New Stormzy photograph goes on display at the National Portrait Gallery

The gallery director says it's "a “contemporary intervention”

A new portrait of Stormzy has been hung in London’s National Portrait Gallery, a nod the rapper describes as “nothing but an honour.”

On display to the public from today (December 4), the image by photographer and artist Mark Mattock depicts the Croydon star wearing the letters ‘HITH’ as a crown.

The abbreviation stands for ‘Heavy Is The Head’, the name of Stormzy’s upcoming second album. Mattock’s photo, which sees the rapper holding the Banksy-designed stab vest he wore at Glastonbury, has also been used as the LP’s official cover art.


Nicholas Cullinan, the National Portrait Gallery director, described the new piece as a “contemporary intervention” (via The Guardian).

“Stormzy has undoubtedly had a significant influence on British culture today,” he explained, “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.”

Stormzy, meanwhile, 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.”

Back in October, an art installation by Banksy featured the very same stab vest seen in the new piece.


In other news, Stormzy has announced a mammoth world tour for 2020 in support of ‘Heavy Is The Head’. Shows will take place in Europe, Asia, Australia, New Zealand, North America and Africa, where the artist will visit Ghana.

On the UK leg, the rapper will play two nights at London’s O2 Arena.

Stormzy’s new album will arrive next Friday (December 13), following on from 2017’s acclaimed ‘Gang Signs and Prayer‘.

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