The BP Portrait Award, now in its 39th year at the National Portrait Gallery and 29th year of sponsorship by BP, is a highly successful annual art event aimed at encouraging artists to tackle the theme of painted portraiture within their work. The BP Portrait Award, one of the world’s most prestigious art competitions, has a first prize of £35,000, making it one of the largest for any global arts competition.
The BP Portrait Award is popular with artists with 2,667 entries from 88 countries; it is also popular with the public, last year the BP Portrait Award exhibition received over 300,000 visitors.
The entries were narrowed down to the final 48 works selected for the BP Portrait Award 2018 exhibition, the winners were selected from the portraits chosen for the exhibition.
The prestigious first prize was won by London-based artist, Miriam Escofet for An Angel at my Table, a portrait of her mother drinking tea. Miriam Escofet’s prize is £35,000 and a commission, at the National Portrait Gallery Trustees’ discretion, worth £7,000 (agreed between the National Portrait Gallery and the artist).
The second prize of £12,000 went to American painter, Felicia Forte, for Time Traveller, Matthew Napping, depicting her boyfriend Mathew asleep in bed.
The third prize of £10,000 went to Chinese artist, Zhu Tongyao for Simone his portrait of his neighbours’ child from his time staying in Florence.
The BP Young Artist Award of £9,000 for the work of a selected entrant aged between 18 and 30 has been won by 28 year-old Suffolk based artist Ania Hobson for A Portrait of two Female Painters a portrait of the artist with her sister-in-law.
The winner of the BP Travel Award 2018, an annual prize to enable artists to work in a different environment on a project related to portraiture, was Robert Seidel for his proposal to travel along the route of the river Danube by train, boat and bike to connect with people and make portraits in the regions through which the river passes. The prize of £8,000 is open to applications from any of this year’s BP Portrait Award-exhibited artists, except the prize-winners.
Part of the attraction of this free exhibition is to enjoy the wide variety of portraiture which features some famous and not so famous faces. The standard is consistently high and it is fun when you wander around the exhibition to pick out your own particular favourites and decide whether you agree with the judge’s choices.
The BP Portrait Award 2018 exhibition will run at the National Portrait Gallery, London, from Thursday 14 June to Sunday 23 September 2018. Admission is free.
Visiting London Guide Rating – Recommended
For more information, visit the National Portrait Gallery website here
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