Art, Death and Oil

SUBHEAD: Perhaps now you will go for a walk-that-would-have-been-a-drive. Image above: Painting "Last Portrait of Mother" by Daphne Todd, 2010, won BP art award. Source article below from By Jonathan Jay on 26 June 2010 - In a way, this is truly beautiful - as BP (the "Beyond Petroleum" HA! company) forces (allows) us all to look at the inevitable consequences of our industrial civilization... massive oil spills being 100% eventualities - entirely unavoidable given the scale of our collective demand, and the economic rules of engagement. The 'rules' we allow play by is a kind of limited liability capitalism. Risk, responsibility and accountability are all carefully kept off-the-books, so that the bottom line shows only rapacious profit. Neat trick! How fitting then Daphne Todd's "Last portrait of my mother" (see article below) is so obviously evocative of the death we are now beginning to understand of our planetary mother. You might think that BP would see the folly of allowing this kind of understanding wider distribution, and so it is with great pleasure we pass this on for your viewing pleasure and philosophical ruminations. Perhaps later today, or sometime this week you will go for a walk-that-would-have-been-a-drive, and think more on this. Welcome to the evolution. Portrait of our Planetary Mother's twin sister, Venus

BP Portrait Award Corpse Painting

By Emma Allen on 23 June 2010 in - ( London’s National Portrait Gallery announced today that their annual BP Portrait Award will go to Daphne Todd for her painting of her dead mother, . This comes somewhat as a surprise given that one would imagine that the prize’s sponsor of the past 21 years, British Petroleum, has a slew of PR people working around the clock exclusively to disassociate the company from any images of death — even those that are rendered with a different type of oil.

The work, Last Portrait of Mother, was described in a press release as a “devotional study” of Todd’s deceased parent, who appears yellow and shriveled in a white bed. The painting was selected from 2,177 entries, 58 of which will be on display at the National Portrait Gallery beginning tomorrow. Todd will receive £25,000 ($37,000) and a commission from the NPG worth £4,000 ($5,900). Michael Gaskell took the prize for runner-up, while David Eichenberg won third place, and Elizabeth McDonald was named the BP Young Artist of the Year.

Todd, a former president of the Royal Society of Portrait Painters (she was the first female to hold the post), won second prize in the competition in 1984. At 63, she has referred to herself as the contest’s “token wrinkly.”

Addressing the startlingly morbid nature of her entry, the artist — whose brother apparently stopped speaking to her after she entered the piece in the competition — explained, “Of course, it's a striking image to come across; paintings of dead people are always affecting.” She added, “I think she looks magnificent.”

The painter’s brother is not the only person unhappy with this year's competition. Environmental protest group Rising Tide announced plans to stage demonstrations outside of the exhibition due to the prize's sponsorship by BP, the oil-spilling company that recently confirmed its continuing support of the NPG as well as the Royal Opera House, Tate Britain, and the British Museum. Yet it seems that the voices of dissent will fall on deaf ears, as the four arts institutions reaffirmed their appreciative acceptance of BP’s funding in a group statement that read: “We are grateful to BP for their long-term commitment, sharing the vision that our artistic programmes should be made available to the widest possible audience.”


1 comment :

Anonymous said...

is it an oil painting?

Post a Comment