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About the Aesthetica Art Prize

Who We Are

The Aesthetica Art Prize celebrates contemporary art across a range of media. We're exhibiting and championing some of the world’s most significant talent and contributing towards a global dialogue around today’s creative practices. Aesthetica is part of the UNESCO City of Media Arts network. This award offers artists opportunities for exhibition at a major public gallery alongside publication in Aesthetica Magazine. The winner will receive £10,000 prize money as well as opportunities for wider exposure and development. Over the years, winning pieces have reflected upon both social and political structures, questioning the value that we place on the planet and each other. They have pushed the boundaries of form and technique, providing new and inspiring ideas. The Aesthetica Art Prize is a conduit to help us to make sense of the world around us. As we progress – and that’s a term for debate – we must look at what we gain and what we lose. In this world of augmented and virtual reality, constant connections, instant access, the metaverse, phones, selfies and satellites, is loud and intrusive. We need to look at the balance of things and understand that there needs to be an equilibrium. We must not be afraid to ask hard questions.

What We're Looking For

The Art Prize is open to works in any genre, and on any theme, however, we are particularly interested in works that reflect upon our ever changing world. We accept entries from artists at all stages of their careers. We celebrate creativity in all its forms – across multiple media including Painting & Drawing; Video, Installation and Performance; Photography, Digital Art & Installation; Artists’ Film and more. Previous exhibitions have posed larger questions about what it means to exist in a digitised, post-industrial landscape, as well as the effects of over-consumption, media stimulation, globalisation, and the climate crisis. We are looking for pieces that challenge us – that redefine the parameters of contemporary art and compel audiences to connect with each other. The Aesthetica Art Prize annual exhibition is an opportunity for artists to connect with audiences and the works form part of a wider narrative that reflects on life in the 21st century including both personal and universal stories. Art reminds us of our humanity and the connections we have to each other on a visceral level.

Our Alumni

Since 2007, we have worked with thousands of artists, putting their work in front of curators and gallerists from across the world, including those from Tate, Barbican, Guggenheim, Brooklyn Museum, British Journal of Photography, Creative Review, YSP, Frieze, V&A, London Art Fair and more. Our alumni have achieved exhibitions at Tate Modern, MoMA, V&A, Barbican, Foam, Guggenheim, Saatchi Gallery, Centre Pompidou and more. They have been recognised by the Prix Elysée, Jarman Award, Taylor Wessing Portrait Prize, John Moore’s Painting Prize and Sony World Photography Awards. Notable alumni include Emmanuelle Moureaux, Shuster+ Mosley, Ellie Davies, Edgar Martins, Jason Bruges, Julia Fullerton-Batten, Steve Messam, Marcus Lyon, Liz West, Jasmina Cibic, Gillian Hyland, Julia Fullerton Batten, Tadao Cern, Vikram Kushwah, Jane & Louise Wilson, Tania Franco Klein, Jenn Nkiru amongst many others. At Aesthetica, we are proud to play a role in introducing artists’ works to new audiences, but also ensuring that we are playing a part in artists career trajectories and helping to push new commissions, gallery representation and collaborations forward.

Images: Alexandra Carr; Altering Space; Alice Duncan; Anthony Garratt; Brandy Trigueros; Carlos David; Cathryn Shilling; Charly Meyer; Constance Regardsoe; Daniel Rich; Gareth Cadwallader; Gianmaria Gava; Jeremy Underwood; Kenichi Shikata; Liz West; May Parlar; Patty Carroll; Paul Bonomini; Peter Davis; Rebecca Reeve; Reuben Wu; Ruby Hyde; ritmico; Sanitas Pradittasnee; Seb Agnew; Stephen Johnston; Taezoo Park; Victoria DeBlassie; Victoria Wareham; Yael Portabales.

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