Spotlight on celebrity portraitists

THE National Portrait Gallery has often flirted with glamour, fashion and celebrity in its photographic porter at exhibitions, but never quite so much as with one of its two new shows, “PROMO: Portraits from prime time”, which goes on show to the public from tomorrow.

Samara and Morgan Weaving on location in Hunters Hill, Sydney by Peter Brew-Bevan © Peter Brew-Bevan

Samara and Morgan Weaving on location in Hunters Hill, Sydney by Peter Brew-Bevan
© Peter Brew-Bevan

With a sharp focus on showbiz celebrity this time round, selected Australian photographers, Peter Brew-Bevan, Michelle Day, Ben King, Julian Kingma, Giovanni Lovisetto, Martin Philbey, John Tsiavis and Abigail Varney, take us on a behind-the-scenes tour, visiting Aussie TV, music, comedy and stage musical stars.

Chris Lilley, Ja'mie, Private School Girl publicity by John Tsiavis (hair and make-up, Glenda Mann). Courtesy of Princess Pictures © John Tsiavis

Chris Lilley, Ja’mie, Private School Girl. Hair and make-up by Glenda Mann, photographed by John Tsiavis.

Aimed at “revealing the art, skill and collaboration in each image”, “PROMO” does not focus exclusively on glamorous female subjects, though Canberra-raised showbiz stars Morgan and Samara Weaving certainly fall into that category. Other familiar faces include TV chef Matt Preston, comedian Chris Lilley and cabaret star Eddie Perfect, the brains behind “Shane Warne the Musical”.

Matt Preston by Martin Philbey. With thanks to Network Ten © Martin Philbey

Matt Preston photographed by Martin Philbey.

Eddie Perfect by John Tsiavis © John Tsiavis

Eddie Perfect photographed by John Tsiavis

The celebrity exhibition will, unusually, accompany the National Photographic Portrait Prize exhibition, the winner of which will be announced tonight. While the two, the Gallery says, are displayed in separate gallery spaces, they’ll  be “joined by a thoroughfare creating a subtle connection between two distinct exhibitions that explore different aspects of contemporary photography and Australian culture”.

“PROMO: Portraits from prime time” will be exhibited with The National Photographic Portrait Prize 2014 exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery until June 9. $10 adults, $8 concession.

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