The 15th edition of Surface's famed Avant Guardian contest for up-and-coming photographers is now open for entry.
The contest has helped launch the career of many celebrated talents. Past Avant Guardian winners frequently appear in the pages of Surface, and have gone on to shoot campaigns and promotions for brands including Giorgio Armani, Hermes, Banana Republic, Nike, IBM, and Levi's. Winners have included Nicholas Duers, KT Auleta, Sarah Silver, Joshua Jordan, Mark Veltman, and Vanina Sorrenti.
Surface editors and a star jury will select the 10 submissions that show the most promise from this year's pool. The winners' work will be showcased in our Oct. 2015 issue and exhibited at a special issue launch event.
Surface invites U.S.–based photographers to enter new and unpublished work into the contest, which welcomes entries spanning art, architecture, fashion, portraiture, still life, and more.
The deadline to submit entries is Monday, June 1, at 5 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.
Applications are limited to one entry per person. All submissions must be in PDF format–JPGs in one PDF document–and cannot contain more than 10 images. Applicants must pay non-refundable submission fee prior to submitting application.
Hélène Binet Based in London, Swiss-French photographer Hélène Binet has photographed architecture for more than 25 years. Her clients include contemporary architects Raoul Benschoten, Caruso St John, Zaha Hadid, Daniel Libeskind, Studio Mumbai, Peter Zumthor, and many others, and she often follows their works from construction through to completion. She has also photographed many historical works, including those of Alvar Aalto, Geoffrey Bawa, Le Corbusier, John Hejduk, and Andrea Palladio. More recently, Binet has begun to shoot landscape photography. Her work has been widely published internationally in numerous books and exhibitions. Phaidon published a monograph of her works, Composing Space, in 2012. A graduate of Rome’s Instituo Europeo di Design, Binet is the 2015 recipient of the Julius Shulman Institute Excellence in Photography Award. She is an advocate of analog photography and shoots exclusively with film.
Stephen Hilger Stephen Hilger is a photographer based in Brooklyn. Hilger’s photographs trace historical memory in the social landscape. Hilger has exhibited at venues including Contemporary Art Exhibitions in Los Angeles, the Contemporary Art Center New Orleans, and Berl’s Brooklyn Poetry Shop in Brooklyn. His photographs have appeared in periodicals including New York Magazine and The New York Times. Photographic essays by Hilger were published in the books Grand Hotel: Redesigning Modern Life (Vancouver Art Gallery/Hatje Kantz, 2013) and Both Sides of Sunset: Photographing Los Angeles (Metropolis Books, 2015). Hilger has written essays on contemporary photographers including Sue de Beer, Lee Friedlander, David Goldblatt, and others. He teaches at Pratt Institute, where he is the chair of the photography department and curates the Pratt Photography Lectures.
Ingmar Kurth Born in Germany, Ingmar Kurth studied photography at Bournemouth and Poole College of Art and Design. He has been working professionally since 1996, specializing in photography of architecture, interior, and industrial design. He has worked with an international clientele base on editorial, publishing, and commercial commissions throughout Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. Ingmar has contributed photography to numerous magazines, including Architectural Digest Germany, Domus, Frame, Monocle, and The New York Times; and in books published by Phaidon, teNeues, Birkhauser, Gestalten, and the Vitra Design Museum.
Delfino Sisto Legnani Delfino Sisto Legnani is a photographer based in Milan, Italy. A member of Italy’s national association of journalists, he holds a degree in architecture and is a regular contributor to an international array of publications, including Surface, Domus, and Vogue. His work has also been shown and awarded in prestigious arts institutions, worldwide exhibitions, and galleries such as the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, La Triennale in Milan, and the 2012 and 2014 Venice Biennales. In addition to frequent collaborations with artists, designers, and brands to produce photography spanning still-life, portraits, and architecture, Legnani’s work also includes personal research projects and studio experimentations with lighting and analog equipment.
Youssef Nabil Born in Egypt in 1972 and now based in New York and Miami, Youssef Nabil grew up in Cairo. Three monographs have been published on Youssef's work: Sleep in My Arms (Autograph ABP and Michael Stevenson, 2007), I Won’t Let You Die (Hatje Cantz, 2008), and most recently, a self-titled monograph published by Flammarion (2013). In 2010, the artist, known for his work combining photography and painting, presented his first video, You Never Left, an eight-minute piece with the actors Fanny Ardant and Tahar Rahim. Nabil’s work has been presented in numerous solo and group exhibitions and is included in various international collections, including those of the Louis Vuitton Foundation in Paris; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the joint collection of the British Museum and the Victoria & Albert Museum; Centro de la Imagen in Mexico City; and the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi.
Roy Schwalbach Roy Schwalbach is the founder of Jack Studios, a leading photography, film, and video rental space in New York’s Chelsea neighborhood. Jack Studios is 60,000 square feet and located in the Starrett-Lehigh building. It includes a streamlined concierge service, a private café, computer workstations, Ping-Pong tables, and more. The sleek, clean, and minimalist design of Jack Studios reflects Schwalbach’s taste. The studios are filled with pieces designed by Schwalbach himself, including makeup stations, conference tables, and Corian couches. Before opening his own studio in 1995, Schwalbach worked in various fields, including as an actor, model, and photography agent. The studio’s client list ranges from Victoria’s Secret—which has been shooting at Jack for 15 years—to Vogue to Saks Fifth Avenue to Michael Kors.