Portrait fame for newspaper vendor


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The Independent Culture

A newspaper seller is to have his image hung not once but three times in the National Portrait Gallery after a triptych of him was selected for the shortlist of the nation's most prestigious portrait award.

Jamie Routley's oil paintings of 49-year-old Tony Lewis, a newspaper vendor from Enfield, north London, are among four works selected for the 2012 BP Portrait Award. Mr Lewis, who has been selling newspapers in the Underground station at Barons Court for 14 years, met Routley after he painted a local Big Issue seller. He said the experience had been "life changing".

"I'm just in total shock, it's a great honour," he said. "I've been down to the National Portrait Gallery, I wasn't into art before. The depth of the painting and the colours he used, he's really brought out the personality. It's more a reflection of life rather than my work."