A new portrait of the journalist and newscaster Jon Snow has been unveiled at the National Portrait Gallery
in London. It was commissioned by Channel 4 to mark the sitter's twentieth anniversary as presenter of the station's Channel 4 News.
The portrait by artist John Keane shows two faces of Jon Snow - one gazing at the viewer to the left of the picture, while to the right and slightly behind, is a hazy image of the news reader as he appears on our television screens, complete with one of his trademark colourful ties. The oil painting is on loan to the National Portrait Gallery where it can be seen until 30 September 2010.
Television journalist and presenter of Channel 4 News since 1989, Snow began his career in journalism for Independent Radio News, LBC (1973-6) and as a reporter for ITN (1976-83), where he became diplomatic editor and Washington correspondent. He continues to report on major news stories. In 2005 he was awarded a BAFTA for Best Factual Contribution to Television and in 2006 he was named Journalist of the Year. Snow is patron of a number of organisations, including Trees for Cities and the human rights charity Reprieve.
Born in Hertfordshire in 1954, artist John Keane went to Camberwell School of Art in the 1970s, and after a brief career as a waiter and domestic cleaner has been working as an artist ever since. His work has focused on many of the most pressing political questions of our age, and he came to national prominence in 1991 when he was appointed as official British war artist during the Gulf War. His work has often been deeply concerned with conflict - military, political and social - in Britain and around the world and his subjects have ranged from Northern Ireland to Nicaragua, and from the Middle East to the mass media.
John Keane has completed two commissioned portraits for the Gallery, one showing the former Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Mo Mowlam (which is also currently on display at the Gallery) and the other, the trade unionist, Bill Morris.
Sandy Nairne, Director of the National Portrait Gallery, London, says: 'Jon Snow by John Keane brings a much-loved figure from television into the world of art - to striking effect.'
Jon Snow by John Keane is on display at the National Portrait Gallery's Contemporary Collections in the Lerner Galleries (Room 38) until 30 September 2010.