Johnson wins Santa Fe Prize for Photography

SANTA FE, N.M. ( — Eirik Johnson, nominated anonymously by nationally renowned photographers, curators and educators, won the prestigious Santa Fe Prize for Photography 21 April 2005 for his “Borderlands” series.

The prize highlights the work of “an emerging photographer deserving of wider recognition,” the nonprofit Santa Fe Center for Photography said in announcing the winner.

“My photographs depict strange and momentary scenes within overlooked landscapes that exist along the fraying edges of the contemporary environment,” Johnson said in a statement. “I want viewers to connect with their personal history and remember that in these common places uncommon things take place.”

Johnson’s photographs of natural spaces marred by human presence in the form of construction, pollution and fire. The collection casts the opposing forces in an epic struggle in which nature nonetheless perseveres, and it subtly calls into question the detrimental effects of civilization.

“These photographs are formally sophisticated, so that the line and frame contribute to a resonating beauty made of the broken, the ugly and the mudane,” prize juror Alison Nordström, curator of photographs at the George Eastman House, said in a statement.

The award includes $5,000, participation in Review Santa Fe, presentation and publication of the winner’s work.