Photographer Eli Durst has won the 2016 Aperture Portfolio Prize for his series “In Asmara.” The prize, which includes $3,000 and an exhibition at Aperture Gallery in New York, is intended to identify trends in contemporary photography and highlight artists whose work deserves greater recognition, according to Aperture. Past winners include LaToya Ruby Frazier, Michal Chelbin, and Bryan Schutmaat.
“In Asmara” documents Durst’s time visiting the capital city of East African country Eritrea. The city is renowned for its large collection of intact modernist buildings, however, Durst’s series documents the life going on around the buildings—a trash dump, a table set for dinner, the backseat of a car.
Runners up for this year’s prize are Bill Durgin, Sean Thomas Foulkes and RaMell Ross. Their work will be featured on Aperture’s website. They will also have the opportunity to participate in the Aperture Foundation limited-edition print program.
Durst grew up in Texas and graduated from Wesleyan University in 2011. After college he assisted photographer Joel Meyerowitz and worked at the fine-art printing studio Griffin Editions. He is currently pursuing an MFA in photography at the Yale School of Art.