“Reflection of Me” by Rashod Taylor. Courtesy of Maine Media Workshops + College

Rashod Taylor, an emerging contemporary photographer from Illinois, has won the $20,000 Arnold Newman Prize for New Directions in Photographic Portraiture, awarded annually by Maine Media Workshops + College in Rockport.

The prize recognizes a photographer whose work demonstrates a compelling new vision in photographic portraiture, according to a press release.

Born in 1985, Taylor contemplates his own family’s narrative within contemporary America with his work. He attended Murray State University in Kentucky and earned a bachelor’s degree in art with a specialization in fine art photography. He has since exhibited and been published nationally and internationally.

Taylor’s award-winning work, “Little Black Boy,” modeled in part after a family photo album, offers a window into his family story and into the Black American experience.

“As I document my son, I am interested in examining his childhood and the world he navigates. At the same time, these images show my own unspoken anxiety and fragility as it pertains to the wellbeing of my son and fatherhood,” Taylor said. “He can’t live a carefree childhood as he deserves; there is a weight that comes with his blackness, a weight that he is not ready to bear.”

The prize is funded by the Arnold and Augusta Newman Foundation and administered by Maine Media Workshops + College. An influential photographer and educator, Arnold Newman has a long association with Maine Media Workshops, where he taught numerous photographic workshops.

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