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After much discussion, debate and deliberation the Mobile Photography Awards has awarded the United Kingdom’s SARAH JARRETT our grand prize of MPA Photographer/Artist of the Year. Sarah was the only artist to appear on the top ten list of all seven jury members and continued to inspire the judges right through to our final choice. We are absolutely thrilled to award such an original, talented and technically brilliant artist with our most prestigious prize. We anticipate that the mobile community will be incredibly proud that such artistry graces our medium, Sarah’s work is truly remarkable in it’s own right and like all great artists, her chosen medium, an iPhone, is merely a tool she bends to serve her vision as an artist and photographer.

We wish to extend a hearty congratulations to our runner-up Helen Breznik, to each of our ten finalists and to all of the category winners, runners-up, and honorable mentions. We thank all of you who submitted to the MPA this year. We wouldn’t exist without each and every one of you who create the work that constitutes our amazing art-form.

Included here are statements from several of our judge’s on the impact Sarah’s work had on the jury:

Daniel Berman: Her “Cool Britannia” series (included below) is an impressive collection of insights into youth culture in the UK – taken together, I see a generation’s worth of journeys, the desire for acceptance, a seeker’s motivation for meaning within the context of fashion and music and the friction between social acceptance/personal expression. Above all, I see a window into a kind of celebration of misfits whose eyes are vivid yet who hide behind sartorial creativity in their eternal search for identity. I think her work in this regard may be the most cohesive expression I’ve ever seen in the mobile arts. She also has carved out an utterly unmistakable and original visual style unlike any other working in the genre.

Her ability to capture timeless expressions in a photograph and bring them to an entirely new level of visual creativity with exceptional technique makes Sarah, in my eyes, the most exciting artist working in our medium today.

Misho Baranovic: With a clarity of vision and exquisite technical skill, Sarah Jarrett is a deserving winner of this year’s MPA Photographer/Artist of the Year Award. Sarah is one of the new generation of mobile artists who continue to blur the lines between photography and painting.

Her bold color palette and pared back stroke adds an intimacy to her portraiture. Jarrett’s Cool Britannia portrait series is impressive in it’s ability to offer an insight into individual expression while providing a broader commentary on the importance of British counter culture through the decades.

I keep going back to Jarret’s “Boy about Town’ portrait, a young man in mod clothing and a WHO patch, back straight, chin up. His stare encapsulates Jarrett’s work, a challenge to the establishment: mobile photography and art has arrived.

Andy Royston: I’m absolutely delighted that Sarah Jarrett is our Mobile Photography Awards Photographer/Artist of the year. More than any artist in the last year she’s produced work that’s made me stop to take in her striking, beautifully composed and deftly colored work.

This year has seen mobile artists emerge who show a keen appreciation of older photographic and art techniques. There’s something familiar in Sarah’s pieces that pay subtle homage to mediaeval art, Japanese Ukiyo-e and contemporary illustration.

Her portraits are moving and funny by turns and her use of color in photographic landscapes is exemplary; she’s developed a way of flattening perspectives and creating layouts that feel timeless like a 19th Century painting. I’ve spent many weeks trying to find a way to do this in my own landscape work, and frankly she’s superb at this. She has a great sense of color control; when to reign it back, when to let it free, and when to create a splash.

Sarah is a most worthy winner.

Daria Polichetti: Jarrett’s work has emerged as a strong new voice in the mobile arts. From delicately rendered botanicals to sparse landscapes to abstracted portraits, she has a wide range—but her portraits in particular stand out. Rendered against bright color fields, her subjects are isolated and altered in a manner that evokes early 20th century expressionist painters. Individually, each piece seeks to define the character and emotional qualities of the subject, while together they begin to paint the portrait of a larger group: individual but connected.

Jarrett’s work may not be traditional when viewed in the context of photography itself, but it follows a long tradition of abstract and expressionist painting as well as the more contemporary digital arts, making it an interesting example of how successfully the mobile arts have begun to expand beyond the boundaries of pure photography.

She is also an excellent colorist. She has a good eye for capturing emotion in her initial shots, and her touch is expressive and free. In the end, color, texture and linework all combine together to merge her photography and painting in a seamless, evocative way while highlighting emotion, character and story in each portrait.

Please enjoy the following selection of Sarah’s work as entered in the MPA. We have also included in the gallery a set of her recent work in order to celebrate Sarah’s artistry and expose the community to a more complete vision of her outstanding portfolio.

You can see a slideshow of some of Sarah’s work on the App Whisperer
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We are pleased to announce Helen Breznik as the runner up for the MPA Photographer/Artist of the Year. Below are statements from two jury members about Helen’s work, followed by selections from Helen’s portfolio as submitted to the MPA.

Star Rush: Helen Breznik’s work in the mobile medium presents a breadth of range as well as depth of personal investigation. Her portfolio, as submitted to the MPA and taken as a whole, reaches from representational photography to abstracted, non-representational explorations of the human form and its context. She achieves this with breath-taking ideas, technical execution, and vibrancy of aesthetic value. What is impressive within this continuum of visual representation is the consistency of her compelling vision and thematic investigations of form, light, and composition. Her portfolio presents an artist examining deeply how the conventions of photography travel across our own assumptions about human form, storytelling, notions of beauty, and even the nature of photography itself.

Her work stimulates questions about visual narrative and its boundaries, unsettling our own desires for neat or tidy resolutions. Self-portraits that disrupt expectations of genre, for example, tease viewers out of comfort zones of easy aesthetics. In this work, we are invited to accompany the artist in an intimate, probing exploration of her “self.” in context.

Her work lingers in the mind long after viewing.

