LIVERPOOL.- Nicholas Middleton is the winner of the John Moores Painting Prizes Visitors Choice for the second time with his painting Protest, April 1st 2009.
Nicholas scooped the £2,010 prize, sponsored by Rathbones, with a detailed photorealist depiction of the Financial Fools Day protest outside the Bank of England.
While the John Moores Painting Prize charts development in contemporary painting, the Visitors Choice appears to also reflect the mood of the public, with many voters choosing the painting not only for its technical ability but also the subject matter.
As one visitor described it: It captures the feelings of the nation during an important phase of our history
Another comments: He (Middleton) has taken away the decoration and concentrated on the stark financial climate we live in.
The artist, who was also a prize winner in this years competition, won the Visitors Choice prize in 2006 with the work Scene from a Contemporary Novel. Interestingly the Visitors Choice prize is yet to agree with the official winner, who this year is Keith Coventry with Spectrum Jesus.
The exhibition is the UKs biggest painting prize and has already attracted more than 37,000 visitors in only two and half months.
Nicholas Middleton says: Winning the Visitors Choice means a great deal to me. When I won the prize previously for my painting Scene From A Contemporary Novel exhibited in the John Moores in 2006, it was the first award of any kind that Id received for my art. The fact that the award is voted for by members of the public who visit the exhibition made me appreciate it all the more. I am delighted to have won it for a second time and Im very grateful to everyone who voted for my painting.
Alex Richmond of Rathbones says: We are delighted to announce Nicholas Middleton as the 2010 John Moores Visitors Choice. Protest, April 1st 2009 is an impressive and skilful painting with real historical relevance.