The Norm Can Conform

The opinions you never asked for on the subjects you’re not bothered about.

And Just Like That… I Became A National Portrait Gallery Artist

I remember my dad telling me that my Sassicism project was too ‘niche’ and I should focus on something where the money is like pet portraits. 🙄 Anyway, I continued turning Renaissance portraits into drag queens and pop culture icons and my following began to grow and prints continued to sell. He jokingly told me he would take my artwork seriously if I got featured in an art gallery. Right, challenge accepted father!

The legendary Lizzie McGuire once declared; “Hey now, hey now! This is what dreams are made of. And who would have thought it, The National Portrait Gallery came calling! Genuinely, I thought I was going to get cancelled. I had an ominous message from the team saying “we see you’ve used our paintings in your work, can we do a zoom call”. It turns out they’ve been a fan and following my project for a while. They had seen my “Bimini Bon Boleyn” piece and the original Anne Boleyn painting is part of their collection and they liked what I did with it.

Bimini Bon Boleyn by Sassicism Harry J Bartlett Anne Boleyn

But I’m not here to talk about Bimini (although believe me I could do it all day). I’m here to talk about my latest creation. After a really lovely chat with the two ladies who work in the comms team, the National Portrait Gallery asked if I would like to be commissioned to create a Sassicism piece for them using a painting in their collection for LGBT+ History Month. I mean it wouldn’t be a queer celebration without moi. 💅🏻

National Portrait Gallery x Sassicism

I’m not going to reveal too much but I love the painting I was given based on the subject’s backstory. I immediately knew who I wanted to turn them into – and they’re one of my all-time gay icons. I thought that was quite fitting for LGBT+ History Month.

Has this experience changed me? I wouldn’t say so. However, I now exclusively drink my Strongbow Dark Fruits out of a champagne glass shaped like Marie Antoinette’s left tit.

Makeup & Fascinator by Barnaby Horn

Keep your eyes peeled as hopefully all will be revealed very soon!

Harry J Bartlett

Digital Content Creator, lover of fashion, drag queen connoisseur and all around phenomenal human being. If I had to describe myself in 3 words I would say; Gorgeous, Talented and Humble.

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