The winner of the BP Portrait Award 2018 was announced at the National Portrait Gallery, London. The prestigious first prize – in the 29th year of BP’s sponsorship of the competition – was won by London based artist, Miriam Escofet for An Angel at my Table, a portrait of her mother drinking tea.
The winning portrait was selected from 2,667 entries from 88 countries, submitted for judging anonymously by a panel which included journalist Rosie Millard and artist Glenn Brown. The judges were particularly struck by the constraint and intimacy of Escofet’s composition, evoking both the inner stillness of her subject and the idea of the Universal Mother. Commenting on the portrait, Rosie Millard said ‘The crisp tablecloth and china are rendered so beautifully – and then you see that one of the plates and a winged sculpture on the table appear to be moving which adds a surreal quality to the portrait. It is also a very sensitive depiction of an elderly sitter.’
Lily Cole presented Miriam Escofet with £35,000 and a commission, at the National Portrait Gallery Trustees’ discretion, worth £7,000 (agreed between the National Portrait Gallery and the artist). Born in Barcelona, Escofet moved to the UK in 1979 when she was twelve. She has previously been selected four times for the BP Portrait Award exhibition. Escofet’s paintings are classically inspired, encompassing still life, allegory, imaginary composition and portraiture.
The portrait can be seen at the National Portrait Gallery from Thursday 14 June when the BP Portrait Award 2018 exhibition opens to the public. Admission to the exhibition is free.