Glad to be Graham Taylor

Perhaps it’s the knitwear. Or the cheeky grin. Or his apparent likeness to a root vegetable. Whatever it is, the man who took Watford to an FA Cup final a quarter of a century ago is now on the wall of the National Portrait Gallery as a gay icon.

It’s all part of a new small-ish scale exhibition called, perhaps not that surprisingly, Gay Icons, wherein a bunch of (I assume) gay icons choose the people who inspired them. The icons’ icons perhaps.

The choosers range from Elton John to the CEO of Stonewall via a Billie Jean King and Adam Hollinghurst. The chosen from Virgina Woolf to Ian Roberts. Peter Tatchell is chosen by Sandi Toksvig but wasn’t given a choice himself. It’s all a bit of fun.

What it isn’t is a unified exhibition either in style or narrative. It’s all a bit “here’s somebody I kinda like, here’s somebody else I kinda like, here’s another person …” Some portraits are the size of a postage stamp, others can be seen across the room — it feels a bit like a filler show.

And that’s not necessarily a bad thing but they’re charging a fiver a go for this.

Far better to go and see the BP Portrait Prize for free down the other end of the hall and then go out and see who’s making an exhibition of themselves on the plinth.

You never know, it might even be our Graham.


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