Winners
& Finalists
Announcing 39 New Discoveries in Art Photography
We are delighted to present 39 outstanding artists (from 18 countries on 5 continents) as the winners, jurors’ picks and finalists of the LensCulture Art Photography Awards 2022.
The international jury spent many hours carefully reviewing and discussing hundreds of excellent submissions that came from artists across the globe. Many of this year’s winners have turned to photography and photographic practices to find new forms of personal expression, oftentimes turning the camera on themselves and their immediate environments, as well as exploring complex ideas of memory, time, perception, dreams, identity, emotions, humanity, nature, and more.
Underpinning much of the work, you will find some deep philosophical thinking, self-reflection, and serious research, as well as rigorous experimentation with materials and techniques. They have presented us with some stunning work to contemplate.
We hope you find some true inspiration in these new discoveries!
— Jim Casper, Editor in Chief, LensCulture
Series Winners
1st Place Series
Nigeria
Chukwudi Onwumere
Road Runners
2nd Place Series
United States
Ruth Lauer Manenti
Excerpts
3rd Place Series
United States
Tatiana Lopez
In Between Dreams the Forest Echos the Song of the Burning Anaconda
“I’ve enjoyed seeing so much talent in the work submitted for this year’s Art Photography Award. In a year that was crucially affected by the pandemic, it was heartening to see the range and quality of the work included.”
Anna Dannemann, Senior Curator, The Photographers’ Gallery
Single Image Winners
1st Place Single
Japan
Keigo Nakamura
Not Lockdown in Tokyo City
2nd Place Single
United States
Charlie Wetzel
Me and This Place
3rd Place Single
United States
Marina Eng
Sonya

Jurors’
picks
Each of our jury members selected one photographer to be awarded special distinction. Here are the jurors’ special selections, with a brief quote from each expert explaining what they especially appreciate about these photographers and their work.
Lucas Leffler
Belgium
Selected by Monique Deschaines
Director, Owner EUQINOM Gallery
Monique Deschaines
Director, Owner EUQINOM Gallery
United States

Lucas Leffler’s photographs are dark, tactile and eerie, they draw you deeper into their rusty gold and brown tones. Then the story starts to emerge: how the photographs were made with mud from a creek behind an old photography factory and Leffler’s investigation into the historical and environmental effects of silver, creating sculptural photographs that pay homage to the process as well as to the land.

Robert Andy Coombs
United States
Selected by Michael Famighetti
Editor Aperture
Michael Famighetti
Editor Aperture
United States

It is rare to come across projects that appear to be genuinely breaking new ground and carving out space for a conversation that hasn’t yet been fully engaged through image-making. As debates around photography’s role in representation abound, Robert Andy Coombs reminds us of the subjects that remain mostly invisible or taboo within the field of photography and the culture more broadly. Through his performative self-portraiture, he boldly places the themes of disability and sexuality front and center and in the bright spotlight — as playfully as he desires.

Mauro Corinti
Italy
Selected by Jim Casper
Editor-in-Chief LensCulture
Jim Casper
Editor-in-Chief LensCulture
The Netherlands

Mauro Corinti’s meticulous photographs seduce me with their quality of light, with their enigmatic props and unlikely situations. Every bit of every photograph seems charged with a sense of mystery, waiting to be revealed. His texts and short captions amplify the multifaceted philosophical quests at the heart of his explorations: “the need to stop the passage of time, to retain those traces, those mythopoetic signals still proposed by reality.”

Li Chen
China
Selected by Ekow Eshun
Curator, Editor-in-chief Tank Magazine
Ekow Eshun
Curator, Editor-in-chief Tank Magazine
United Kingdom

Tactile is a haunting, enigmatic set of images. The series presents a set of fragmentary moments that together amount to something like a tone poem. They are an evocation of sensibility and mood more than a fixed documentation of people or place. Each image is a mystery, an unfolding story.

