Peter Zelewski, Nyaueth © Peter Zelewsk, one of the prize winning photographers. Image courtesy of NPG
REVIEW: International photographers showcase prize winning portraits
LONDON- Presently at the National Portrait Gallery, London, is the annual exhibition showcasing new work submitted by some of the most exciting and cutting-edge contemporary photographers, for this year’s Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2015. Included in the show are the prize-winning photographs and those selected for inclusion in the exhibition from 4929 submissions entered by 2201 photographers from 70 countries.
The Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2015 was won by David Stewart, a London based photographer, for Five Girls 2014. The winning portrait is a group portrait photograph of the photographers daughter and her friends. The second prize went to Anoush Abrar for his photograph of a young boy titled Hector. Peter Zelewski, won the third prize for Nyaueth, one of the images from his series titled Beautiful Strangers. This is a series that challenges the concept of traditional beauty. Tereza Červeňová won the John Kobal New Work Award for her photograph Yngvild.
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The change of rules for this year’s submission allowed for the most innovative entries. Photographers were not only encouraged for the first time to submit works as a series in addition to stand-alone portraits, there was also no minimum size requirement for prints. The consequence of the new rules is the collection of portrait photographs by some of the most exciting and cutting-edge contemporary photographers from across the globe on display at the National Portrait Gallery.
The photographs on display at the National Portrait Gallery show a diversity of styles and reflects the international mix of entries from some of the amazing photographs from across the globe. Each image highlights individual photographers creativity and varied approaches to the genre of portraiture.
Alongside the winning photographs on display and those selected for the exhibition, are previously unseen prints from a new body of work by the award-winning South African photographer, Pieter Hugo. Showcasing Hugo’s prints marks the first In Focus display, an annual showcase for new work by an internationally renowned photographer, presented alongside the photographs selected from the Taylor Wessing Photographic Prize entries.
According to the National Portrait Gallery, Hugo was selected “for his uncompromising, insightful and occasionally provocative approach to portraiture.” Hugo’s prints offers an insight into his current portraiture project in which he photographs children who were born in Rwanda and South Africa after 1994– a year that saw momentous events in the history of both nations.
Since the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize began in 1993, it has become noted as one of the most important platform for portrait photographers. An international competition, the portrait photography contest offers an unparalleled opportunity for celebrated professionals, emerging artists and amateurs alike to put their work before a large audience.
Tim Eyles, Managing Partner, Taylor Wessing LLP, the company that has been sponsoring the photography contest for the past eight years puts the impact of the portrait photography competition succinctly:
After eight years of sponsoring the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize, we continue to be inspired by the range and merit of the thousands of photographs submitted from around the world. The winning portraits shone through with not only their creativity, quality and emotive subjects, but also with their universal appeal.
The winning portraits are presently on display as part of the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2015.The show runs through February 21, 2016 at the National Portrait Gallery, London