A Czech-born artist has won the 2016 Changing Faces Portrait Prize, the charity announced today.
Jan Mikulka was awarded the prestigious prize for ‘In the Park’ after judges considered more than 200 portraits in the Royal Society of Portrait Painters’ annual exhibition.
The Prize is awarded to the artist whose portrait in the exhibition most powerfully conveys the energy of their subject, the directness of their gaze and an attitude that exudes openness and confidence, all characteristics that mark out a great communicator.
‘In the Park’ is currently exhibited at the Mall Galleries in central London as part of the Royal Society of Portrait Painters’ Annual Exhibition, and where Changing Faces will tonight host a reception to promote its work tackling bullying in schools across the UK.
I thought this portrait so beautifully captured the essence of the girl and it is almost photographic. The positivity of the image jumped out at me and whilst judging was a tough job, I was delighted to be able to choose such a stunning piece. – Henrietta Spalding, Head of Advocacy at Changing Faces
The Prize is a £2,000 commission to paint a portrait of a person who has a facial disfigurement – who is likely also to be a great communicator – for the Changing Faces Collection. The Collection aims to ensure that people with unusual faces are well and fairly represented in modern-day portraiture.
It will be very exciting and interesting for me to paint someone with a disfigurement. It means I have the opportunity to make something deeper without commercial requirements for ‘beauty’ in the normal sense. It will depend on the subject, but I think my work will be similar in style to ‘In the Park’. – Jan Mikulka
The Changing Faces Collection is a private collection housed mainly in the charity’s head office in London. Works from the collection are available for loan.
- The Royal Society of Portrait Painters’ Annual Exhibition takes place at the Mall Galleries in London until 20 May.
- Jan Mikulka was born in Prague, Czech Republic, in 1980. He has dozens of exhibitions to his name and his work is in the Czech National Gallery in Prague. A full biography is available on his website.
- Interviews with Changing Faces and Mr Mikulka can be arranged through the Changing Faces Press Office on 020 7391 9276.