We are honoured to present the 2023 Ballarat International Foto Biennale Martin Kantor Portrait Prize. This exhibition presents the 20 award finalists. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that the exhibition contains images of deceased persons.

Julie Kantor and Michael Kantor have graciously sponsored this award in memory of their late brother, Martin Kantor. The acquisitive first prize of $15,000 is awarded to an exceptional portrait of a significant Australian recognised within their field of art, letters, science, sport or politics.

Martin was a photographer and philanthropist known for his arresting portraits of famous musicians and artists like Iggy Pop, Grace Jones, Paul Kelly, painter Adam Cullen, Howard Arkley, and conceptual artist Dale Frank. The Australian band, Hunters and Collectors, used his image of the lead singer, Mark Seymour, for an album cover that is a classic representation of Australian rock and roll. Martin founded the well-known St Kilda gallery, Brightspace, and strongly supported environmental causes and First Nations and reconciliation.

Award Winners

The 2023 Martin Kantor Portrait Prize Winner is Matthew Thorne. Their image ‘Warren Ellis in his garden in Paris (Paris, 2022)’ will become a part of the collection at the National Centre of Photography in Ballarat. Highly commended was Paul Gosney for his portrait of Rosie Nangala Fleming and the Peoples Choice Prize was awarded to Tobias Titz for his portrait of Mary Dhapalany.


  • Helen Ennis, Curator and Author
  • Magda Keaney, Curator, National Portrait Gallery
  • Russel Storer, The National Gallery of Australia

Award Finalists

Riste Andrievski
Catherine Black
Simon Dow
Stephen Dupont
Tom Goldner
Paul Gosney
Tony Kearney
Mia Mala McDonald
Mark Munro
Matthew Newton
Eva Otsing
Kristoffer Paulsen
Mike Reed
Allison Rose
Anna Shimshak
Marcus Struzina
Matthew Thorne
Tobias Titz
Rudiger Wasser
Louisa West