exhibitor in 2019 RBSA Portrait Prize: As Professor of painting at RBSA and Chair of the judging panel for the 2019 exhibition. I was invited to exhibit a new piece of work.

John Devane (Artist)

Research output: Practice-Based and Non-textual ResearchExhibition


One oil painting entitled 'reflection' oil on canvas 85 cm x 85cm 2019 was included in this exhibition comprising of fifty four selected works.
My picture is a conventional sel-portrait painted partly from life and partly from a photographic source. The picture is one of a series of visual enquiries into the nature of depiction in the digital age. The relationship between representaional painting and photography is a recurrent them of my work and has been explored through works included in a number of exhibitions including the BP Portrait Prize in 2013, 'Echoes' exhibition Lanchester Gallery 2014, 'Solo exhibition 60 Threadneedle St 2018 and 'All that Glitters' 10 Gresham St 2019-19. The issue of painting in the gigital age is discussed in published paper entitled: From Self-portrait to selfie: representational painting in the digital age (published proceedings of TRAC conference 2015.
The activity of painting a self-portrait is a well established trope of western painting dating back to the Renaissance and through Venetian painting to the present day. In an age of instant image making the prospect of a lengthy period of self-scrutiny would seem to be almost perverse in an age of the selfie. Notwithstanding, and partly as a stark contrast to the immedicy of the digital image the painted self-portrait can still act as a vehicle for a slower form of reflection in both senses.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 25 Jul 2019


Cite this