Paris: Amidst 20 finalists, a curious public, and copious champagne, Gábor Ösz won the BMW Prize at Paris Photo on Wednesday. The award comes with a purse of €12,000 ($16,000). Taking the honor in stride, the Hungarian photographer thanked Paris`s Loevenbruck Gallery, adding, "Am I surprised? No, not really. Actually, maybe a little bit."
To create his prize-winning work ‘Permanent Daylight,’ Ösz transformed a trailer into a giant camera obscura. Parked near agricultural greenhouses, the trailer captured the structures` light emissions for four nights. "It was also important to talk about this daytime light, which makes things grow," the artist said.
The committee was unanimous in its selection of Ösz, and also granted honorable mention to New Zealander Carlo Van de Roer, whose ‘Miranda July’ — a portrait of the artist infused with shades of blue — was taken with a modified Polaroid camera. Paris Photo director Guillaume Piens noted that the finalists hailed from 13 different countries, adding that "it`s not a Franco-French prize. Its international reach continues to grow."
The competition`s theme this year, ‘Electric Vision,’ elicited contributions that included Timur Gaynutdinov’s ‘Particle Accelerator’; Cig Harvey`s portrait and landscape ‘Devin and the Fireflies’; and Max Aguilera Hellweg`s Pigment Composition Analysis of a Pollock Painting Using Multispectral Fluorescence and Ultra-Violet Imaging, Museum of Modern Art, New York."