In this age of selfies and endless streams of instant images shared on the internet, an international jury of eight photography experts reviewed thousands of submissions from around the world to select 44 fresh, unique and diverse approaches to represent the possibilities of 21st century portraiture. Many of the featured portraits stand apart from the usual “likable” pictures we see in mainstream and social media; instead, they require a bit more time and contemplation to appreciate the richness that they hold.
This award-winning work covers a wide range of territory—from portraits that explore challenging social issues, to alternative processes that cleverly add layers of meaning and historical reference, to conceptual work that seems hyperreal or dream-like. Some portraits delve into the challenges of memories that fade and change over time, while others question personal identity when viewed as part of a religious or cultural group.
The jurors also chose personal favorites, which are presented here with commentary. All of the selected work—whether nuanced series or penetrating single images—demonstrate that portraits are unique in their power to captivate our gaze and show us something new and unexpected about each other and the world we live in.
1st PLACE SERIES
Cristina De Middel / Gentlemen’s Club
2nd PLACE SERIES
Coco Amardeil / Come Hell or High Water
3rd PLACE SERIES
Harris Mizrahi / Inside Out