Is it art, sexual objectification or a symbol of empowerment…?
Johnny Vegas has taken a leaf out of Demi Moore’s book and stripped off for this striking portrait by photographer Karl J Kaul, just one of many iconic shots of British comedy heroes that have gone on display at the National Portrait Gallery.
Charting over 70 years of British comedy, the exhibition Comedians: From the 1940s to Now features photographic portraits of everyone from Arthur Askey to Catherine Tate.
The Gallery will also be unveiling some of its latest acquisitions as part of this festival of laughter, including photographs of Jimmy Carr and Mitchell & Webb by Barry Marsden, Omid Djalili by Karen Robinson and Matt Lucas by Nadav Kander, as well as the iconic image of Mr Vegas above.
Comedian Paul Merton has provided a video introduction to the exhibition, in which he discusses the history of British comedy.
Anyone interested in coming along has until 8 January 2012 to make the pilgrimage, and to whet your appetite, we’ve got a selection of the portraits on show below: