San Diego, CA (PressExposure) September 11, 2009 -- The fifth annual Art of Photography Show, an international competition and exhibition of photographic art, announced the top fifteen winners at the Opening Reception Gala and Awards. These winners were judged and selected from 16,000 entries from 57 countries by Charlotte Cotton, the esteemed curator and head of the Photography Department in the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. A total of $10,000 in cash awards was presented to the top 15 artists chosen by Ms. Cotton.
1st Place: Benoit PaillÃ© (MontrÃ©al, Canada), âA stranger 53 year oldâ 2nd Place: Jan Banning (Utrecht, Netherlands), The âBureaucraticsâ series 3rd Place: Walter Lockwood (Los Angeles, United States), The âSukiyaki Westernâ Series 4th Place: Martine Fourgeron (New York, United States), "Tete-a-Tete Project:Sleepover"
Honorable Mentions: Leon Chew (London, United Kingdom), âThe Man Next Doorâ Judy Cooper (New Orleans, United States), âThe Irish Twinsâ Ed Freem (Los Angeles, United States), âStreet Scene, Jaipur, Indiaâ Tatiana Grigorenko (New Haven, United States), âA former coal-miner's daughter at home. Stakhanov, Ukraineâ Pal Hansen (London, United Kingdom), âHis Excellency Tafidaâ Alison Jackson (London, United Kingdom), âBush Plays Rubixâ Jon Kral (Boone, United States), âFlyswatterâ Les Phillips (Fresno, United States), âLunch Preparation in Nicaraguaâ Josef Tornick (Santa Fe, United States), âConnemara Pony Show Judging, Ireland, 2007â Jeff Wiant (San Diego, United States), âStreet of Dreams 2006 â Jaimeâ Leah Zawadzki (Orange, United States), âGenerationsâ
âIn the spirit of the Art of Photography competition, the first prize was awarded to Benoit Paill on the strength of a single, extraordinary photograph. Benoitâs vulnerable portrait of a 53 year old man encapsulates the potency of a camera in the hands of a sentient image maker,â said Ms. Cotton about her selection. âBenoitâs portraits of strangers, and especially of older men, demonstrate his ability to use his camera to create a fast, forced bond of intimacy between him and his subjects. But in the circumstances that surround this portrait, something out of the ordinary â beyond the photographerâs orchestration â came to pass. Having approached this stranger, Benoit was invited back to his subjectâs home, which he had shared all his life with his recently deceased mother. In his heightened sense of loneliness and isolation, the man elected to present himself naked, seated on a childâs chair and, together, he and Benoit profoundly captured the essence of his state of being. It is a remarkable photograph in its piercing representation of an acute and specific human state.â
The fact that the Art of Photography Show is judged by a major museum curator each year is what differentiates this competition from other competitions. Photographers rarely have the opportunity to reach these respected and influential people, which is why the show receives so many entries from world-renowned photographers. Another amazing thing is that during these tough economic times, the number of entries increased by 31% from the previous year.
âI feel that Charlotte's selections come together as a very cohesive body of work. She was incredibly insightful about perceiving the true substance of these images. It's a totally blind judging process, as she was not told the name of any of the photographer,â said Steven Churchill, founder and producer of The Art of Photography Show. âAnd, we the producers only know what the artists may reveal to us about themselves, when they enter their images. So there was one big surprise to all of us, that the artist who shot "Raining Love", Sadie Rapp, is only 12 years old. She attended the opening reception last night and the various events and activities we had today -- along with her parents. I think it's super that such a young artist has received this wonderful encouragement by our esteemed Judge, and lots of valuable input via this experience. Charlotte was very pleased as well to learn of her age and to meet her this weekend.â
This world-class photography exhibit will be on display at the Lyceum Theatre Gallery until November 1, 2009 and is expected to be viewed by over 25,000 people. An elegant 80-page show catalog is available for $20 that features all 111 final photographs.
About The Art of Photography Show The mission is to provide a truly "artist oriented" show and to create a world-class presentation of photographic art in San Diego. This is the fifth year of this annual photographic exhibition. The Lyceum Theatre Gallery is open and free to the public seven days a week. Gallery hours are 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, and noon to 5:00 p.m. on the weekends. For more information about the exhibition, please visit http://www.artofphotographyshow.com