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"Visiting the BP Portrait award last Saturday felt , as it generally does, like taking a journey though time.


A journey that took me back to my student years when , freshly arrived to the UK, I decided to submit and entry titled “Mad cow”. The entry, a self portrait, featured a mug (with the words on) with the tired eyes of an architectural student gazing back at the viewer.


It was a portrait that I still like because of its honesty, but in truth rather amateurish.


I must clear and confess that I never imagined to be in with a chance to win any of the awards. All I wanted  was the chance to be featured at the exhibition. 

More than ten years on , after seeing the level of entries rocket year after year , I could not imagine having the  same audacity now.


There would be a lot to discuss but I will choose to focus on this year’s winner: The man with the plaid blanket.


As an architect born to a “normal” family and raised in a estate that was built by the fisherman’s cooperative that my grandfather belonged to.


I am a strong believer in society as a micro cosmos where by each person plays an important role and I therefore struggle with topics such as displacement of the population and gentrification.


And the greatness of this year’s winning portrait, which I would have liked to title “The age of man” , lays in portraying this message in a restraint yet powerful way.

The composition and scale are remarkably well considered in the artist’s attempt to elevate the humble origins of its subject to the status of a worthy work of art that will make everyone reconsider our relationship with one other.


This, to me, is a painting that I have promised myself to never forget. "


(From atelier EURA's scrapbook on ScoopIT , here, commenting on this Telegraph article )

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