Infinity Awards

Samuel Fosso wins ICP’s Infinity Art Award 2018

The International Center of Photography (ICP) announced the 2018 honorees of its annual Infinity Awards, widely considered the leading honor for excellence in the field.

Samuel Fosso - NPG London - 2017 © Jorge Herrera, courtesy of ICP

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“Every year, the Infinity Awards give us a chance to highlight the significant talents of photographers, artists, and creative innovators,” said ICP Executive Director Mark Lubell. “These extraordinary individuals are producing work that is not just documenting the world—but helping to create change. We are excited to celebrate their vision and their impact.”


•Lifetime Achievement: Bruce Davidson

•Applied: Alexandra Bell

•Art: Samuel Fosso

•Artist’s Book: Dayanita Singh, Museum Bhavan

•Critical Writing and Research: Maurice Berger, Race Stories column for the Lens section of the New York Times

•Documentary and Photojournalism: Amber Bracken

•Emerging Photographer: Natalie Keyssar

•Online Platform and New Media: Women Photograph

•Special Presentation: Juergen Teller

•Trustees Award: Thomson Reuters

Since 1985, the Infinity Awards have recognized major contributions and emerging talent in the fields of photojournalism, art, fashion photography, and publishing. Past recipients include Berenice Abbott, Lynsey Addario, Richard Avedon, Ariella Azoulay, David Bailey, Harry Benson, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Sophie Calle, Edmund Clark, Roy DeCarava, Elliott Erwitt, Harold Evans, Larry Fink, For Freedoms, Robert Frank, LaToya Ruby Frazier, Adam Fuss, David Goldblatt, Paul Graham, David Guttenfelder, Mishka Henner, André Kertész, Steven Klein, William Klein, Karl Lagerfeld, Annie Leibovitz, Helen Levitt, Mary Ellen Mark, Ryan McGinley, Susan Meiselas, Duane Michals, Daidō Moriyama, Zanele Muholi, Shirin Neshat, Gordon Parks, Gilles Peress, Walid Raad, Eugene Richards, Sebastião Salgado, Malick Sidibé, Lorna Simpson, Cindy Sherman, Peter Van Atgmael, and Ai Weiwei, among others. Past Infinity Award attendees include Hamish Bowles, Naomi Campbell, Grace Coddington, Bella Hadid, Carolina Herrera, Arianna Huffington, Tommy Lee Jones, Karlie Kloss, Dan Rather, Alexandra Richards, Leelee Sobieski, Ben Stiller, and Christine Taylor.

The annual event is ICP’s largest annual fundraiser and supports a full range of programs, including exhibitions, collections, community outreach, scholarships, and the ICP School.

The 2018 honorees were chosen by a selection committee composed of Isolde Brielmaier, assistant professor, NYU Tisch and executive director of Arts, Culture & Community, Westfield World Trade Center; Marina Chao, assistant curator, Exhibitions, ICP; James Estrin, Lens blog co-editor, senior staff photographer, New York Times; and Antwaun Sargent, writer and critic.

Sponsored by Thomson Reuters, Hearst, and Harbers Studios, the 34th annual ICP Infinity Awards will draw more than 500 attendees from the worlds of art, business, entertainment, fashion, philanthropy, and photography. Co-chairing this year’s event are Marjorie Rosen, Michael A. Clinton, and Judith Bookbinder.

Samuel Fosso had to flee his native Cameroon due to the persecutions caused by the Biafra war. He sought refuge in Bangui, Central African Republic, where, at thirteen, he opened his own photo studio. His expressive black-and-white self-portraits from the 1970s make reference to popular West African culture—musicians, the latest youth fashions, and political advertising—constituting a sustained and unprecedented photographic project that explores sexuality, gender, and African self-representation. Stagings of his personal identity, these self-portraits would gradually take a universal social and political dimension. In his series titled African Spirits (2008), he embodies iconic identities of fundamental characters of African independence, the civil rights movement in the United States, or prominent cultural figures from Africa and the United States, such as Leopold Sedar Senghor, Aimé Césaire, Muhammad Ali, Seydou Keita, Martin Luther King, or Nelson Mandela. In his latest series, Black Pope, Fosso challenges the relentless catholic veneration of whiteness in contemporary visual culture as resurrected in a restive, darker protesting version of the Pope. It is a series that directly challenges normative regimes of truth, power, officialdom, and the accoutrements that are used to reinforce belief

Find more information about the other recipients here