Nettie Edwards: Helen’s work is extremely compelling. Here is an artist asking questions about the nature of photography, in particular self portraits, constantly experimenting and not afraid to fail. Often witty and glamorous, always beautifully crafted, nothing is ever quite as it seems in Breznik’s world: her narratives are subtly woven, leaving the viewer to further interpret and imagine. Her recent Basement series, beautifully composed, lit and coloured, is one that I find particularly evocative, enigmatic and inspiring.

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These are your TOP TEN finalists for the Big Prize – the MPA Photographer/Artist of the Year. After an initial narrowing to 35 artists, our seven member Grand Prize Jury has chosen our final list of ten. We present a selection of their work below in no particular order. Our winner will be announced this Friday, February 15, 2013. You may read more about the jurists at the bottom of this page.

Roger Clay

Roger Clay

Marie Matthews

Marie Matthews

Souichi Furusho

Souichi Furusho

Gusbano

Gusbano

Sarah Jarrett

Sarah Jarrett

Melissa Vincent

Melissa Vincent

Alfred Pleyer

Alfred Pleyer

Helen Breznik

Helen Breznik

Edyta Lipinksa

Edyta Lipinksa

Lene Basma

Lene Basma

   

THE JURY

The members of the Grand Prize Jury comprise a cross-section of people intimately involved on many levels with mobile photography and art. They include Joanne Carter (publisher of mobile photography and art web resource The App Whisperer), Daria Polichetti (the co-founder of mobile photo and art community iPhoneart.com), Misho Baranovic (photographer and author of e-book iPhone Photography – How to Shoot, Edit and Share Great Photographs), Star Rush (the co-founder of Lys Photo Magazine and an instructor at the Cornish College of the Arts), Andy Royston (photographer, and a regular lecturer on mobile photography and art at the Museum of Discovery and Science in Ft. Lauderdale), Nettie Edwards (internationally recognized award-winning mobile photographer and artist), and Daniel Berman (filmmaker, fine art photographer and Founder of the Mobile Photo Awards.)

MPA/ARTHAUS Photo Essay Slideshow

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The MPA/ARTHAUS Photo Essay

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Here at the Mobile Photography Awards we like to think of a single picture as a song and a series of images as a full-length LP (remember the LP?) – the idea being that the whole is often greater than the sum of its parts. Most times, a great image stands on its own – but sometimes a set of images, taken together, reveal a far more intriguing story. We hear the whole album and not just the hit single. When an essay works well it’s because the individual elements are part of something larger and offer the viewer an entry into a deeper mode of storytelling. For this reason, we have established, with our friends at ArtHaus, the inaugural MPA/ArtHaus Photo Essay Award. With a $500 prize and a month long exhibit at ArtHaus we see the Photo Essay Award as an integral part of providing exposure to those artists who think thematically and are after more than just one decisive moment.

The following five essays were chosen by ArtHaus gallerists James Bacchi and Annette Schutz. They had free reign to make their decisions and informed the MPA earlier this week of their choices. In the words of James Bacchi,

…What was most interesting in jurying the SERIES portion of the MPA with ArtHaus Gallerist Annette Schutz was we were in such complete agreement on selecting the top 3 winners. This is rare for us.

The top three essays will be part of an exhibit at ArtHaus in San Francisco from April 5-30, 2013. We present all five finalists here with some words from both James and Annette on their top three choices.

First Place: Melissa Vincent – The Rooms of William Faulkner.

From jurist James Bacchi: I feel VINCENT’s series, aside from its ever-so-slightly haunting beauty, has great consistency. I was tremendously drawn to each and every image, both as individual works and as a series. It’s not often I feel this way when presented with a body of work. The technique appears effortless and not at all over done. This work seriously takes mobile photography into the fine art arena.

From jurist Annette Schutz: Vincent’s sensitive imagery lulls the viewer into a visual dream where we are held captivated by it’s almost nonsensical mix of hauntingly beautiful interiors and exteriors.

Melissa Vincent

Second Place: Jen Pollack Bianco – Scenes from Sunrise at Shwedagon Pagoda.

James Bacchi: BIANCO’s series combines an intriguing blend of celebration, mystery and spiritualism, which is extremely appealing. Her work is consistent, and the extreme use of color throughout seems to add a magical quality to the work.

Annette Schutz: What struck me about Bianco’s photographs is how beautifully the subject matter, intense saturated color and perspective, instantly transported me into a visual world of mystic euphoria.

Jen Pollack Bianco

Third Place: Benamon Tame – The Lost Toy Room.

James Bacchi: Much like, though very unlike, VINCENT’s work – TAME presents originality and consistency. Again, here is a series where each photograph strongly stands on its own, and yet stands taller as a series.  Work in this genre can often lean to the macabre. TAME takes you only as far as the entrance, and that is where the success of this series lies.

Annette Schutz: Tame’s quirky dolls that have been manipulated and morphed into curious objects placed in desolate environments hold us hostage to our voyeuristic tendencies.

Benamon Tame

Honorable Mentions

Catherine Restivo: Peony in Extremis
Catherine Restivo

Helen Breznik: The Basement
Helen Breznik

A slideshow of the essay winners is available here.

 

DPR Connect

Winner IMAGE PIC #51 by Souichi Furusho

CONNECT Honorable Mentions

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Appstracts/Digital Painting

Winner FISH OIL by Nicki Fitz-Gerald

APPSTRACTS Honorable Mentions

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People/Portraits

Winner – MAN IN PUSHKAR by Alfred Pleyer

PEOPLE/PORTRAITS Honorable Mentions

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JUXT Photo Journalism

Winner LITTLE GIRL NAPS AMONG THE GRAVES by Prass Prasetio

JUXT Honorable Mentions

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