Authors Sandy Nairne and Sarah Howgate select over fifty contemporary works from the Gallery's collection, including images of David Beckham, Zaha Hadid, J.K. Rowling and Akram Kahn, and portraits by leading British artists Tracey Emin, David Hockney, Gilbert and George, Sam Taylor-Wood and Julian Opie. With behind-the-scenes kwledge of how certain portraits came to be made, the authors offer fresh insights into the intimate relationship between artist and sitter. The Guide is organized thematically and sections include an overview of the Gallery's collection from the 1990s onwards, artist's self-portraits, commissioning portraits and the artist's process. In addition, this publication features interviews with leading British artists, revealing their working methods and the creative inspiration that drives them. With new commissions as well as many more familiar images, readers are invited to look at contemporary portraiture afresh in order to consider why and how these works were created, and their meaning for future generations.
Sarah Howgate is Contemporary Curator at the National Portrait Gallery, London. She curated David Hockney Portraits in 2006, which toured to Boston and Los Angeles and is the co-author of The Portrait Now (2006). Sandy Nairne is Director of the National Portrait Gallery and was formerly Director of Programmes at the Tate. He has written extensively on contemporary portraiture and modern art.