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Some cultural activity, now. I visited the BP Portrait Award 2013 at the National Portrait Gallery the other day. Given that it's free, air-conditioned and not too huge it made a perfect place for a brain holiday away from the crowds of Trafalgar Square.
I find it hard to look at the paintings without thinking about photography, and whether the artists have used photographs to work from. Everyone seems to have a camera, nowadays, especially thanks to mobile phone epidemic. I use mine for quick visual 'note taking' so I do appreciate its convenience and find a need for one for my own work. Every so often, though, a piece of work captures my attention enough to not make me think at all about the mechanics of its creation.
In addition to Self-Portrait with Clown Face by Lisa Stokes, I also liked 'Net No. 10' by Daniel Cloves, and all the work by Carl Randall, particularly the section for the BP Travel Award: Onsen by Carl Randall (Carl Randall website)
I did notice a strange labelling convention, though I realise its all part of the rules of art exhibiting. The blurb on the card by the work is always an artist's CV and career path. Only after you have learnt that they are pukka and not taking the piss are you passed onto the paragraph below that explains the work. I'd have done it the other way around, myself.
The BP Portrait Award 2013 is on until 15th September 2013.