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Johannesburg Schoolboy Image Wins Taylor Wessing Portrait Prize

Photographer Claudio Rasano's image of a Johannesburg school boy wins the Taylor Wessing Portrait Prize.

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Johannesburg Schoolboy Image Wins Taylor Wessing Portrait Prize: Claudio Rosano

Claudio Rasano won the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2016 for his portrait of a Johannesburg schoolboy, the National Portrait Gallery has announced. The prestigious £15,000 award was presented to the Swiss-Italian photographer at an awards ceremony last night (Tuesday, 15 November 2016).

The winning portrait, part of Rasano's series Similar Uniforms: We Refuse to Compare, was taken in February 2016, in Johannesburg, South Africa and focuses on issues of preserving individuality in the context of school uniforms. The photograph was shot in daylight, outdoors and in front of a plain white paper background. The sitter for this particular inkjet print is eighteen-year-old Katlehong Matsenen.

Rasano explains: "Children themselves have been known to rebel against uniforms, especially as they approach the awkward age characterised by the need to fit in and the desire to stand out, all at the same time. Some experts too have spoken against school uniforms on the grounds that they suppress individuality and diversity."

Claudio Rasano was born in 1970 in Basel, Switzerland. His work has been included in numerous international exhibitions and previously featured in the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize in 2011 and 2013. Rasano's awards include the Shortlist for the Athens Photo Festival, 2016; Bieler Fototage 2015; Leica Oskar Branack Prize 2015 and a finalist in the Photography Masters Cup 2015.

Second prize has been awarded to Joni Sternbach's large-format tintype portrait of surfers Thea Adler and Maxwell Schultz and third prize has gone to Kovi Konowiecki for his photographs Shimi Beitar Illit and Tilly and Itty Beitar Illit part of a series of inkjet prints that portray Orthodox Jews from around the world. The John Kobal New Work Award, worth £5,000, was won by Josh Redman for his portrait, Frances.

Check out last year's winner in our article.

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Comments

monstersnowman Avatar
monstersnowman 18 1.7k 1 England
17 Nov 2016 12:22AM
Yep, that's a Taylor Wessing winner for you. Sadly I can't imagine a school portrait by a photographer, on auto pilot, churning them out by the hundreds, looking any different. Sorry to be negative but someone has to say it ... some may disagree and think it is wonderful, imaginative, moving, inspiring etc.
meyeview Avatar
meyeview 14 1.4k 1 United Kingdom
17 Nov 2016 9:08AM

Quote:Yep, that's a Taylor Wessing winner for you. Sadly I can't imagine a school portrait by a photographer, on auto pilot, churning them out by the hundreds, looking any different. Sorry to be negative but someone has to say it ... some may disagree and think it is wonderful, imaginative, moving, inspiring etc.


i couldn't have said it better myself.
nickthompson Avatar
nickthompson 16 158 England
17 Nov 2016 6:01PM
Can someone please show how that is a great portrait. Based on that, I am the best photographer in the world. I have to agree with the above comments.

nick
Alan_Baseley Avatar
18 Nov 2016 11:41AM
Maybe it's not the photo that wins, maybe it's the bulls..t explanation that comes with it. Grin
bwlchmawr Avatar
bwlchmawr 11 32 1 England
18 Nov 2016 5:50PM
15,000? Look at any portrait on this site and it'll be better than this uninspired, run-of-the-mill effort. The judges must have seen something special but I can't. As mentioned above, each week any half-competent school mug-shot photographer can turn out snaps like this by the hundred.

Actually it may have been rejected because his tie's not straight...
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