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Postcards

Reflections on portraiture

Yu Yuohan’s painting ‘Untitled’ 2005, currently on exhibition in Go Figure!, is a work that dares to appropriate from the master of appropriation, Andy Warhol. While Warhol-esque portraits are ubiquitous, Yuohan’s work is an intelligent reinterpretation.

I’m in a reflective mood today, which is great when you happen to be standing in the National Portrait Gallery. It also means I have a hypothesis to run past you.

Hypothesis: Portraits used to project the aspirations of their subjects. They don’t bother with that anymore.

Oscar Wilde once said, ‘The true mystery of the world is the visible, not the invisible.’ The Eva Collins portrait of Vali Myers reminds us of the mysteries within portraiture between the visible and the invisible – exterior and interior.

How have visitors reacted to the Diamond Jubilee portrait of Queen Elizabeth II by Ralph Heimans?