LONDON — The New York-based illustrator and artist Mohammed Iman Fayaz was named the winner of the sixth edition of the Hublot Design Prize on Friday at The Serpentine Gallery’s Magazine café in Hyde Park.
Fayaz was chosen from eight finalists by a panel of judges including founder and curator of SaloneSatellite Marva Griffin Wilshire, artistic director at the Serpentine Galleries Hans Ulrich Obrist, design critic Alice Rawsthorn and former Hublot Design Prize winner Formafantasma.
He will receive a 100,000 Swiss francs cash prize, while Italian information designer Federica Fragapane and Eva Feldkamp, founder of All in Awe, a nonprofit organization that connects charities with creative professionals, won the Pierre Keller Award. They will receive 15,000 Swiss francs each.
When asked about his plans for the prize money, Fayaz said he will have to take some time to think about what the platform means for him, and how he should expand his career on a global stage.
Other finalists of this year’s prize included Ben Ganz, Christoph John, Thebe Magugu, Theresa Bastek and Archibald Godts and Irakli Sabekia.
The Pierre Keller Award was created this year in recognition of Swiss photographer and graphic artist Pierre Keller’s contribution to the prize. He cocreated the award alongside the former non-executive president of the watch division of LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton Jean-Claude Biver, and chief executive officer at Hublot Ricardo Guadalupe in 2015. Keller passed away in 2019.
During the winner announcement, Rawsthorn explained that Fayaz stood out for his “truly remarkable” reinvention of illustration.
He designs posters for queer parties, protests and fundraisers, documenting the joy and pain of his chosen family, as well as commissioned artworks, infographics and short films with digital tools. His work has been shown in the Brooklyn Museum, the Institute of Contemporary Art Boston, and was most recently acquired for the collection of the Museum of Modern Art.
“His work is formally gorgeous, it’s just so luscious and joyous, but critically, it depicts the very eclectic, diverse and at times very vulnerable community, his chosen community of trans and queer people of color in New York, more specifically in Brooklyn. It’s extraordinary work that says so much about our time,” Rawsthorn added.
Obrist added that not only do Fayaz’s posters have a real significance for his chosen LGBTQ community, but they transcend time because his writings are for future generations to see.
Each year the brand tries to find a new angle with the prize, whether it’s technology, fashion or social impact. For Guadalupe, supporting young artists like Fayaz is a key way for the brand to connect with different groups of customers.
“What Hublot is really doing is trying to transform the spirit of the Swiss watch industry. A mechanical watch today is not a necessity anymore. So we have to transform the product into a piece of art. It can be done of course through watchmaking, but we also believe that we can be inspired by other fields, such as art, sculpture and tattoo. We can still have success by selling our products to a new generation of young and tech-savvy consumers,” Guadalupe added.