18 May, 2023 @ 15:41
1 min read

Young man says he is ‘extremely surprised’ after taking £3,000 first prize at Gibraltar art competition

Gib Painting Osborne

THE young local man who took the £3,000 first prize and best painting award at the Spring Visual Arts competition has opened up about he unexpected win.

Local hobby artist Julian Osborne, 25, said he was ‘extremely surprised’ to win the overall prize at the event, putting it down to the interpretation of the judge.

“Art and subjectivity work in funny ways,” he said after illustrator and artist Eleanor Dobbs named him for the two top awards.

So far, Osborne has won best young artist awards three times but he always enter competitions.

“I wouldn’t have expected the Overall Prize,” he told the Olive Press.

“Young Artist is one thing, but that’s only because the candidacy pool is so much smaller.

“In light of that, the prize is something I never even considered to be totally honest.”

It was one of Gibraltar’s greatest artists, Mario Finlayson who inspires Osborne to paint.

The man whose name is on Gibraltar’s national gallery gave him lessons and while he said he ‘wasn’t keen on them’, he absorbed Finlayson’s style into his later art.

“I would say Mario Finlayson has always been a strong presence in my art journey,” Osborne said.

“When I was a student at Bayside I was certainly more appreciative of the local artist and the impact and the legacy he has had.

“I even dedicated parts of my projects to exploring Mario’s style.

“Mario’s works are just so pure and serene – seeing them gives me similar feelings to works by Joaquin Sorolla.”

Osborne Profile Pic 1

Career focus

He credited his art teacher Karl Ullger for inspiring him to enter competitions ever since his school days.

“Whenever a competition came round, I would throw my hat in the ring,” Osborne said.

“I still try to follow the example my teacher set to this day.”

While the amateur artist said, ‘there will always be a place for art in my life’, he is very much a realist.

“I seem to have found a good structure and routine where it feels natural and I get the most enjoyment out of my drawing and painting.

“Currently, my main focus is on my career within the education industry.”

Osborne is an Engagement Coordinator for the Graduate Masters Programmes at the London Business School.

He just hopes ‘to have a positive impact’ with his work and ‘keep producing works’ when he can.


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