Samuel Fosso wins the Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize 2023

Thursday, May 11, 2023
Samuel Fosso wins the Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize 2023

The photographer was announced as the 2023 winner of the prestigious £30,000 prize at a special ceremony at The Photographers’ Gallery (TPG), London by artist Zak Ové on Thursday 11 May 2023.

The influential prize, in partnership with the Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation, rewards artists and their projects recognised as having made the most significant contribution to international contemporary photography over the past 12 months.

The exhibition showcasing all four shortlisted artists is on show at The Photographers’ Gallery until 11 June 2023.

Samuel Fosso was awarded the Prize for his exhibition Samuel Fosso at the Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Paris, (10 November 2021 – 13 March 2022). 

Since the mid-1970s, Samuel Fosso (b. 1962, Kumba, Cameroon) has dedicated his artistic practice to self-portraits and performative photography. Fosso’s retrospective exhibition traces a career of almost 50 years, bringing together iconic series, lesser known works, archival material and previously unpublished images. Raised in Nigeria, Fosso fled the Biafran War as a young boy, and in 1972 was taken in by an uncle in Bangui in the Central African Republic. In 1975, at the age of thirteen, Fosso opened his Studio Photo Nationale. Alongside commercial work, Fosso immediately began a series of self-portraits – a mode of representation he has never abandoned. Described as ‘a man of 1000 faces’, Fosso plays the role of leading historical figures, including Martin Luther King, Angela Davis and Haile Selassie, and social archetypes in front of the camera, embodying a powerful way of existing in the world, and a vivid demonstration of photography’s role in the construction of myths. His work is also deeply personal, he said ‘making pictures of myself later in life was a way for me to take back what I had been lacking as a child, to take back my reflection.’

Shoair Mavlian, Director of The Photographers’ Gallery and Chair of the Jury said:
“We are delighted to announce Samuel Fosso as the winner of this year’s Prize. His sustained exploration of self-portraiture uses a traditional, studio-based approach steeped in history, while at the same time his work remains relevant and addresses contemporary political issues of today with humour and authenticity. His work has created an extraordinary platform for Black voices and artists throughout his career.”
Anne-Marie Beckmann, Director, Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation said:
“Huge congratulations to Samuel. I am delighted that with this year’s Prize we are celebrating the importance of his retrospective at Maison Européenne de la Photographie in Paris. The curation of the retrospective opened up new perspectives, allowing many more people to discover his work for the first time; and thrilled and surprised those who felt they already knew it. Through the retrospective we were able to see his work differently and gain a much deeper understanding of the relevance of his practice today.
Many congratulations to the other shortlisted artists Bieke Depoorter, Arthur Jafa and Frida Orupabo. This extraordinary group of artists has shown us the power and resonance of photography today. Thank you for allowing us to share your work as part of this year’s exhibition and Prize.”

ArtDependence WhatsApp Group

Get the latest ArtDependence updates directly in WhatsApp by joining the ArtDependence WhatsApp Group by clicking the link or scanning the QR code below


Subscribe to the Newsletter

Image of the Day

Anna Melnykova, "Palace of Labor (palats praci), architector I. Pretro, 1916", shot with analog Canon camera, 35 mm Fuji film in March 2022.

Anna Melnykova, "Palace of Labor (palats praci), architector I. Pretro, 1916", shot with analog Canon camera, 35 mm Fuji film in March 2022.


About ArtDependence

ArtDependence Magazine is an international magazine covering all spheres of contemporary art, as well as modern and classical art.

ArtDependence features the latest art news, highlighting interviews with today’s most influential artists, galleries, curators, collectors, fair directors and individuals at the axis of the arts.

The magazine also covers series of articles and reviews on critical art events, new publications and other foremost happenings in the art world.

If you would like to submit events or editorial content to ArtDependence Magazine, please feel free to reach the magazine via the contact page.