Large painting of Brixton youths inspired by Old Master, wins £5,000 prize
“When J, the young man on the left was a schoolboy he would stand outside my house in Brixton looking at the paintings on the wall. My wife befriended him and five years later he modelled with his friends.
“By then he and they were in the ‘local business’ and now one is dead and J has served time. It took months and each one modelled while others (many not included) smoked and drank hot chocolate.” Paul Gildea NEAC
The painting’s title and composition make reference to Rembrandt’s 1642 painting of Amsterdam’s volunteer militia, the Kloveniers, a group of citizens volunteering as armed protection in the event of an outside attack or internal civil unrest. Wealthy citizens were able to buy their way out of the need to ‘volunteer’.
Born in London 1956, Paul went to Camberwell College of Art and Hornsey Art School graduating in 1979. He works in his South London studio, where he paints his models and lives.
The other Prize Winners are:
Michael Collins, Study for Birling Gap, Winner of the Jackson’s Art Prize (£300)
Alex Maczkowski, Toil, Winner of the Contemporary Arts Trust Award (£1,000)
Peter Brown NEAC, Absolutely Chucking It Down, George Street, Bath, Winner of the NEAC Critics’ Prize (£250)
Arthur Neal NEAC, KTII, Winner of the Woodhay Picture gallery Prize (£300)
Ann Shrager NEAC, Diwali Elephant, Winner of the Dry Red Press Award
The New English Art Club Annual Exhibition is on until 25 June, 10am to 5pm (closes 1pm on final day)
Address: Mall Galleries, The Mall, London SW1
Admission £4, concession £2.50. Free to Friends of Mall Galleries and under 18s. 50% off with National Art Pass.