Self portrait drawing acquired by National Portrait Gallery

In Memory of my FatherSelf Portrait (In Memory of my Father) was acquired by The National Portrait Gallery, London in February, 2012. It joins their collection of artists' self portraits.

At the beginning of 2011 I was engaged for several months on a large oil Self Portrait with Grave Goods during which time it became clear that my Father's health was deteriorating rapidly. In retrospect, I think that this, quite naturally, begun to be reflected in the developing content of the painting. Indeed, when I showed it to him he commented that it was the first time he had seen anything of himself in one of my self portraits.

Some months later, on returning from his funeral, I felt very strongly the change brought on by his passing, and wanted to reflect on the new territory I found myself in. For a figurative painter I do very few drawings, or rather the hundreds that I do in preparation for a painting I consider to be private working diagrams, unintended for exhibition. However, as my paintings take many months, and I very much wanted these explorations of the shifting ground between my late Father and myself to be done quickly , I decided to use pencil drawing. I did three, working intensely and fairly rapidly, and this, the second, I felt to be the most successful.

Michael Taylor: notes accompanying drawing


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