The Outwin Boochever Portrait exhibition opened at the National Portrait Gallery on Friday and runs through February 23, 2014. This juried exhibition of portraits includes 48 works created using both traditional and experimental media such as oil and acrylic paint, charcoal, rice, thread, glitter and video. The exhibition is accompanied by a fully-illustrated publication available in the museum store. You can also explore the exhibit, listen to interviews, vote for the People’s Choice Award and more via the free mobile App. Artist Bo Gehring of Beacon, NY was awarded the $25,000 first prize for his video titled Jessica Wickham. He will also receive a separate commission from the museum to portray a remarkable living American for its permanent collection. See a few of my selections from the exhibit below.
For Delia, 2010, Chromogenic Print, Collection of the Artist
Heidi Fancher is a Washington, DC based artist. Her piece For Delia is one of the commended works announced at
the awards ceremony and opening reception on Friday. She says,“In 2004 a friend invited me to view a collection of
daguerreotypes at the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology at Harvard University. I saw all of the
daguerreotypes within that collection but it was the daguerreotype of Delia that captivated me. Her gaze is
penetrating. I have been obsessed with her ever since. After viewing the portrait, I wanted to give Delia a voice.”
Depression, 2010, Oil on Canvas, Collection of the Artist, Courtesy of Betty Cunningham Gallery, New York.
Durham, North Carolina based artist Beverly McIver‘s piece Depression was also a commended work. McIver’s piece
was one of several pieces made during the time she was grieving her mothers death.After her mother passed away
she inherited her mentally disabled sister Renee, “although Renee is fifty-two,she has the mind-set of a third-grader.
She also has epilepsy.I promised my mother that when she was no longer able to care for Renee, that I would.I felt
overwhelmed and as if I had given up my life.They portray a sense of sadness, grief, and vulnerability.”
In Jill Wissmiller‘s piece The Gilding of Lily, she uses video projected onto a glitter covered screen.The restriction of her movement for the video portrait achingly ruminates on motion and desire.
Keliy Anderson-Staley‘s piece Kevin is from [ Hyphen] Americans, a series of contemporary tintype portraits,
made with 19th century techniques. Kevin is an actor and national radio host known as “the Voice.”
Rieko Fujinami‘s piece Aki, is a portrait of her friend and underground Japanese artist Aki Narita. It also serves as
“a symbol of the struggle of women caught between the social systems of contemporary life and finding their own lives”.
Carole Feuerman‘s piece General’s Daughter is of Syntonia Ragin, the daughter of a man Feuerman has known
for 20 years. Feuerman lives in New York and Florida and creates hyperrealist sculptures.