UK-based documentarian Craig Easton was just announced by the World Photography Organisation as Photographer of the Year for this year’s Sony World Photography Awards. The announcement was made in a virtual ceremony today, April 15, that featured winners and finalists in professional categories, including Architecture and Design, won by Tomáš Vocelka (Czech Republic) for his series Eternal Hunting Grounds; Landscape, won by Majid Hojjati (Iran) for his series Silent Neighborhoods; and Laura Pannack (United Kingdom) in the Portfolio category.
Along with the Photographer of the Year title, Easton also took top placement in the Portraiture category for his series Bank Top. He went home with an accompanying $25,000 cash prize and a range of Sony’s digital imaging kit. Bank Top captures the collaboration between writer and academic Abdul Aziz Hafiz and a small community in Blackburn, Lancashire. Aziz is quoted on Easton’s portfolio, characterizing the work as a challenge to the “simplistic representation of Blackburn and the callous use of the word ‘segregation’ by policymakers and the media when they try to explain the challenges faced by such neighbourhoods and towns.”
Bank Top was born out of the Blackburn Museum & Art Gallery initiative Kick Down the Barriers, a project instigated in response to media reports “portraying the town as the ‘the most segregated in Britain,’” according to a press release from SWPA. The museum invited artists and writers to collaborate with residents of various neighborhoods and “create a robust and authentic representation of their communities.”
The imagery presented by Easton is not just of community members, but indeed a picture of an entire place — from rows of houses and panoramic views that occlude individuation, to gathering places like barbershops and houses of worship, to up-close portraits of families and individuals presented in their daily context.
Easton is quoted on his win, saying: “I photograph to learn, to try to understand and to document and share stories. It is a privilege to be able to do so and to challenge perceptions and stereotypes — something that is especially important to me.”
Earlier this year, Graciela Iturbide was announced as the recipient of the 2021 Outstanding Contribution to Photography award, in recognition of her reputation as Latin America’s greatest living photographer. Since the late 1970s, Iturbide has created a photographic account of Mexico’s many communities and environs, and her work is “celebrated for its defining contribution to the country’s visual identity,” according to the SWPA. Iturbide’s images are texturally and visually rich, as well as capturing the cultural heritage of her subjects with integrity and stunning beauty.
In both cases — and among many of the honorees — the awards recognize the power of photography and its practitioners to showcase, preserve, and celebrate the remarkable range of human experience and world culture.
This week: New York’s disappearing alleys, Wolfgang Tillmans’s fading star, Velma Dinkley is gay, and more.
The technology isn’t available for public use, but Meta (formerly Facebook) released a series of eerie sample clips based on prompts like “cat watching TV” and “spaceship landing.”
Fall shows at the Chicago art space explore how same-sex desire became the basis for a new identity category and celebrate the cosmic work of an acclaimed Chicago-based artist.
There’s high demand in the country for the nostalgia-soaked Instagram videos of sister duo Zainab and Sakina Sabunwala.
Gustav Klimt: Gold in Motion transforms a historic bank in Manhattan into the unlikely setting of an immersive art experience one visitor called “mesmerizing.”
Masterworks of American Landscape Painting at the Center for Figurative Painting makes clear that the term “landscape” has been widely interpreted.
The artist’s work quietly asks: How do we read and write the world we live in?
Funded fellowships support on-site graduate and postdoctoral research spanning a variety of disciplines on cultural works in the center’s collections.
Warsaw Gallery Weekend and Fringe Warszawa hope to offer long-term solutions for a thriving art scene in Warsaw when skyrocketing inflation and a lack of affordable studio spaces have become the new norm.
But Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, who says the UK is “cornered,” plans to insist on the marbles’ return during a visit this year.
The Art Dealers Association of America is expanding its natural disaster relief program, and announced $60k in grants to six US nonprofits.