Prize Winners 2019

On Thursday 9. May. the exhibition PORTRAIT NOW! 2019 opened at The Museum of National History at Frederiksborg.

As usual, a 1st, 2nd and 3rd prize were awarded, along with three special prizes, a ‘Young Talent’ prize, which is awarded to an artist under the age of 25 and an Audience Award. Below you can see a presentation of the prize winners and their portraits.

First Prize

Erik Viklund (*1982)

The photographer, Erik Viklund was born in 1982 in Luleå, Sweden. He has published the books “Om han var” (2018), “Sönder” (2014) and “Stilla Hastighet” (2012) and, together with the Finnish artist, Heikki Kaski, runs the Lihalaidun publishing firm. He completed his BFA in Photography at Akademin Valand in Gothenburg in 2015.

“This is a portrait of my friend Leif. Shortly after the photo was taken, he died in this very room. Due to an urgent remodelling of the city, the entire house was immediately moved to a nearby meadow and sealed. The doors were locked, and plywood sheets were fitted on all the windows. I removed the sheets and then made frames out of them. This work is part of a larger book-based project, which I am currently working on.”



Second Prize

André Nordström (*1991)
Actress Singing Karaoke

André Nordström was born in 1991 in Kristianstad, Sweden. He primarily works with drawing and he draws on topics such as family, privilege, love and relationships. He is currently studying for his bachelor’s degree at the Royal Institute of Art in Stockholm.

“I wanted to explore the idea of the actress, an acting actress singing. Can I capture the ambiguity of what is real and what is fake in a portrait? Is the actress really singing while acting as a singer? Is acting the only state at the moment of the portrait is being made? Acting or not, real or fake, actress or model? I am interested in what is authentic in the acting process, of what happens to the acting person in a certain situation. Does her own being disappear in favour of the role’s being?”



Third Prize

Martina Müntzing (*1968)

Studied at Konsthögskolan in Stockholm (1990-96) and Munka-Ljungby folkhögskola (1989-90). Represented at Moderna Museet Stockholm, Dunkers Kulturhus Helsingborg and Norrköpings konstmuseum.

“Elsa, my daughter, is lying on the kitchen sofa, surrounded by her own drawings and my musings and waiting for the inevitable transformation from young to old. She is at the age when we view the world with open eyes, without too many of the filters, which ultimately cover reality with preconceived opinions about, and illusions of necessity and importance. The pictures, both hers and those from art history, reflect emotions, expectations and ages.”


Young Talent Prize

Aksel-Dev Dhunsi (*1996)

Aksel-Dev Dhunsi graduated from Norsk Fotofagskole in 2018 and has a unique ability to convey the cultural and social background of a young environment in a visual and conceptual way, which makes use of documentary and staging, combining them into a new genre. Although it was challenging and tough, the artist documented the disappearance of Rakavan Jeevaharan. Jeevaharan was his friend who disappeared in 2017.

The work “Terms”, which is being exhibited at PORTRAIT NOW!, is part of a longer series with the working title “Terms & Conditions”, which is based on letting go of, and accepting difficult events (a reference to the Latin term: “Amor fati”). The work is part of the final chapter in the book about Rakavan Jeevaharan, which will be published and launched on 1 May 2019.



Special Prize

Alisa Javits (*1984)

Alisa Javits is a visual artist working in Helsinki with video, installation and VJ’ing (realtime visual performance). Alisa Javits was born in St. Petersburg. She graduated from Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture. In her work, she mixes photographic and filmic working methods. The main theme of the works is the contradiction between the inner and the outer aspects of people.

“Seeing” speaks about ageing, revealing the person under the wrinkled, old skin. It can be hard to see the human behind it, because age is such a strong category. How to see the kid, the young, the adult hiding beneath? They are never gone, just often so invisible. The work is a combination of different memories, separate images, flashbacks and voice-over. It is not a pure portrait of one person, rather a thought about looking, seeing and identification.


Special Prize

Astrid Marie Storgaard (*1996)
Girl in Consumption

I studied Visual Arts as a subsidiary subject. In autumn 2017 and spring 2018 I was on a residency at Engelsholm folk high school, studying visual arts as a main subject, and my interest in oil painting evolved. I have been admitted into the Glasgow School of Art and start in September.

“The series, Girl in Consumption is a comment on over-consumption in the Western world. In the work I focus particularly on the overuse of clothing, since this constitutes a major environmental problem. I used the cardboard to emphasise the theme and I painted the portraits in a Baroque-inspired style to symbolise Western countries. Though the design of the dress and jewellery was inspired by the fashion of the 17th century, they are made out of recycled materials to convey the message.”


Special Prize

Irina Vladimirovna Zelenina (*1992)
Portrait of a Cadet

Born in Liski, Voronezh region, Russia. 2012: graduated from the Voronezh Art School. 2014: Beginning of studies at the St. Petersburg Academy of Arts, Repin, the faculty of easel painting, studio of Yu.V. Calutes.

“Now I am working on my graduation picture “Peter the Great in shipyards” (200 x 300 cm, oil on canvas), I draw sketches. Have participated in international competitions. The picture shows the expressive silhouette of a young cadet. The young man sits in a comfortable position. In the work there is nothing superfluous, only a bright, vigorously drawn, background. On the right, the composition is balanced by a dark spot – a traveling bag. The portrait is made in the impressionistic style.”

Audience Award

Dida Geisler Heilmann (*1974)
The Modern Greenlandic Aataa

Dida G. Heilmann, MA (Ed), has been a teacher at PI/SPS Nuuk (Social Education Teacher´s College) since 2003. She teaches education, psychology, KOL and music. In her spare time she plays music, composes texts and melodies. She has released two solo pop/rock CDs in Greenlandic. She also takes photographs, mostly of nature, sports, concerts and night scenes.

“The modern Greenlandic aataa is a colourful man, who dyes his grey hair in the colours of the rainbow and puts lacquer on his nails. He is also a great hedonist, a Manchester United and Deep Purple fan, and a Scorpio. He worked as a civil servant for several decades (40 years) at the Greenlandic tele-communications company but is now retired. He now works as a substitute in a 24-hour care centre for socially vulnerable children and young people. He does his own thing and values his freedom.”