These Magnum winners echo the best of the best

Magnum LensCulture Photography Awards show the influence of Greenfield, Parr, McCurry and Eggleston
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Motel, Virginia, 2015. © Lissa Rivera. Portrait Series Winner, Magnum and LensCulture Photography Awards 2017
Motel, Virginia, 2015. © Lissa Rivera. Portrait Series Winner, Magnum and LensCulture Photography Awards 2017

Identifying influence is always tricky. Two artists can reach similar conclusions without coming across each other’s work. Nevertheless, many of the winners of this year’s Magnum and LensCulture Photography Awards appear to echo earlier photographic pioneers -  in the best possible way, of course. 

 

Poolside, Family Home, 2015. © Lissa Rivera. Portrait Series Winner, Magnum and LensCulture Photography Awards 2017
Poolside, Family Home, 2015. © Lissa Rivera. Portrait Series Winner, Magnum and LensCulture Photography Awards 2017

The New York photographer Lissa Rivera’s winning portrait series, Beautiful Boy, brings to mind the pigment perfect pictures of Guy Bourdin and William Eggleston (one of her images in the series is even called Eggleston Hair) while the gender fluid nature of the series – Rivera shoots her lover, BJ Lillis, dressed as a woman – has overtones of Nan Goldin.

 

Street Wrestling. © Retam Kumar Shaw. Documentary Single Image Winner, Magnum and LensCulture Photography Awards 2017
Street Wrestling. © Retam Kumar Shaw. Documentary Single Image Winner, Magnum and LensCulture Photography Awards 2017
 

Retam Kumar Shaw has photographed street wrestling in his native India with the same large-scale choreographic brilliance as another great photographer and lover of Indian street scenes, Steve McCurry.

 

Student Protesters March. Among the most vocal and energetic groups taking part in the anti-president demonstrations are young South Korean students. © Argus Paul Estabrook.Street Series Winner, Magnum and LensCulture Photography Awards 2017
Student Protesters March. Among the most vocal and energetic groups taking part in the anti-president demonstrations are young South Korean students. © Argus Paul Estabrook.Street Series Winner, Magnum and LensCulture Photography Awards 2017
 

South Korean photographer Argus Paul Estabrook’s images of Seoul street protests meanwhile, bring to mind something of Daidō Moriyama’s grimy black-and-white street shots.

 

Santa Cruz de Tenerife. © Hakim Boulouiz. Street Single Image Winner, Magnum and LensCulture Photography Awards 2017
Santa Cruz de Tenerife. © Hakim Boulouiz. Street Single Image Winner, Magnum and LensCulture Photography Awards 2017

Hakim Boulouiz’s winning photograph of resort life in Tenerife makes us think of the brilliantly composed beach shots of Martin Parr.

 

Beach party, Dubai, January 2016. Russian women celebrating Friday brunch at a beachclub in Dubai. © Nick Hannes. Documentary Series Winner, Magnum and LensCulture Photography Awards 2017
Beach party, Dubai, January 2016. Russian women celebrating Friday brunch at a beachclub in Dubai. © Nick Hannes. Documentary Series Winner, Magnum and LensCulture Photography Awards 2017

Yet the real surprise in here is Belgium photographer Nick Hannes, whose series Bread and Circuses recalls a more recent hit series, Generation Wealth, by the documentary photographer and filmmaker Lauren Greenfield. While Greenfield toured the world and assembled the series of over decades, Hannes drilled down and focussed on one place, Dubai, taking pictures ostentatious displays of conspicuous consumption during 2016 and 2017.

 

Hub Zero, Dubai, January 2017. Emirati boys playing a game of pool at Hub Zero, an immersive entertainment hub located at City Walk shopping mall. © Nick Hannes. Documentary Series Winner, Magnum and LensCulture Photography Awards 2017
Hub Zero, Dubai, January 2017. Emirati boys playing a game of pool at Hub Zero, an immersive entertainment hub located at City Walk shopping mall. © Nick Hannes. Documentary Series Winner, Magnum and LensCulture Photography Awards 2017

Still, these images of ice sculptures, beach yoga and floating villas capture a localised sense of economic unbalance that Generation Wealth maps across the globe.

 

Oasis Mall, Dubai, January 2016. © Nick Hannes. Documentary Series Winner, Magnum and LensCulture Photography Awards 2017
Oasis Mall, Dubai, January 2016. © Nick Hannes. Documentary Series Winner, Magnum and LensCulture Photography Awards 2017

We would like to congratulate all the winners. For more on Guy Bourdin get this book; for more on Nan Goldin go here; for Steve McCurry go here; Daidō Moriyama’s work can be seen in more detail in this book; for more on Martin Parr go here; and for a cash-rich, modesty-poor view of the world get Lauren Greenfield’s wonderful Generation Wealth.


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