Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2013

National Portrait Gallery

14 November 2013 – 9 February 2014

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The 60 strong short-list for this award features some of the most innovative international photographers working today.

The Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize celebrates and promotes a range of diverse photographic practices from editorial to advertising to fine art, creating, in the process, a show that embraces numerous styles. Past winners have included Shara Henderson for her timeless portrait of a little girl from Brzeg Dolny in Poland and Jonathan Torgovnik for his picture of a rape victim during the 1994 genocide in Rwanda.

This year’s prize features some 60 portraits, ranging from formal, photographic poses to more spontaneous moments of humanity. On display is 2013 winner Spencer Murphy's picture of Katie Walsh as well as work by the other three finalists, Anoush Abrar, Dorothee Deiss, and Giles Price.

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Works by the four finalists for 2013 form the centrepiece of the exhibition. They include:

Anoush Abrar for Kofi Annan

Although born in Tehran, Abrar has lived in Switzerland since he was five years old where he now works as a teacher. His portrait of Kofi Annan, the Ghanaian diplomat who served as the seventh Secretary-General of the United Nations until 2006, was commissioned by ZEIT Magazine. Abrar had photographed Annan previously and he says he knew that time was of the essence. 'In my mind it was clear what I wanted to do and this portrait took literally three minutes!'.

Dorothee Deiss for The twins

Deiss lives and works as photographer and pediatric endocrinologist in Berlin. A founding member of the Exp12 gallery for photography, this picture of her twin sisters was shot on her visit to their house. 'I took a lot of more conventional portraits of them', she says, 'but when I found the bathrobe in a corner, perfectly fitting to the bedspread, that was when I knew I had the picture'.

Spencer Murphy for Katie Walsh

This will be the seventh time Murphy has been exhibited as part of the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize and his picture of actor Mark Rylance won him third place last year. This portrait of Katie Walsh was taken whilst shooting a series of jump jockeys' portraits for Channel Four's The Original Extreme Sport campaign. He explains he was keen to include Katie because he 'wanted to show both her femininity and the toughness of spirit she requires to compete against the best riders in one of the most demanding disciplines in horse racing'. His piece was named as the prize winner in November 2013.

Giles Price for Kumbh Mela Pilgrim Mamta Dubey and infant

Hertfordshire-based Price joined the Royal Marine Commandos at 16 and served in northern Iraq and Kurdistan at the end of the first Gulf War in 1991. After leaving the military due to injury, he went on to do a BA in Photographic Studies at University of Derby and has since been commissioned by various newspapers and magazines. This shot was taken at the 2013 Kumbh Mela Festival in Allahabad in a pop up studio outside the main hospital. Its subject, Mamta, was on a pilgrimage to the Kumbh.

Venue information

Opening times

Saturday to Thursday: 10am – 6pm

Friday Lates: 10am – 9pm

Closed 24 – 26 Dec

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