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Thursday, February 1, 2024



(Above: Andre Serfontein, The prince and princess of Prince Street (Johan & Bongi), 79 x 59, Oil on Canvas. Pic supplied)


The KZNSA Gallery will be hosting the exhibition opening of the Portrait Award 2023, from February 7, 2024.

Inspired by the long-standing, UK-based annual international portrait competition, the BP Portrait Award, Rust-en-Vrede Gallery in Durbanville, Cape Town launched the Portrait Award in 2013 – with initial generous sponsorship from Sanlam Private Wealth.

The competition has grown exponentially over the years from a singular prized competition with an overall prize of R100,000, to a first prize of R150,000 and an added second and third prize of R30,000 and R20,000 respectively. In 2021, the prize money was sponsored by the Rupert Art Foundation. With the launch of a digital entry system for the 2019 competition, it has elevated the standard of South African portraiture for years to come.


(Right: Richard Bollers, Coming out in the sunshine, 114 x 87, Oil on Canvas .Pic supplied)

The competition is based on anonymous judging: all the works entered are unsigned, thereby levelling the playing field and ensuring that the three judges select the top 100 portraits purely on technicality, narrative and emotional appeal. Each year, a panel of three judges, consisting of one international and two local judges, select what they deem the best 100 portraits from the entries received. From these, the Top 40, Top 5, Top 3 and winning portrait are selected.

KZNSA is proud to be the KZN partner exhibiting the top 40 works of the Portrait Award since 2013. Collectable catalogues are available at the gallery desk for R300.

There is walkabout led by Rust-en-Vrede Curator, Hamlin Jansen van Vuuren on Wednesday February 7, 2024, at 12h30.

This exhibition closes on Sunday 25 February 2024 at 12h00.

Send an email to for any enquiries.