of the 2014 BP Portrait Award

Man with a Plaid Blanket by Thomas Ganter, 2013 - Winner of the 2014 BP Portrait Award

My Parents   by Gary Sollars, 2014

My Parents by Gary Sollars, 2014

Engels   by Patrik Graham, 2013

Engels by Patrik Graham, 2013

Copycat   by Edward Sutcliffe with Li Wu Da, 2014

Copycat by Edward Sutcliffe with Li Wu Da, 2014

Padre   by Maria Carbonell, 2013

Padre by Maria Carbonell, 2013

Girl in Red   by Anna Wypych, 2014

Girl in Red by Anna Wypych, 2014

Andrea and Myrtle   by Simon Davis, 2013

Andrea and Myrtle by Simon Davis, 2013

If you are in London, then you should definitely go and visit this exhibition, it's absolutely worth it and the admission is free! Take a little time out of your busy schedule (and I know how difficult that can be) and let yourself be captivated by these beautiful and interesting pieces. And if you can't go in person, well, you can always get one of the prints from the exhibition here

I'm now off to France to celebrate my gran's 100th birthday, so whilst you're reading this, I'm probably driving down the autoroute towards the birthplace of Art Nouveau which is Nancy. But that's an art post for when I'm back. Wishing you all a lovely weekend.