This dream and you

Aches This Dream and You 2021 spray paint on canvas 150 x 140cm

Donal Maguire
reflects on Aches’ award-winning portrait, painted in the artist’s distinctive graffiti style, which references subtractive colour-mixing theory

Portraiture is a genre that seems at times to be constrained by its traditional values and public preconceptions, yet one that has been adapted con-tinually to social and technological developments, new perspectives and experimental platforms of display. It has a strong history in Ireland and continues to be popular both in private and public environments. In the latter setting it can be a vehicle for communal discourse and expression through the representation and exhibition of public figures. The popularity of portraiture in Ireland has been helped in recent years, no doubt, by the emergence of high-profile por-trait commissions and prizes such as those at the National Gallery of Ireland and the Ireland–U.S. Council and Irish Arts Review Portraiture Award at the Royal Hibernian Academy’s annual exhibition. These two institutions have been notable venues for the display of portraits over the last two centu-ries and are typical, perhaps, of the environments where we would normally expect to encounter portraiture.

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