Self portrait sketches

The three of us went to the ‘Close Up‘ exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery yesterday. This is an exhibition of works by a photographer named Martin Schoeller and was quite enjoyable. Every photo is almost identical – they are more or less composed, lit and photographed in exactly the same way (though I noticed a few where the post-processing was noticeably different, for example in a photo of Henry Kissinger). About half to tw-thirds of the exhibition are portraits of celebrities, ranging from Paris Hilton to Barack Obama. The remainder of the exhibition are photos of people from tribes in South America and Africa. The effect is very interesting – in theory the work should be a great equaliser, with there being no real difference in the end between the celebrities and the tribespeople. However, to my mind the celebrity portraits were more engaging. I’m not sure why – maybe I’ve just been conditioned to find those people interesting, or maybe they really did have more of a presence in front of the camera. Whatever it was, the exhibition overall was great and worthwhile visiting.

Outside the exhibition they had a bench set up (more for kids, I guess) with shaving mirrors, paper and pencil so that one could sketch oneself. The three of us all had a go at it, though Anastasia finished first and spent most of the time eating her morning tea.

This was the first sketching I had done since art class in early high school. I was terrible at it back then, but perhaps not so bad these days.

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