Cara Delevingne Is the Muse of Jonathan Yeo’s New Portrait Series

The famous model and actress has been a muse to many.

Jonathan Yeo Cara VI (Mirror) (2015) Photo: jonathanyeo.com
Jonathan Yeo Cara VI (Mirror) (2015) Photo: jonathanyeo.com

The self-taught British portrait artist Jonathan Yeo is preparing new works for his upcoming retrospective, which opens in Denmark next month.

The artist announced on his website that the show at the Museum of National History at Frederiksborg Castle, outside Copenhagen, will be “the largest ever exhibition” of the artist’s work and “will include several new paintings, alongside many of the best known works from his 25-year career.”

The latest work by the painter—who made a name for himself with his portraits of celebrities, politicians and royals—is a series featuring the fashion model and actress Cara Delevingne.

Jonathan Yeo Tony Blair (2007) Photo: jonathanyeo.com

Jonathan Yeo, Tony Blair (2007).
Photo: via jonathanyeo.com

“A lot of my work in the past has been about one painting of someone and trying to get everything about them into one image,” Yeo told Reuters. “It had been in the back of my mind that it would be interesting to do the reverse and so rather than do a series of single images of people, to do the same subject over and over again.”

The artist explained that depicting a model and actress as his latest subject was a deliberate choice as a way of “highlighting […] a professional chameleon, who’s used to changing their own identity one day to another, one job to another.”

Yeo says the duality was indicative of “a very interesting point in time” where social media can allow anybody to choose how to present themselves to the world.

Jonathan Yeo Damien Hirst (2013) Photo: jonathanyeo.com

Jonathan Yeo, Damien Hirst (2013).
Photo: via jonathanyeo.com

The director of the museum, Mette Skougaard, called Yeo “a pivotal force in the revitalisation of figurative art in general and in the art of portraiture in particular.” She added that “the museum is Denmark’s national portrait gallery, and the exhibition will provide our Danish and international visitors with a unique opportunity to become better acquainted with one of today’s greatest artists within the genre.”

Throughout his 25-year career, the artist has portrayed celebrities such as Kevin Spacey and Nicole Kidman and political figures such as the former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and the Nobel laureate Malala Yousefzai.

“Jonathan Yeo Portraits” will be on view at the Museum of National History at Frederiksborg Castle from March 20–June 30, 2016.


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