Stephan Keppel winner Somfy Photography Award 2020

Press release, Rotterdam 23 October 2020

Stephan Keppel winner Somfy Photography Award 2020

The Somfy Photography Award 2020 is awarded to Stephan Keppel for his new work ‘Fall out’. The international jury chose his installation from new work by nine nominated photographers. Keppel photographed the graffiti and slogans spray-painted underneath the Vondelbridge in Amsterdam, which served as an atomic bomb shelter during the Cold War. Keppel used the images to create new graphic works of art.

Stephan Keppel received, on behalf of Somfy Netherlands, from the founder of this photography prize, Huub Koene, the Award and a check for € 15,000. The second prize (€ 5,000) went to Géraldine Jeanjean for her installation “Dehors”.

“Fall Out is a monumental, nuanced and strong graphic interpretation of a bunker. With printing machines, Keppel creates a multi-layered world where surfaces, objects and structures from different periods of time  come to life in the present. You can smell the bunker. A beautiful interpretation of the theme Gimme Shelter.”, the jury said. “Glass is given a symbolic meaning with great poetical force in Jeanjean’s pentatych Dehors. The work is an elegant visual play between inside and outside.”, according to the jury.

The Somfy Photography Award is a two-yearly international photography competition that gives professional photographers the opportunity to create new work on a specific theme. The theme for 2020 was ‘Gimme Shelter’. In 2018 Jaap Scheeren won the first Somfy Photography Award.

The exhibition Somfy Photography Award 2020 | Gimme Shelter, with work of the nine finalists, can be seen until December 6, 2020 in the Nederlands Fotomuseum.

The jury
This edition the jury of international experts consists of Frits Gierstberg (chairman, curator Nederlands Fotomuseum), Menno Kooistra (architect studio Elephant), Dana Lixenberg (photographer), Thomas Seelig (curator/head of the photo collection of Museum Folkwang in Essen, Germany) and Stephan Vanfleteren (photographer).

The nine nominees
Nine photographers have been shortlisted for this photography prize: Roderik Henderson (NL), Géraldine Jeanjean (NL), Stephan Keppel (NL), Matthieu Litt (BE), Antoinette Nausikaä (NL), Martine Stig (NL), Dustin Thierry (NL), Maarten Tromp (NL) and Jordi Ruiz Cirera (ES). They were selected from amongst almost a hundred entrants. In the past few months they created new work inspired by the theme ‘Gimme Shelter’.

‘Shelter’ is an all-embracing fundamental need of all people and animals. The cover-all term stands for protection, shelter, safety and comfort. ‘Shelter’ can be found not only in factories, offices, schools, homes and hospitals, but in the cardboard boxes of the homeless, the embrace of lovers, and the arms of a mother cherishing her child.

‘Gimme Shelter’ was chosen as the theme before the coronavirus struck but has since become particularly apposite. These days, we all want shelter: from sickness and poverty, and from a world that we don’t always understand anymore. The epidemic has also created difficult working conditions for the shortlisted photographers.

“We are delighted to be able to show the results of the Somfy Photography Award 2020 at our home base,” says Birgit Donker, director of the Nederlands Fotomuseum. “With the work budget that the photographers receive, they could create new work. And now they will also be able to show it to the public. In this way, we want to contribute to the development of proven talent together with Somfy.”

About Somfy Photography Award
With the Somfy Photography Award, Somfy wants to express its contribution to people’s comfort and well-being in an inspiring and creative way. Somfy is an international corporation that makes innovative, technical products that regulate everything related to natural light and light management for people in buildings. People are central to the development, production, and application of technology.

“With this award we want to encourage photographers to create inspiring artistic work that helps us to share our stories in a new and innovative way.” – Sven van Witzenburg, CEO Somfy Nederland BV

With the creation of the Somfy Photography Award and the partnership with Somfy, an international photography platform has been created that contributes to the development of photography in the Netherlands.

The Nederlands Fotomuseum is sponsored by:

Structural partners:
Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science | Municipality of Rotterdam | Prins Bernhard Culture Fund / Wertheimer Fund  | BankGiro Loterij

Corporate Partner Somfy Photography Award:
Somfy Nederland

Corporate partner collection:

Collection Program 2020 – 2021:
Mondrian Fund

Nederlands Fotomuseum                                                  Opening hours
Wilhelminakade 332                                                            Tuesday to Sunday 11 a.m. -5 p.m.
3072 AR Rotterdam, the Netherlands                               reservation is required

Note to the editors
For more information about the exhibition and visual content, please contact:
Catelien van der Hoeven / 06-21587299 /

Nederlands Fotomuseum: visual stories that matter
The Netherlands Fotomuseum safeguards the Netherlands’ current and future photographic heritage and shares it with society. We always give photography a relevant, topical context. We collect and exhibit photography that reflects the world we live in, enriching people’s lives with visual stories that matter.

Stephan Keppel winner Somfy Photography Award 2020