The winners of the BP Portrait Award 2020 were announced on 5th May. Winner was self-taught Berlin-based Thai artist Jiab Prachakul, whose Night Talk portrays close friends – a designer from Korea and a music composer from Japan, in a Berlin bar on an autumn evening – all Asian artists living abroad.
Although hosted as usual by London’s National Portrait Gallery, this year’s BP Award is notable for a number of reasons: although it continues to bear the oil company’s name, recent pressure from artists concerned about the continued contribution of fossil fuels to climate change has prompted the removal of any BP representation on the Awards’ judging panel. Activists have argued that this should only be a first step in prompting government to ensure that funding for cultural events be environmentally sustainable.
Secondly, due to the public health emergency the exhibition accompanying the Awards is this year solely online as a virtual tour, and can be viewed here.
Lastly, winner of last year’s Scottish Portrait Awards Michael Youds has been awarded third prize. His portrait of Edinburgh music shop owner Tommy Robertson is pictured here. Michael is a gallery attendant at National Galleries of Scotland.
Second prize was won by Sergey Svetlakov for his Portrait of Denis: Actor, Juggler and Fashion Model, while the BP Young Artist prize was won by Egbert Vincent Modderman for Restless.
Image: Jiab Prachakul – Night Talk. All images – © the artists.