Farah Al Qasimi, the young Emirati photographer known for her glossy images of wealth, intimacy, and political events in the Gulf region, has won this year’s New York NADA Artadia Prize, which was given out yesterday at the opening of the NADA New York fair. She has won $5,000 through the prize, awarded annually to one artist showing at the fair. The New Museum’s associate curator, Natalie Bell, and the Dia Art Foundation’s associate curator, Alexis Lowry, juried the prize.
Al Qasimi’s work was brought to the fair by Helena Anrather gallery, which also gave the artist her first New York solo exhibition late last year. On view in that show were pictures of falconers holding birds, a man vaping on a lavishly dressed couch, and butterflies picking at an orange slice.
In a statement, Bell said of Al Qasimi’s work, “In spite of their directness, Farah’s photos function on a number of levels and in a very simple sense, I find them interesting both for what they allude to—here, the aesthetics and material culture of hospitality (from upholstery to the soap bar on the bidet)—and what they obscure, which is often the specific identity of the sitters.”