Friday, November 21, 2008

National Portrait Gallery

On the way to see the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize at the National Portrait Gallery I came across the stunning new commission portrait of Zaha Hadid by Michael Craig-Martin. This vivid digital portrait changes colour constantly, sometimes the changes are subtle and almost imperceptible, sometimes almost violent in their mood swings, always mesmeric to watch.
Also on show is Champions: Portraits by Anderson & Low. Striking nude studies of internationally famous athletes that celebrate the physiques of sports men and women at the peak of their careers. Classically posed and shot in black and white, to support the Elton John Aids Foundation, these are stunning photographs that question the vulnerability of even the super-fit to HIV/AIDS.Diver Carlie Gidman is pictured left.
The Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize was well worth the visit selected from the entries of over 2,500 photographers were some very moving images set alongside classical portraits and some that asked deeper questions. Of the prize winners my favourite is Bag by Hendrik Kerstens which is being used for the publicity (right)

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