Ingrid Weyland
Argentina
Selected by Caroline Wall
Director Robert Mann Gallery
Caroline Wall
Director Robert Mann Gallery
United States

I am intrigued by the trace of the artist’s hand in each image. The intervention on the paper — the object itself — is sometimes very obvious, and sometimes more obscured, asking the viewer to look over and over again. This invites the viewer to contemplate not only the beauty of the natural world, but also how we are manipulating and changing the environment, leaving our human trace behind, making marks on the planet. The images are poignant, exploring fragility.

Tomomichi Nakamura
Japan
Selected by Anna Dannemann
Senior Curator The Photographers’ Gallery
Anna Dannemann
Senior Curator The Photographers’ Gallery
United Kingdom

Tomomichi Nakamura’s endearing images subtly address the important issue of mental health and the isolating experience of being institutionalized and separated from society. Nakamura creates powerful images between reality and fiction, introspection and shared moments such as everyday tasks. His interventions in the images allow for a different perspective and insights into other ways of life – A Home for the Hermit Crab is on the whole an outstanding and accomplished project.

Akbar Shahbazi
Iran
Selected by Stéphane Magnan
Director Galerie Les Filles du Calvaire
Stéphane Magnan
Director Galerie Les Filles du Calvaire
France

The characters and especially the mother look toward the future and give the sensation that there is nothing to lose but freedom, and life without freedom is not worth living. Whoever looks at this image can feel courage and determination and be inspired by them.

Sarah Cusack
Australia
Selected by Mutsuko Ota
Editorial Director IMA Magazine
Mutsuko Ota
Editorial Director IMA Magazine
Japan

Sarah Cusack’s work has succeeded in creating a unique and disturbing atmosphere by expressing it using a technique called digital photogram instead of the usual straight photographic expression. Also, the thin, light and delicate PPE protective clothing that opposes Covid-19, the invisible common enemy of humankind, appears almost as if it is a person with a character, even though it is just placed in view. With a simple composition and a clear approach, the work is so convincing that no further explanation is needed. It is a perfect "portrait without people."

“There’s a consistently strong quality to the work submitted to the Art Photography Award. You see entrants aiming for a high place, pushing the form and thinking, in compelling ways, about the promise and potential of contemporary photography.”
Ekow Eshun, Curator, Tank Magazine
Finalists
Beatrice Pediconi
United States
Bongani Tshabalala
South Africa
Louis Gaillard
France
Majid Shahrabi
Iran
Michael Famighetti
Editor
Aperture
United States

Michael Famighetti is the Editor of Aperture magazine. In 2013, he organized a relaunch and reconceptualization of the publication, which won a 2018 National Magazine Award for General Excellence. He is the recipient, with guest editor Sarah Lewis, of the ICP Infinity Award for Critical Writing and Research for “Vision & Justice,” the summer 2016 issue of Aperture.

In addition to editing the magazine, Famighetti commissions and edits books for the Aperture Foundation, including volumes by William Christenberry, Robert Adams, John Divola, Jonas Bendiksen, Kwame Brathwaite and Joel Meyerowitz, among others. He is currently a visiting critic at the Yale University School of Art and a participant in SVA’s Mentors program.

His writing has appeared in Frieze, Bookforum and Aperture, among other publications. He is a member of the American Society of Magazine Editors and has been a guest reviewer and speaker at many international festivals and institutions, including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; The New York Times; Vogue Italia; FOAM, Amsterdam; the Art Gallery of Ontario; the Bamako Biennial, Mali; Kyotographie, Kyoto; Museet for Fotokunst, Odense, Denmark; and Fotografiska, Stockholm.

Anna Dannemann
Senior Curator
The Photographers' Gallery
United Kingdom

Anna Dannemann is Senior Curator at The Photographers’ Gallery in London. She has curated numerous exhibitions, including the Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize (2016-19) and has organized several solo exhibitions, among them Simon Fujiwara’s Joanne (2016), Charlotte Dumas’ Anima & The Widest Prairies (2015), Viviane Sassen's Analemma (2014), and William Burroughs. Anna regularly contributes to catalogues and other publications, and received an MA in Art and Visual History from the Humboldt-University of Berlin.

