Its that time of year, all the major awards and competitions produce their winners, yesterday we reported on the Landscape Photographer of The Year and now it is The Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize. We did report on the alternative version of this prize, the one that represents the ones that didn’t win the Portrait Salon 2014 – Pictures rejected by Taylor Wessing I admit I was a bit harsh on the Taylor Wessing Prize in that piece, I suggested that to win the TW you either had to have red heads holding a small furry animal. Well I was wrong, this time it is a chicken, and I also said that every subject had to look bored out of their brains, again I was wrong, it is just most of them have to be bored. The winner this time can barely be called a portrait, this is what The Telegraph said
The Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize tends to draw a vocal crowd. This year more than 4,000 submissions have been whittled down to 60 exhibits, plenty capable of eliciting an “awesome” or an “awful”. However, as the last prize to be hosted by the outgoing director Sandy Nairne, there is little doubt that this is a fine swansong, delivering portraits that are variously elegant, jubilant and unsettling from a consistently accomplished selection.
Tongues will still wag. Not least because many will consider that the winning image, David Titlow’s Konrad Lars Hastings Titlow, is not a portrait at all. If you photograph a bowl of fruit, you’d be hard pressed to call it a landscape. Likewise, I’m not sure you can describe as a portrait a composition in which three adults, a baby and a dog vie for prominence (if anything the dog wins) and which focuses on the moment rather than the subjects. It’s a strong image, resonant of the Golden Age of Dutch painting (more of which later). But is it a portrait?
The 2014 winnerKonrad Lars Hastings Titlow by David Titlow. Photograph: David Titlow/National Portrait Gallery
Ah nice doggie…..
Here is the ubiquitous red heads with animal
Shortlisted imageBraian and Ryan by Birgit Püve. Photograph: Birgit Püve/National Portrait Gallery
See what I mean about bored?
Shortlisted imageSkate Girl by Jessica Fulford-Dobson. Photograph: Jessica Fulford-Dobson/National Portrait Gallery
The Guardian has an easy to access gallery here
I am not sure I can go on, the mirth is overwhelming, anyway here are some more images to tempt you along to the exhibition at the NPG
The Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2014is a unique opportunity to see sixty new portraits by some of the most exciting contemporary photographers from around the world.
The selected images, many of which will be on display for the first time, explore both traditional and original approaches to the photographic portrait through intimate images of friends and family alongside revealing portraits of famous faces.
This year the competition attracted over 4,000 submissions in the form of editorial, advertising and fine art prints and the selected works in the exhibition include the four prize winners as well as the winner of the John Kobal New Work Award.
Please note this exhibition contains nudity.
Also on display, in Room 39 is Hana Knizova′s portrait of Olivia Colman which was commissioned as part of the John Kobal New Work Award 2013. 13th November – 22nd February 2015
Longlisted imageArvi, by Sami Parkkinen. Photograph: Sami Parkkinen/National Portrait Gallery
and just to prove how wrong I can be here is one that incorporates a smile, still a bit doubtful as a portrait though, more street scene
Longlisted imageVijay Rudanlalji Banspal, by Karan Kumar Sachdev. Photograph: Karan Kumar Sachdev/National Portrait Gallery
Here are the links you will need
The Telegraph for an appraisal
The Guardian for a selection of images in a nice gallery format
A review and explanation in The Guardian
More of the same from the BBC