Paul Graham Wins $150K Hasselblad Award, ‘a Great Honor and Surprise’


(Photos from left: Estefania Meana, two untitled works from Graham’s End of an Age series)

This just in: British photographer Paul Graham is the recipient of the 2012 Hasselblad Foundation International Award in Photography. Past winners range from Irving Penn and Robert Frank to Jeff Wall and Sophie Calle. The prize, announced this morning, includes 1 million Swedish Krona (approximately $150,000, at current exchange), a diploma, and a gold medal, all of which will be presented to Graham this evening at a ceremony in London. “Who can say no to a bit of bling?!” said the photographer via online chat a few hours after the Gothenburg, Sweden-based foundation announced the award, which Graham described as “a great honor and surprise.”

This fall, the Hasselblad Center at the Gothenburg Museum of Art will mount an exhibition of his work. “I think it could be interesting to show some work from 30 years ago and the most recent photographs,” said Graham, 56, whose latest work—New York street photography—is on view through March 24 at Pace/MacGill. When asked about what drives him these days, he cited the desire “to make a contribution to that wonderful unique genre of street photography, that so many of my photographic heroes worked in.” Added Graham, “It’s a mountain range that the foolhardy will throw themselves upon. And I’m that fool.”