Ekow Eshun
Curator, Editor-in-chief
Tank Magazine
United Kingdom

Ekow Eshun is a writer and curator. He is Chairman of the Fourth Plinth Commissioning Group, overseeing the most prestigious public art programme in the UK, and the former Director of the ICA, London. He is the author of Africa State of Mind: Contemporary Photography Reimagines a Continent (Thames & Hudson), nominated for the Lucie Photo Book Prize, and Black Gold of the Sun (Penguin), nominated for the Orwell prize.

He has contributed to exhibition publications on the work of Chris Ofili, Kehinde Wiley, John Akomfrah, Amoako Boafo and Duro Olowu among others, as well to books and catalogues including Masculinities: Liberation Through Photography (Barbican); Between Worlds: Voyagers to Britain 1700-1850 (National Portrait Gallery); Linda McCartney: The Polaroid Diaries (Taschen), Seen: Black Style UK (Booth Clibborn), and Mythologies, Identities and Territories of Photography (Cambridge Scholars).

Eshun’s writing has appeared in publications including the New York Times, Financial Times, The Guardian, The Observer, The Independent, Granta, Esquire, GQ Style, Aperture, Wired and L’uomo Vogue. He is a Contributing Editor at Wallpaper magazine and is a member of the Advisory Board of Liquid Blackness journal.

He is the recipient of an honorary doctorate from London Metropolitan University.

Stéphane Magnan
Director
Galerie Les Filles du Calvaire
France

Stéphane Magnan founded Les Filles du Calvaire gallery in Paris in 1995. Its vocation is to show and defend contemporary creation by asserting a resolutely multimedia program and a strong political orientation through the works of committed artists of all generations who think about the current world in all its conditions. The gallery actively participates in fairs and shows in France and abroad and collaborates with many institutions around the world.

Mutsuko Ota
Editorial Director
IMA Magazine
Japan

Mutsuko Ota is Editorial Director of IMA magazine. Born in Tokyo, 1968, she started her career as an editor at Marie Claire and worked at several men’s magazines such as Esquire, GQ and others as a feature editor. Besides collaborating with several magazines as a freelance editor, she became involved in various fields including art projects, book and catalogue editing, and film promotion. She became the editorial director of IMA magazine in January 2012. In 2004, she helped produce a physical space called IMA CONCEPT STORE in Tokyo, with the goal of popularizing art photography in Japan.

Monique Deschaines
Director, Owner
EUQINOM Gallery
United States

Director Monique Deschaines is a curator, gallerist, and educator. Prior to founding EUQINOM Gallery, Deschaines was Associate Director at Haines Gallery. She has her MFA in photography from the San Francisco Art Institute and her BFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and at Tufts University, Cambridge and serves on the Board of Directors at SF Camerawork.

Caroline Wall
Director
Robert Mann Gallery
United States

Caroline Wall is the director of the Robert Mann Gallery. She graduated from McGill University with a degree in Art History and began her career in the art world at the O’Hara Gallery before joining the team at Robert Mann Gallery in 2006. Robert Mann Gallery features several emerging artists along with an impressive roster of international superstars.

With the gallery, Caroline has participated in many national and international art fairs and works with numerous contemporary photographers and estates organizing both solo and curated group exhibitions. Caroline is a member of the Board of Directors of AIPAD.

Jim Casper
Editor-in-Chief
LensCulture
The Netherlands

Jim Casper is the editor-in-chief of LensCulture, one of the leading online destinations to discover contemporary photography from around the world. As an active member in the contemporary photography world, Casper organizes annual international photography events, travels around the world to meet with photographers and review their portfolios, curates art exhibitions, writes about photography and culture, lectures, conducts workshops, serves as an international juror and nominator for key awards, and is an advisor to arts and education organizations.

Thank You
Congratulations to all 39 photographers! And to everyone who entered, thank you. We are inspired by the work you do and we are always delighted to discover how image makers around the globe are working with photography in new ways.
We look forward to seeing more of your work in the future!