The Disrupted Realism of the New King Charles Portrait


After Jonathan Yeo’s “Portrait of His Majesty King Charles III” was unveiled at Buckingham Palace on May 14, its bold and unexpected infusion of red paint made the portrait an instant internet meme. Widely shared on social media, the portrait cut through the web like a hot knife slicing butter, setting off a flurry of discussions about its implications, ranging from passion to mortality. As this was happening, I realized that Yeo’s portrait is a prime example of Disrupted Realism, a genre of contemporary painting that I have been researching for years.

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