Thursday, 16 June 2011

BP Portrait Prize - NPG London

This year's BP Portrait Prize exhibition has just opened at the National Portrait Gallery, London. I have to admit I've become rather jaded with this annual painting exhibition - despite exhibiting over 50 fairly diverse paintings each year, it somehow seems formulaic holistically... I have come to expect certain types of painting to be represented.  Nonetheless, winning is a big deal - part of the prize involves being commissioned by the NPG to produce a portrait which will enter their permanent collection.

Third Prize - 'Just to Feel Normal' by Ian Cumberland. Oil on linen, 150x100cm

Nonetheless, it's well worth a look in (free entry).

This year activists protested outside the gallery at the opening, against the use of the sponsor BP. It's hardly the first time that an exhibition has used such powerful but controversial sponsors - the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition once had oil smeared over the displays by activists protesting against the 'wholly inappropriate' use of sponsor Shell in an exhibition which featured endangered species and habitats (Shell is no longer the sponsor of that event). Short video clip below:

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