Portrait Salon 'rejects' exhibition opens in London
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Portrait Salon 'rejects' exhibition opens in London

Photo by Tom Keen

An exhibition of images that were rejected by the UK’s National Portrait Gallery is about to go on show in London, organized by Portrait Salon. In its fourth year, the organization will display 70 portraits from a submission of 1184 photographs, all of which have failed to make the shortlist for the 2014 Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize – a global portrait competition hosted by the National Portrait Gallery.

This year the Taylor Wessing exhibition, which costs £26 per picture to enter and has a top prize of £12,000, contained only 60 images from a submission of 4193. The Portrait Salon, which is free to enter, was established in the belief that there are far more than the shortlisted images worth displaying, and the salon opens for entries the day unsuccessful photographers receive their rejection letters from the Taylor Wessing competition.

While the Portrait Salon is at pains to point out that the Taylor Wessing Prize is highly prestigious, many photographers feel the judging of the prize, formally the Schweppes Photographic Portrait Prize and the John Kobal Photographic Portrait Award, is out of touch and the reasons winning entries are chosen is sometimes considered baffling. The images selected by the Portrait Salon are usually deemed more accessible and enjoyable.

The Portrait Salon show opens at the Four Corners Gallery in London, and then travels to Bradford, Wales, Edinburgh, Birmingham and Bristol. For more information visit the Portrait Salon website, where winners of previous years can be seen. This year’s will be online soon.

The Taylor Wessing Portrait Prize exhibition will be held at the National Portrait Gallery, London, between 13th November and 22nd February. There is more information on the Taylor Wessing website.