Thursday, January 8, 2009

National Portrait Gallery

Knowing we didn't have time to explore the HUGE National Gallery, we headed around the corner to the National Portrait Gallery to see some famous faces. The gallery was filled with famous faces from the past and present.

My favorite portraits were in a temporary exhibit by Anderson & Low called Champions. The room was filled with photographs of famous athletes - nude. They were nude to show that despite their fame and bodily perfection, they are just as susceptible to HIV/AIDS as everyone else. The photographs really show off their stunning strength and beauty. The collection was commissioned to benefits the Elton John AIDS Foundation.

London is hosting the 2012 Summer Olympic Games and the National Portrait Gallery has dedicated a few rooms to portraits of British Olympic athletes. Here you can watch a video of David Beckham sleeping by Sam Taylor-Wood. One of the most interesting portraits is of the swimmer Duncan Goodhew by Marty St. James. It is a collection of video screens that shows the swimmer diving into the pool and swimming from every conceivable angle. I am sure Goodhew got the best stroke analysis of his life from the film.

Matt also enjoyed checking out the portraits of famous scientists, like William Kelvin and Michael Faraday, while I was enjoying the portraits of Princess Margaret.

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