Socialist Worker

Facing History—Contemporary Portraiture

Issue No. 2465

This exhibition features a variety of portraits by contemporary artists and photographers.

They include Julian Opie and Grayson Perry.

It looks at how modern artists used old forms of portraiture—from silhouettes to death masks—to inform their art.

You can see the influence of earlier artists, such as Frida Kahlo.

US artist Brian Cohen has used charcoal to create an eerie image of actor Bryan Cranston, who played Walter White in the TV series Breaking Bad (see above). 

The image is meant to resemble the style of a death mask, with closed eyes and a shaved head.

Many of the artists have also adapted contemporary items, such as ID cards and election posters. 

Victoria and Albert Museum,
London SW7 2RL.
Free entry


If you enjoy Socialist Worker, please consider giving to our annual appeal to make sure we can maintain and develop our online and print versions of Socialist Worker. Go here for details and to donate.

Article information

Tue 4 Aug 2015, 17:59 BST
Issue No. 2465
Share this article

Mobile users! Don't forget to add Socialist Worker to your home screen.