Page last updated at 10:37 GMT, Tuesday, 17 June 2008 11:37 UK

Artist Wylie wins portrait award

Craig Wylie painted K last year
Craig Wylie painted K last year

Artist Craig Wylie has won this year's BP Portrait Award for a large oil painting of his girlfriend.

The 35-year-old London artist won for K, depicting his partner Katherine Raw, which beat 1,726 other entries.

He won 25,000 and a 4,000 commission from the National Portrait Gallery. Chinese-born student Peiyuan Jianga took the young artist award.

The award, now in its 29th year, was announced by broadcaster Ian Hislop at the National Portrait Gallery.

The 8,000 second prize went to Simon Davis for his portrait of friend Amanda Smith, which was influenced by French artist Toulouse-Lautrec.

Robert O'Brien, 30, took third prize for Hannah O'Brien, a picture of his grandmother.

National Portrait Gallery director Sandy Nairne said: "These are superb portraits, each of the 2008 prize winners being a different scale and style. Painted portraiture is flourishing."

Zimbabwe-born Wylie had made two previous attempts at the painting in 2006 before starting the winning version of the epic oil canvas last year.

Wylie said of the painting: "On one level the viewer's intrusion into the sitter's emotional state is tacitly accepted. On another it is positively rebuffed."

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