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Winners of the Online Caption Writing Competition

Here are the ten winners, in no particular order, of the BP Portrait Award 2007 online caption writing competition for ages 11 to 21. The winners will receive a BP Portrait Award 2007 catalogue and a pair of tickets for the current Pop Art Portraits exhibition. Congratulations to everyone!

Michael Healey on Pugnis et Calcibus by Jill Hooper

Very powerful portrait. The right eye is so penetrating as a viewer I felt forced to return it. The power of the woman's stare is emphasised by the fact the other eye is concealed by the hair. I like the realism achieved despite the apparent slapdash, hastily applied brushstrokes. It looks quite a skilful painting yet at the same time looks quite accessible; not too intimidating like the hyperrealist paintings of the prizewinners. Colours are deliciously dark, brooding and moody, perhaps reflecting the inner state of the artist's mind. The brushstrokes imply a sense of disorder, confusion or instability.

Louise Cross-Bone on Pugnis et Calcibus by Jill Hooper

This is how I always look a shade of murky brown,
Every time you look at me your eyes just look around,
Is it just my startling eyes or my shaggy hair?
Is it that terrifying look that gives you such a scare?
Or perhaps it's just a simple thing like the fact that I don't blink?
Or maybe it's even simpler, that it's just that I make you think?

Sami Anjum on The King of Spain by Diarmuid Kelley

Kelley's The King of Spain was my favourite piece. The portrait immediately provokes the viewer to delve into sympathy and explore empathy for the woman in the painting. Kelley enables the viewer to think in this way because of the position of the woman. Her face is concentrating to her left, while her left shoulder is curling inwards, which suggests that the figure is uncomfortable and portrays how she is uneasy.

I find emotions are portrayed more accurately in Kelly's painting than some others I had seen at the exhibition. If one were to look at the blurred touch at the bottom lip of the woman, and the 'unfinished' aspect of The King of Spain then it can be realised that there is a theme of movement here. It's this movement or transition shown by Kelley which best depicts human feelings, because these only last for moments at a time. As opposed to other works in the exhibition that are relatively still and fixed. For example a person cannot sustain an ecstatic smile for minutes on end. It is for these reasons among others why I found Kelley's The King of Spain accurate and engaging.

Clare on Only for a Fiver by Edward Sutcliffe

I have been to see this and I love the way that the painting is slightly larger than life size and has no frame. It means you can identify with him more And I love the blue in his eyes - there is a twinkle in there that must have been really hard to capture.

Greg Williamson on Annie by David Tebbs

With both your eyes closed it is still possible to recall exactly how this woman looks and contemplate how she felt in that exact moment of thought. Because her eyes are closed her character is shown through the physiognomic expression, tiny details that shape our reaction towards her. Stunning.

S Drake writing on William Packer by Daphne Todd

The texture of his face is the same as his jacket. It's as though they are both well worn but soft and warm inside.

Rachael writing on Self-Portrait by Ana Maria Micu

I think this painting is very striking - the light and the angle at which her face is turned. The sitter here has a sense of nervousness in her eyes and this almost seems to reflect to the viewer. Her angle at which she is sitting implies movement or a noise being made from behind her. The lighting amplifies this as it exaggerates and draws the eye to that part of the painting, the harsh contrast from the dark to the light seems to make the viewer wary and the painting has a sort of uncertainty about it. However, the reader seems reassured by the beauty and softness of the eyes and shoulders - the smooth shoulders seem simple and appear to distract the viewer from the harsh contrast of colours and the apprehension in her eyes.

Jessica writing on Nisha by Darvish Fakhr

To me this child has a look of ambition to proceed into a woman rapidly and use her beauty and dancing to influence many to get the things she desires. It is by growing up and passing the years she believes that this will come and not through experiences. Maturity she thinks will come with each year that passes. With this in mind I thought of this quote;
"Her eighteenth birthday will not be the day she acquires a woman's status, it is by her actions that this will be established."

Marc Gevers on Michael Simpson by Paul Emsley

Wrinkles of Time: every crease and fold holds a different story, one of war, one of love, one to tell his-story. The eyes so deep - full of memoirs, pain, suffering and tears. His lover lost yet not to him, she lives within - the memories of wrinkled time.

Carmen Sanchez on Zuzana in Paris Studio by Hynek Martinec

So many people look at a piece of abstract work and absolutely hate it because 'they don't understand it', or because 'it doesn't look like anything in real life' and other such statements. Yet when someone actually makes a realistic portrait, people again complain that it's pointless. Art is a way for an individual to express themselves (sorry for stating the blindingly obvious) and it's perfectly fine. I encourage people's opinions because it is there on display for everyone to look at. However, why do we have to insult the artist and say they are merely showing off? Why is showing off a bad thing, surely if one could paint so skilfully, then it would be a loss to lock away such talent in the depths of your mind and never share it with anyone else. Sharing talents such as these is what helps society to develop, and insulting the artist and saying it's purely for vanity I just don't think is useful. On a lighter note, I love it and it's helped me a lot as I now know what I'm going to be doing for my A2 art project.

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