Cartier-Bresson. Photograph by Jane Bown
Bacon in Studio. Photograph by Jane Bown
Jimmy Paulette and Tabboo! in the bathroom, NYC, 1991. Photograph by Nan Goldin
Nan after being battered, 1984. Photograph by Nan Goldin
A Broad And Expansive Sky. Photograph by Carrie Mae Weems
Untitled (Man and Mirror). Photograph by Carrie Mae Weems
Every year, the photography community comes together to honor those whose life’s work has blazed a path, like a candle lighting the dark, at the annual Lucie Awards, an annual gala ceremony honoring the masters of the medium. The 2014 Lucie Awards will be held on November 2 at Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall, New York. This years honorees include Carrie Mae Weems (Fine Art), Martin Parr (Documentary), Jane Bown (Lifetime Achievement), Nick Ut (Photojournalism), Nan Goldin (Portraiture), and Pedro Meyer (Visionary Award).
Awards will also be given to individuals and organizations who are nominated and selected by the Photography Advisory Board honoring the best of 2014 for support categories including: Print Advertising Campaign, Magazine Fashion Layout, Exhibition/Curator, Book Publisher, Picture Editor, and Photography Magazine of the Year.
Additionally, the Lucie Awards will present the International Photography Awards (IPA), an annual, juried competition that is open to all photographers, professional and non-professional. Through the competition, top honors are provided, one of which is Discovery of the Year, an award for non-professional emerging talent that is awarded a $5,000 cash prize and a statue. Additional categories awarded at the Lucies include of International Photographer, Deeper Perspective Photographer, and Moving Image Photographer.
Highlights from the International Photography Awards will be featured in the 2014 Best of Show gallery exhibition. Best of Show will premier in New York on November 1. The exhibition opening will be hosted by the Splashlight Studios from 7-10pm and will launch a week of celebrations and photography-filled events preceding the Lucie Awards Gala taking place November 2.
Each year, a distinguished person within the photography community is invited to be a Guest Curator for the annual IPA Best of Show Exhibition. This year, David Clarke, Head of Photography Emeritus of Tate Modern, will be assuming the 2014 honorary position in continuation of this prestigious curatorial legacy.
Following its New York debut, the Best of Show exhibition will then begin its world-wide tour which will include openings in Italy, Bangkok, Paris, North Carolina, and Los Angeles where it will take place as a part of month-long festival of photography celebration, Month of Photography Los Angeles, a program of the Lucie Foundation.
Lucie Awards Founder and Chair Hossein Farmani and Executive Director Cat Jimenez sat down to speak with The Click, sharing with us their commitment to honoring the greatest achievements in photography.
Born in Tehran, Iran, Hossein Farmani is the son of a middle class iron worker in a family of three brothers and three sisters. He moved to the United States after graduating high school to study Cinematography, but found himself irresistibly drawn to photography. He founded International VUE, the first ever Los Angeles-based fashion magazine before launching FotoFolio, which combined his love of photography and publishing.
The creation of the Lucie Awards has been one of Farmani’s dreams. Of his inspiration to create an Academy Awards-inspired ceremony honoring photographers, Farmani recalls, “For many years I was doing film festivals and film awards. I thought it would be great to have an event that brings to light the amazing masters behind the camera. I want to put a face to the iconic images of our time and get to know and appreciate these great photographers that have dedicated their lives to image making. The most exciting part for me is to get to meet these masters and hear their stories, and to see the young photographers around the globe, inspired by the access to these masters through The Lucies.”
Cat Jimenez expands on this, adding, “The most rewarding aspect of working on the Lucies is the fostering of community through the celebration of the still image. Second to that is learning more about the careers and characters behind the Lucie Honorees. It’s very difficult to distill a lifetime career into a few short minutes through a video tribute, but the challenge is exciting; sharing the tribute with the honorees, their friends and peers and the audience gathered to celebrate their achievements is very satisfying.”
Recalling some of his favorite moments over the years, Farmani notes, “Some of my favorite moments include walking on stage with the late Lillian Bassman and corresponding with the ultimate game changer and the man who coined the term ‘the decisive moment’, the late Henri Cartier-Bresson who received the first Lifetime Achievement award in 2003.
“In 2006, Sarah Moon and Marc Riboud accepted Lucies, and they presented their awards to each other, which was so very sweet. Last year, John H. White accepted the award for Achievement in Photojournalism, after a 44-year career and a lay-off from Chicago Sun Times. His acceptance speech was full of gratitude and love; you could feel it in the room. His spirit uplifted the audience.”
Jimenez recalls some of her favorite moments as well. “There are countless memories that I cherish since I started in 2005. My first Lucies will always be the most special because it was my first! In 2006, David Bailey accepted his Lucie and the first line that came out of his mouth was, ‘I’d like to thank the fucking assistants.’ Quintessential Bailey.”
She continues, “The personality of Duane Michals was just unbelievable distinct! When he accepted (also 2006), he was so funny and witty that we could have renamed it ‘The Duane Michals Show’, it was the best stand-up I’ve heard in a long time.
“Another touching moment was seeing Tony Bennett present the award to his friend, the late Herman Leonard. Mr. Leonard was so touched; the audience was moved. In 2007, Howard Zieff received the award for Achievement in Advertising, this was also the first year we held our ceremony at Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall and the entire audience sang Happy Birthday to Howard. Great moment!
“There are so many great photographers that we’ve honored that have since passed on (Deborah Turbeville, Philip Jones Griffiths, Zieff, Herman Leonard, Willy Ronis, Julius Schulman, Lillian Bassman, Ruth Bernhard) and presenting them with Lucies when they were alive was truly our honor and the work. I’ve met some of the most important and influential photographers of our time who have shaped contemporary photography, it’s very inspiring, humbling and gratifying.”
Speaking of this year’s honorees, Jimenez observes, “Each of our honorees has made a significant impact in photography. Carrie Mae Weems is one of the greatest artists of our time, and I feel, one that should be more celebrated for her contributions. Her kitchen table series made an indelible impact on me as a young artist and photographer.
“Nan Goldin’s work has inspired countless photographers worldwide for generations. Her work is gritty, honest, and real. People can say that the photographs of the Vietnam War by Nick Ut had a play in ending the war. Pedro Meyer’s role as an early pioneer of digital technology earns him this year’s Visionary Award. Martin Parr’s color palette is uniquely his. And, this year’s recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award goes to Jane Bown, an unassuming woman who worked for The Observer (UK) for more than 50 years making black and white portraits. Many people won’t know her because she successfully stayed behind the camera, but you will know her pictures.
“The central component of the evening is honoring those masters, but the room is full of individuals who are integral to crafting an image, from picture editors, art buyers, book publishers, magazine editors and more. We are all coming together to celebrate photography, and the practitioners and visionaries that have paved the way.”
Farmani concludes, “The idea that in one night, you have access to many masters that are being honored speaks for itself. The buzz in the room is electrifying and being able to meet and greet these photographers afterwards, or before the show, is such a great pleasure for all involved. I love the idea of having a glamorous event that celebrates photography and photographers. That is thrilling for me.”
Photograph by Martin Parr
Photograph by Martin Parr
Photograph by Pedro Meyer
Photograph by Pedro Meyer
Photograph by Nick Ut
Photograph by Nick Ut
Hossein Farmani. Photograph by Cattleya Jaruthavee
Cat Jimenez. Photograph by Lauren Mok