Art Prize



A photoseries of four:

1. Art Prize 1996 2. Art Prize 1998 3. Art Prize 2000 4. Art Prize 2002

4 photographs sealed under plexiglass and mounted
Photographs: H 55 cm x B 122.5 cm (Edition of 7)
(Edition of 7: H 45 cm x B 100 cm) Format: 1 x 2.227

Insurance value
Each picture 2,500 €uro (x4 = 10,000 €uro)

Since 2010, Tanya Ury has been working on the research project Who’s Boss – Empire’s New Clothes, as PhD. in Humanities candidate at Leiden University, Institute for Cultural Disciplines (NL)



Each of the four digital photo-collages is composed of three elements; the first constituent, taken from a set of Hugo Boss advertisements for the autumn and winter collection 1998-99, demonstrates amongst other things, a leather coat that closely resembles a World War II German Luftwaffe overcoat. The second is a collection of Spanish postcards from the Franco era displaying simplistic drawings of couples, doll-like girls with uniformed boy soldiers. The last of the three components are photographic self-portraits (of Tanya Ury) from 1996, naked and posing with an original full-length, Nazi leather Luftwaffe coat.

The revelations of the Boss Nazi origins in 1997 were obviously bad press for Hugo Boss AG. They preferred to be seen in a more charitable light and believed correctly that this would be possible, for the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation had, as early as 1996, already administered a biennial international art award of $50,000 in the name of Hugo Boss.

The Hugo Boss Prize was established to recognize significant achievement in contemporary art. According to its criteria, this prize sets no restrictions in terms of age, gender, race, nationality, or media, and the nominations have included young, emerging artists, as well as established individuals whose public recognition may be long overdue. Until 2004 the winners have been:
1. 1996 Matthew Barney (USA) 2. 1998 Douglas Gordon (UK) 3. 2000 Marjetica Potrc-Kagiso (SL) 4. 2002 Pierre Huyghe (F)

Hugo Boss, one of the most renowned contemporary fashion concerns, now also has the reputation of being an art benefactor. The distinguished jurors of the prize in validating this charade of generosity perceive no incongruity, nor do the winners seem to be concerned that in accepting the award, they are turning a blind eye to history and the notorious activities of the fashion establishment Hugo Boss, that not only profoundly exploited its forced labour workforce, in the period from 1940-45 but was also actively involved in supporting the Nazi war machine.




Concept: Tanya Ury

Digital processing: David Janecek

Artist's self-portrait, camera: Doris Frohnapfel