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National Photographic Portrait Prize 2014

Saturday 22 March until Monday 9 June 2014
Matthew Martin, 2013 by Andrew Cowen
Matthew Martin, 2013 by Andrew Cowen

The National Photographic Portrait Prize exhibition is selected from a national field of entries that reflect the distinctive vision of Australia's aspiring and professional portrait photographers and the unique nature of their subjects. The National Portrait Gallery offers a prize of $25,000 for the most outstanding photographic portrait.

The winner is Matthew Martin
by Andrew Cowe.

Untitled by David Apostol was highly commended.

This year's Prize was diverse as usual. Throughout the selection process, the photographic portraits that continued to rise to the top told us something deep about the sitter. We were looking for portraits that gave a strong sense of the person depicted. When it came down to the final judging, our top ten, then three, then two, showed us an increasingly subtle and real sense of the person in the portrait. The winning portrait is striking in its minimalism and it shows a cloudy complexity of thinking - the person in the portrait is looking outwards and inwards. The guest judge, photographer Greg Weight, says the winning portrait 'achieves maximum visual impact through the use of minimal, elegant composition - and then it begins to work psychologically. There is no doubt in this portrait Mathew Martin appears to be deep in thought. It's like a frozen Bill Viola moment; the more I look at it the more I'm intrigued. It's a perfect use of restraint by the photographer Andrew Cowen.'