Studio Voltaire Award

Josiah Moktar

Josiah Moktar (b. 1992) makes photographs to track desire’s movements through the everyday. Meditations after queer encounters, their images record contemporary British life with an observational style that is at once playful and elegiac. Through their camera’s devotional lens, objects glow with a person’s presence in their absence. Nude studies hinge on ephemeral moments, like screenshots of a scene.

Moktar started taking photography seriously after working front of house in a cinema, a gallery and sitting for a friend’s paintings, exploring these forms as both viewer and subject. This interest in the symbiotic relationship between photography, cinematography and painting is a throughline in Moktar’s work, seeking to question and complicate the sprawling, contradictory taxonomies of desire within a Western literary and artistic canon.

In March, Moktar was accepted onto the professional development programme at Photofusion, as part of the London Creative Network consortium, funded by the ERDF. They live and work in London.

Image credits

Josiah Moktar, Still Life, 2020

Josiah Moktar photographed by Sophie Williams @sophiewilliam_s