Between the 18th of June - 20th of September the prestigious Bp Portrait award was on at the National Portrait gallery, similar to last year I was excited to see it, this year though, different to last, I went with fellow classmates so we could discuss the work after.
On entering the first room you are welcomed by an array of rather emotionless content portraits, all (bar 2) are hyper realistic, and 'Sabastian' by Jan Mikulka could have easily been passable as a photograph. Being instantly impressed by the painters clear talent and exhibited pieces, there was one thing which me and my fellow classmates felt; all the portraits in this room where rather emotionless, none of us felt a connection to the subjects or paintings as a whole, the majority of the comments we made at the time were to do with the skills each painter has, not with our emotional response with the paintings, we didn't dislike them, but we wasn't a ginormous fan either. The thing that I enjoy the most about visiting a gallery or museum is having a connection with something, interesting you and intriguing you to know more, none of this I felt with in the entirety of the BP award bar 2 exceptions.
It was enjoyable to walk round the exhibition and see incredible painting skills and time spent on each piece was visible. But on exiting the rooms I felt I had seen the same painting over and over, I had more pleasure on seeing the rest of the galleries collections.
My favorite paintings of the exhibit were:
This was one of the only non hyper realistic paintings there, I enjoyed the expressive and textural feel of the piece, the way it was composed let the material be expressive rather than the subjects. But yet again with this the subjects emotion represented all of the paintings shown in the exhibit, so even this piece, which was positioned at the half way point felt repetitive.
This painting stood out to be because of the composition, it was one of the more 'experimental' pieces there, placing there subject in a unusual environment, instead of sat on a stood or stood in a environment. The painting itself was also painted with textural gestures, being a large piece you could get up close to it and feel the water on your clothes. But yet again with this (becoming a routine) it was rather emotionless and I left nothing between the subject and me, I just enjoyed the pieces as a whole nothing more.
This piece similar to the other two attracted my attention the most because of its unusual composition. Being a Portrait exhibit, this piece didn't show a portrait. It help humor and made me intrigued as to the story behind the painting or subject shown.
I would recommend you go and view the exhibit for yourself, but it has well past September. I do apologize for the delay.