Ania Hobson: The Young Artist Award at the National Portrait Gallery
“I was pinching myself,” artist Ania Hobson tells Refinery29 of her winning painting A Portrait of Two Female Painters : Young Artist Award at the National Portrait Gallery event. “Actually, I remember getting the phone call. I was having a really low day and was just not in the mood. I remember sitting in my car having a breather before I went to the studio and I saw this number pop up on my phone. I’d already imagined what it would be like to go through that process, and weirdly in my head I was like, maybe this is it!”
She told the online magazine how her source of inspiration is “from literally anything around me”, however she cites a few American painters such as Alice Neel and Kerry James Marshall. Some might find the resemblance between Ania Hobson’s paintings and the ones of the world-famous Canadian painter Chloe Wise: both depicting the millenial-isms of this era in their paintings, with their fashionable subjects and recognisable staples such as Burberry coats and Dr Martens.
Hobson prefers to paint her friends and family members, both because of the comfort of portraying a familiar face and because of her fast work pace - a result of her impatience and in aim of maintaining fluidity in her work. The artist tells Refinery29 even more about how Instagram is affecting her daily life and work, how the scrutinizing eyes of her followers can definitely make her self-conscious of what she decides to show on her profile - “It’s an ongoing exhibition, because you put your latest piece on Instagram, so it’s almost creating your own show, without having to do a show.”
When she talks about visibility of women in the art world she says something we believe in right now: “Women now are feeling really empowered. […]I feel like I’m part of this massive tidal wave of women doing what they want and actually celebrating it, and I think it’s become a movement. It’s a massive thing. You know galleries are now doing exhibitions purely on women and I think it’s just such a great way of actually getting women known.”