Love it or hate it, Taylor Wessing Prize exhibition is a must-see show, largely summarising (and, to some extend, defining) the trends in contemporary photographic portraiture (for many photographers, it’s a must-enter competition for the very same reasons, but let’s leave this for another discussion).
Considering the critical debate that surrounds the prize and provided the spark for Portrait Salon initiative, Taylor Wessing exhibition has become a parody of itself, with endless red-headed twins in all forms and variations. In this light, Ilona Szwarc’s choice to enter this particular image from her brilliant series American Girls appears like a poignant joke – the prize swallowed it.
Criticism aside, there is still some brilliant work on display.
Having filtered through clichés, I made a personal selection of five favourites:
The exhibition is on at the National Portrait Gallery until the 9th February, so make sure to see it, but avoid weekends – queueing for each image as if you need an appointment to see a portrait is too much even for Taylor Wessing Prize!