A video portrait of footballing icon David Beckham asleep has been unveiled at the hospital where he was born.

The video portrait of David Beckham sleeping by artist and film director Sam Taylor-Johnson was unveiled on Friday, December 6 at its temporary new home in Whipps Cross hospital.

The unveiling is part of the National Portrait Gallery’s flagship programme Coming Home, which sees 50 portraits of iconic individuals from the national collection travelling to the towns and cities most closely associated with their subjects.

Taylor-Johnson’s portrait of Becks will be on display until March 2020 in the Ultrasound Department of the Leytonstone hospital – the first ever National Portrait Gallery loan to a hospital.

Dr Nicholas Cullinan, director of the National Portrait Gallery, said: “We hope that sending portraits ‘home’ in this way will foster a sense of pride and create a personal connection for local communities to a bigger national history; thus, helping to fulfil our aim of being truly a national gallery for everyone, in our role as the nation’s family album.”

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A still of Beckham asleep from the video portrait. Photo: National Portrait Gallery

The 44-year-old soccer superstar, whose glittering career saw him play for England, Manchester United, Real Madrid, A.C. Milan, LA Galaxy, and Paris Saint-Germain, was born at the hospital on May 2, 1975.

Growing up in Leytonstone, Beckham scored over a hundred goals for his childhood team the Ridgeway Rovers by the age of eight.

He became the first English player to win league titles in four countries and captained the national side 115 times.

The portrait, commissioned in 2004, draws inspiration from the Renaissance artist Michelangelo’s Allegory of Night and Pop Artist Andy Warhol’s film Sleep.

Johnson shot the film in a single long take, capturing Beckham asleep in Madrid after a long training session with his team.

Catsou Roberts, director of Vital Arts, the arts organisation within Barts Health NHS Trust, said: “Vital Arts welcomes the loan of this work by one of Britain’s most significant artists of her generation, Sam Taylor-Johnson. Our mission is to bring museum-quality art to the vast and diverse communities that access our east London hospitals, and this film will offer patients, visitors, and staff a meaningful encounter with contemporary art.”

Sam Hunt, creative director of London Borough of Culture, Waltham Forest, added: “We are proud to welcome home one of the borough’s most famous sons and hope that this work by Sam Taylor-Johnson inspires future athletes and artists alike.”