Taylor Wessing Prize

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).

Ilona Szwarc: Lexi Lindenhurst

Ilona Szwarc: Lexi Lindenhurst

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.

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Having filtered through clichés, I made a personal selection of five favourites:

Oliver Mark: Cameron Carpenter and his Personal Trainer

Oliver Mark: Cameron Carpenter and his Personal Trainer

Laura Stevens: Phoebe and the Rat

Laura Stevens: Phoebe and the Rat

Deana Kolencikova: Man with Owl and Lucy

Deana Kolencikova: Man with Owl and Lucy

Paul Wenham-Clarke: Cindy and Shirley aged ten holding baby Terry on his Christening Day

Paul Wenham-Clarke: Cindy and Shirley aged ten holding baby Terry on his Christening Day

Jillian Edelstein: Hornst van Wachter

Jillian Edelstein: Hornst van Wachter

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!

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About Tina Remiz

I am a documentary storyteller and visual artist of Latvian origin, currently based in the UK's capital.

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