All posts tagged: Taylor Wessing

César Dezfuli on his Taylor Wessing-winning portrait of Amadou

“This image documents a transcendental fact in the life of the person portrayed: Amadou had just been rescued from the sea by a European vessel,” says Dezfuli. “Apparently his dream is fulfilled. However, fear, mistrust and uncertainty are present, as well as determination and strength.” For his series, Passengers, photographer Cesar Dezfuli took a sequence of 118 photographs in 120 minutes as a boat load of refugees were rescued just off the coast of Libya. These people had journeyed from different countries looking for a better future in Europe.

2017-11-24T14:15:02+00:00

World’s largest and most controversial portrait competition goes digital

National Portrait Gallery’s Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize innovates again by opening up the world-famous competition – with a £15,000 prize – to digital entries, as previous winners discuss how their careers took off despite the award’s ongoing controversial reputation.

2017-06-24T12:08:57+00:00

The look of love: when photographers take pictures of their families

This fascination with the familiar isn’t a new phenomenon, says Phillip Prodger, head of photographs at the National Portrait Gallery and a former judge of the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize. “We live in a world of the free exchange of imagery and social media and perhaps the photographs that once were considered more private aren’t considered so private anymore. I think people have been making those photographs all along but perhaps not sharing them in that way.”

2017-06-15T12:32:44+00:00

National Portrait Gallery: In Focus

Each year the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize exhibition opens at the National Portrait Gallery, showing off the shots that most impressed the judges in this prestigious worldwide prize. Since 2015 the gallery has also hosted a simultaneous In Focus exhibition, highlighting a new body of work by an internationally established photographer. Last year, the honour fell to Pieter Hugo; this year, Spanish photographer Cristina de Middel will present images exploring the sex industry in Brazil’s capital Rio de Janeiro. As one of the main prostitution hubs in Latin America, Rio has seen the business flourish in recent years – particularly with the added attraction of the Fifa World Cup in 2014 and the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Rather than focusing on the prostitutes, de Middel homed in on their clients, placing a small ad in the local newspapers in June 2015, asking them to come forward and take part in the project. “I was surprised by the response, but Rio is a very relaxed city when it comes to sex,” says de Middel. “There is …

2016-10-28T17:21:34+00:00

Winner of the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2015 announced

David Stewart is this year’s winner of the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2015 for his group portrait of his daughter and her friends. The National Portrait Gallery presented the £12,000 award to the London-based photographer last night at the awards ceremony. The winning portrait Five Girls 2014 depicts the distance between a seemingly close group of friends, and mirrors a photograph he took of them seven years ago, which was also displayed in the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize in 2008. Stewart says about the photograph: “I have always had a fascination with the way people interact – or, in this case, fail to interact, which inspired the photograph of this group of girls. While the girls are physically very close and their style and clothing highlight their membership of the same peer group, there is an element of distance between them.” Second prize has been awarded to Hector, Anoush Abrar’s photograph of a young boy, inspired by Caravaggio’s painting Sleeping Cupid; third prize has gone to Nyaueth, Peter Zelewski’s photograph of a woman …

2015-11-11T14:30:31+00:00

Shortlist for the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2015 announced

Four photographs have been shortlisted for the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2015, the major international photography award organised by the National Portrait Gallery, London. Beginning in 1993, the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize has become the National Portrait Gallery’s signature exhibition, attracting contemporary photographers around the globe and offering extensive exposure to seasoned photographers and talented amateurs. The prize will be announced on the 10th of November 2015, with the first prize winner receiving £12,000. The shortlisted portraits include: Hector by Anoush Abrar is inspired by the dramatic chiaroscuro lighting of Baroque paintings. The Iranian-born Swiss photographer was strongly influenced by Caravaggio’s work, particularly his painting Sleeping Cupid from 1608. Abrar explains: “Somehow I needed to make my own Sleeping Cupid. I found my portrait of Hector so powerful and iconic that it inspired me to continue this project as a series called Cherubs.” Ivor Prickett’s photograph Amira and her Children, of a displaced Iraqi family who had fled their village near Mosul after Isis took control of the area. The documentary photographer has …

2015-09-14T12:50:01+00:00

Looking for Alice: a mother’s gradual acceptance of her daughter, born with Down’s Syndrome

On one level, Looking for Alice is an illustration of family life, says Sian Davey, with “all the tensions, joys, ups and downs that go with the territory”. But on another, this photography series challenges perceptions of difference, because it focuses on images of her youngest daughter, who was born with Down’s syndrome. “The photographs explore the entwined narratives of my relationship with my daughter, and society’s prevailing attitudes towards people with Down’s syndrome,” she says. A trained psychotherapist, Davey speaks openly about her feelings – from her “deep shock” when her Alice was born, to the gradual acceptance that allowed her to “fall in love with my daughter”. “It was not what I had expected,” she continues. “I was fraught with anxiety that rippled through to every aspect of my relationship with her… I saw that Alice was feeling my rejection and that caused me further pain. The responsibility lay with me; I had to dig deep into my own prejudices and shine a light on them.” In Davey’s photographs, we see Alice smile, cry and …

2015-09-07T14:31:01+00:00

Taylor Wessing Portrait Photograph of the Year: Konrad Lars Hastings Titlow, June 2014 © David Titlow

David Titlow wins Taylor Wessing portrait prize

This year I think the jurors got it right. The winner of the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2014 goes to David Titlow for his picture of his baby son. Shot on the morning after a midsummer party in Sweden, little Konrad was introduced to a young dog and some assembled friends, while held (I presume) by his adoring mother. Despite the clutter of empty beer cans, it captures a beautiful moment, brought into sharp focus by the dappled light and the fixed attention of the group within this Pre-Raphaelite scene. For some, it might be a bit of a stretch to call it a portrait. But I can’t agree. Without being at all mawkish or overly sentimental (not easy when you’re photographing a mother and child), the feelings of love and joy and pride are clearly translated in the photograph. I also very much like Blerim Racaj’s Indecisive Moment, which along with Titlow’s picture and two others – Skate Girl by Jessica Fulford-Dobson, and Braian and Ryan by Birgit Püve – was shortlisted for the £12,000 prize. Taken from his series, …

2014-11-26T21:52:48+00:00

BJP Staff