American Photography 32
Our insatiable desire for pictures has intensified as new technologies allow for the creation and distribution of photographs to transpire at lightening speed anytime, anywhere, shot with nothing more than a sophisticated smart phone, or more traditional camera equipment and crew – and film? Either way, our greatest skilled photographers bravely venture into the world to capture and deliver what they encounter and bring back remarkable and powerful results of vision and artistry for our publications, advertising campaigns and books (still for print media!). This is what inspires our juries every year to gather, review and select the best images from about 9,000 submitted to our annual competition. This year’s collection of just 335 winning pictures again demonstrates the capability exceptionally trained and talented photographers have to inform, inspire, move and provoke the viewer.
With a determined eagerness, the photographers in AP32 found and covered stories that made headlines and dominated news cycles, and uncovered stories often overlooked, that need careful consideration in order to bring them to our attention, where otherwise they would have gone without our notice. Stirring photos of Syrian refugees, left without a country as a result of their ongoing civil war, prevailed this year with many selected for the collection as shot by Paula Bronstein, Yuri Kozyrev, Paolo Pellegrin and Sergey Ponomarev. The immigrant’s plight was also captured and literally brought to the streets of New York by artist JR for a New York Times Magazine cover feature. The run up to the presidential primaries brought new and familiar faces from both parties in revealing portraits by Nate Gowdy, Aristide Economopolous and Mark Peterson. The continuing trouble the country faces with countless black men being shot by police was not overlooked by Andrew Burton in Baltimore – along with an uplifting look at New Orleans 10 years after Hurricane Katrina in series by Daymond Gardner and Alec Soth. Concerns over autism are portrayed by Elinor Carucci, and Alzheimer’s disease is included in a very personal portrait of the photographer’s mother taken in her final days by Joan Allen. Bill Cosby’s accusers of sexual assault by Amanda Demme are included in the collection along with the new “Heirs to the Sexual Revolution” as part of a series by students Marisa Chafetz and Lulu Hyers for New York magazine. Topics as broad as LGBT refugees in Africa, to open carry gun laws, to food (glorious food), run along side celebrity portraits; the homeless on Skid Row and the Tenderloin; a strip club that runs the music scene in Atlanta; fashion, sports and includes portraits of artist Kara Walker by Adiran Gaut; Mary Ellen Mark, who we lost this year, by Volker Hinz; Caitlyn Jenner, who we met this year, by Ryan Pfluger; and a self-portrait of South African artist and LGBT activist Zanele Muholi.
This year’s AP32 hardcover book, in brilliant blue, is under the creative direction and design by Caleb Bennett, creative director of Conde Nast Traveler with design by Ben Grandgennet of The New York Times Magazine.
This year’s distinguished jury included: Anna Goldwater Alexander, Director of Photography, WIRED; Sarah Filippi, Director of Photography, Fast Company; Genevieve Fussell, Senior Photo Editor, The New Yorker; Kelli Grant, Photo Editor, Yahoo News; Jennifer Miller, Photo Director, Condé Nast Traveler; Florence Nash, Associate Photo Editor, People; and Emily Shornick, Associate Photo Art Director, Tory Burch.
AP32 at 400 gilded pages, is a time capsule in the making of the year 2015.