ArtistsAwards 17-11-2016

This 2016 Taylor Wessing Photographic Prize goes to Claudio Rasano

Swiss-Italian artist Claudio Rasano was chosen from a group of 1,842 photographers as the winner of the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2016.

Born in 1970 , Rasano stood out for his portrait of a schoolchild taken last February in Johannesburg  as part of his series Uniforms: We Refuse to Compare. He was awarded a cash prize of £15,000.

Katlehong Matsenen 2016 from the series Similar Uniforms: We Refuse to Compare by Claudio Rasano © Claudio Rasano. All images © the artist, courtesy National Portrait Gallery and Taylor Wessing Portrait Prize.

Explaining the intentions behind the photo, Rasano commented: “Children themselves have been known to rebel against uniforms, especially as they approach the awkward age characterized by the need to fit in and the desire to stand out, all at the same time. Some experts too have spoken against school uniforms on the grounds that they suppress individuality and diversity.”

The second prize went to the American artist Joni Sternbach, who received £3,000 for her portrait of surfer couple Thea Adler and Maxwell Schultz, part of her series Surfland. In Thea + Maxwell, the artist offers a homage to the surfer’s way of life, capturing the shot via a photographic technique that dates back to the 19th century.

The third prize, worth £2,000, was awarded to Kovi Konowiecki for his snapshots of orthodox jews.

The John Kobal New Work Award — endowed with £5,000 and dedicated to photographers under 35 — was won by Josh Redman for his portrait Frances, which depicts an 83-year-old woman.

From left to right: Frances by Josh Redman © Josh Redman / Tilly and Itty Beitar Illit, from the series Bei Mir Bistu Shein, by Kovi Konowiecki © Kovi Konowiecki / 16.02.20 #1 Thea+Maxwell from the series Surfland by Joni Sternbach © Joni Sternbach

Last year’s winner was David Stewart. All artists awarded prizes will have their work on show at London’s National Portrait Gallery from November 26 through February 2017.


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