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Guest curator: Mary Jane Ansell  Brighton, UK artist

Mary Jane's selections

Philip Harris

New Forest, UK

"Philip Harris won the BP National Portrait Award in 1993. For me one of the most important painters working today Philip controls his own personal vision and immaculate technique like very few painters I’ve ever seen. His draughtsmanship and imagery are instantly recognisable and immensely layered, creating works vast in content regardless of their scale. His larger pieces often take a year to complete and demand to be seen in the flesh to be fully appreciated. As if that isn’t enough he also runs marathons. What can you do."

Stuart Wright

London, UK

"I was first introduced to Stuart’s work when he won the BP travel award in 1998 and used the award to take a camper van around the seedier coastal towns of the UK producing an extra-ordinary series of narrative works that he called tragi-comedies. Fittingly the National Portrait Gallery recently commissioned him to paint British film Director Mike Leigh with whom he shares an almost Hogarthian wit. He won the BP National Portrait Award in 2001 with his portrait of 6 Past Presidents of the Royal Academy."

Justyna Neryng

Hove, UK

"I came across Justyna’s photography only recently and it profoundly moved me. She draws on Dutch portraiture particularly in the Lost Childhood series in which Justyna and her young daughter collaborate, constructing self-portraits with meticulously fashioned costume and narratives they develop together. Neyrngs work is both beautiful and deeply personal whilst dealing with universal ideas of an elusive notion of childhood."

Julie Heffernan

Brooklyn, NY

"Julie’s work reminds me of dreamlike images that feel familiar of some distant forgotten past. She creates glorious, richly abundant works, full of allegory and a kind of Mannerist surrealism. Reflecting on everything from environmental to personal issues her self portraits seem to draw deeply from the subconscious."

Brandi Milne

Los Angeles, CA

"When I first saw Brandi’s work it reminded me the kinds of images that made my imagination fly as a child - like a resolutely modern take on the golden age of illustration but combined with her own unique style. She weaves candy, blood and heartbreak into her intimate and emotionally charged world."

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