The Soho Photo Gallery presents the artists of the 19th annual National Photography Competition, with the work of 42 winners on display. The first place photo is by Niki Grangruth and James Kinser, titled Odalisque (after Ingres). The image mocks the 1814 Ingres painting, Grande Odalisque, replacing the concubine with a male figure to question the roles of gender in a humorous fashion.
Odalisque (after Ingres) Niki Grangruth and James Kinser, Chicago IL (1st Prize)
Ben Altman’s second place winning photograph features the screen of a point-and-shoot camera, which is directed down a railroad descending into the distance. This somewhat cliché image is indicative of a larger trend towards the camera phone, and the downfall of photographic merit. At least one can admit it’s timely, but it may serve better on Instagram than in a national photo competition.
Entrance to Auschwitz-Birkenau, Auschwitz-Birkenau State Memorial and Museum, Oswiecim, Poland Ben Altman, Danby NY (2nd Prize)
In third place is a piece by Scott Bae. The image is a detailed shot of colorful cracks in painted concrete. This, along with the honorable mentions, seems arbitrary and trite. Placed with a full body of work each could have potential for a reputable series. This is an issue when looking at works singled out by a panel of judges, no matter how outstanding.
Two Doors, Bellevue Tennis Club, Matthew Bender, Philadelphia PA (3rd Prize)
The National Photography Competition exhibits will be on display until July 26th.
Text by Ashely Minyard
Photographs by Lena Vassiliou