Swiss-Italian photographer Claudio Rasano has won the 2016 Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize for the photograph “Katlehong Matsenen 2016” from the series “Similar Uniforms: We Refuse to Compare.” The first place prize includes a £15,000 ($16,051 USD) cash prize and the portrait will also be featured in an exhibition of 57 works featuring all of the prize winners.
Rasano’s winning portrait was taken in Johannesburg, South Africa and is part of a series about preserving individuality in the context of school uniforms. The portrait of 18-year-old Katlehong Matsenen was taken in daylight in front of a plain white paper background, according to the announcement.
Second prize winner is American photographer Joni Sternbach, who has been awarded £3,000 ($3,210 USD) for her portrait “16.02.20 #1 Thea + Maxwell” from the series “Surfland,” which featured tintype portraits of surfers. American Kovi Konowiecki took the £2,000 ($2,140 USD) third prize for his portraits “Shimi Beitar Illit” and “Itty Beitar Illit ” from the series “Bei Mir Bistu Shein,” which portrays Orthodox Jews around the world.
The Josh Kobal New Work Award went to British photographer Josh Redman for his photograph “Frances,” a nude portrait of an 83-year-old woman. Redman has won a cash prize of £5,000 ($5,350 USD) and a commission to photograph a sitter connected with the UK film industry for the National Portrait Gallery collection. The Josh Kobal New Work Award is for a photographer under 35 whose work has been selected for inclusion in the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize exhibition.
Judges for the competition include Nicholas Cullinan, director of the National Portrait Gallery; Philip Prodger, head of photographs Collection at the National Portrait Gallery; Carole Sandrin, curator at the Musée de l’Elysée; Lausanne Christiane Monarchi, editor at Photomonitor; photographer Nadav Kander; and Tim Eyles, managing partner at Taylor Wessing.
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