Samuel Fosso 60, a contemporary artist who photographs himself in the style of leading historical figures including Martin Luther King and Angela Davis, has won the Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize 2023, the BBC has reported.
The Cameroonian-born Nigerian photographer Samuel Fosso was awarded the $37,000 prize at the Photographers’ Gallery in London.
Samuel Fossi now described as “a man of 1,000 faces”, has since 1970 specialized in self-portraiture and performative photography and his works currently appear in most renowned galleries across the world.
Speaking to the BBC after bagging the prestigious prize Samuel reacted saying;
“Winning this prestigious prize, recognized as one of the most important in the field of photography, means that my work is recognized by the artistic community.
This recognition is very important to me. I feel a lot of joy and pride.” he stated
The Director of the Deutsche Borse Photography Foundation, Anne-Marie Beckmann, said Fosso’s retrospective opened up new perspectives, allowing many more people to discover his work for the first time.
“Through the retrospective, we were able to see his work differently and gain a much deeper understanding of the relevance of his practice today,” she said.
The jury also acknowledged the work of the other shortlisted artists, Bieke Depoorter, Arthur Jafa, and Frida Orupabo, who received £5,000 each, the Guardian reported.
The exhibition showcasing all four artists is currently ongoing at the Photographers’ Gallery until June 11th, 2023.
Samuel Fosso was raised in Nigeria and later fled the Biafran war as a young boy, in 1972 and was taken in by an uncle in Bangui in the Central African Republic.
In 1975, at the age of 13, reports revealed he opened his Studio Photo Nationale to take commercial portrait photographs. He also made self-portraits to fill the unused parts of his photographic films. His work includes using self-portraits adopting a series of personas, often commenting on the history of Africa.
Source: Cameroon News Agency