A PORTRAIT of Stormzy has been hung in the National Portrait Gallery, as its director Nicholas Cullinan heralds the rapper as having ‘a significant influence on British culture today.’
The image, photographed by Mark Mattock, features the south London MC wearing a crown made up of letters ‘HITH’, which stands for Heavy Is the Head, the name of his new album which will be released Friday 13 December.
The image also shows Stormzy holding onto the Banksy-designed stab vest he wore at his Glastonbury performance.
According to The Guardian, National Portrait Gallery director Nicholas Cullinan described the new piece as “a “contemporary intervention”.
“Stormzy has undoubtedly had a significant influence on British culture today, both through his music and work with minority groups and young people, and we hope our visitors will enjoy the juxtaposition of this new work with historic paintings of influential figures from the Victorian era, from politicians, royalty and radicals to artists, sporting heroes and singers.”
The rapper said that it’s “nothing but an honour” to be “exhibited in a gallery which exhibits so many incredible portraits of those from British history.”
This is the latest win for the British-Ghanaian, after he helped increase voter registration by 236% per cent after sharing a message on social media encouraging people to register ahead of the upcoming general election.
In the lengthy Instagram post, he wrote: “I will be registering to vote and I will be voting for Jeremy Corbyn. There are several reasons as to why I’m voting for him – I would be here all day if I began to list them.
“But in my 26 years of life I have never trusted politicians or relied on them to be the bearers of hope and righteous people that we’ve needed them to be. And for me, he is the first man in a position of power who is committed to giving the power back to the people and helping those who need a helping hand from the government the most.”
According to The Independent, around the time Stormzy posted the message on Instagram, the number of users registering to vote increased by 40,000 from 8,296 to 47,920.
150,000 of yesterday’s registrations came from people under 25, and 114,000 came from 25-34 years olds.