The BNL BNP Paribas Prize of the 12th Edition of the international photography fair Mia Art Fair 2023 was awarded today, by a jury of experts to the work Miss Butterfly by Shadi Ghadirian, presented by Podbielski Contemporary Gallery in Milan. This is a concrete award given to the best among 15 artists who submitted their work through art galleries.

“The artist has managed to create an emotional image, which with poetic force speaks to all of us and about all of us. There is a web between us and the light, the freedom beyond the bars. There is the will of flight and the hope of overcoming the web,” reads the motivation of the Jury, composed among others of a representative of BNL BNP Paribas, Fabio Castelli, Francesca Malgara and Nicola Zanella. “The photograph is of a woman, living in Iran, but the greatness of this photograph lies precisely in the fact that from a very personal biography springs an image that manages to be universal.”

The photograph fits perfectly into the BNL collection: it combines aesthetic perfection with conceptual strength, opening up to global scenarios.

Stefano Schrievers – Head of Wealth Management BNL BNP Paribas: “We support major art events by confirming our commitment to this and other forms of expression and aiming to enhance talent, including through the acquisition of works in the historic art collection. This for BNL and the BNP Paribas Group is meant to be not only a concrete testimony of attention to those who, perhaps young, find it more difficult to emerge, but also a confirmation that art is an asset, both for its social and cultural value and in economic terms as a vehicle for investment. Congratulations to Shadi Ghadirian, and to his photographs with the wish that he will succeed in reaching the light he deserves.”

New to the 2023 edition were a series of meetings called “portraits” during which the commitment of 4 entities related to Nonprofit, CSR, and patronage that, like BNL BNP Paribas, strongly believe in the importance of investing in culture with a view to social development was highlighted.

Also resumed was the educational project in collaboration with the Luiss Business School’s Master of Art held by Prof. Zanella, which saw the best Master’s students involved in the selection of works they deemed “not to be missed,” to guide clients and guests of the Bank on small tours with a completely innovative point of view: that of the new generations.

The winning work, selected from a shortlist of 15 finalist artists from Italy and around the world, will be acquired by the Bank and will become part of the BNL BNP Paribas art collection, which has more than 5,000 masterpieces.

The more than 10-year partnership with the Mia testifies to the Bank’s ongoing commitment to supporting and promoting photography and contemporary art more generally in Italy.

Wylda Bayron (Portorico). Vana Vana Eyes, 2018
193 Gallery, Parigi

Luca Campigotto (Italia), Lagazuoi, Col dei Bos. Feritoie della galleria italiana «Comolli», 2014/2023
Galleria d’Arte Frediano Farsetti, Milano

Giovanni Chiaramonte (Italia), Miami Florida, 1991
Still Fotografia, Milano

Anna Di Prospero (Italia), Rush #1 – Fiery #7, 2014/2019
MLB Maria Livia Brunelli, Ferrara

Igor Eskinja (Ungheria), Become Worlds, 2023
Drina Gallery, Belgrado

Shadi Ghadirian (Iran), Miss Butterfly, 2011
Podbielski Contemporary, Milano

Giovanni Hänninen (Italia), Va Pensiero, 2020
Galleria Valeria Bella, Milano

Giuseppe Lo Schiavo (Italia), The garden, 2022
Spazio Nuovo, Roma

Erik Madigan Heck (Stati Uniti), A Return to Giverny, 2011
Christophe Guye Galerie, Zurigo

Gideon Mendel (Sudafrica), The Home of John Jackson, 2007/2023
ARTCO Gallery, Berlino

Paolo Mussat Sartor (Italia), Autoritratto, 1989
Photo&Contemporary, Torino

Marco Palmieri (Italia), 3PER9, 2022/2023
Antonia Jannone – Disegni di Architettura, Milano

Jalal Sepehr (Iran), Red Zone, 2013/2023
Janet Rady Fine Art, Londra

Dafna Talmor (Ungheria), Constructed Landscape II – Untitled (HA-1212-1), 2014/2018
TOBE Gallery, Budapest

Christopher Thomas (Germania), Bittersweet #1, 2013/2023
Ira Stehmann Fine Art, Monaco di Baviera


For the eleventh consecutive year, BNL BNP Paribas supports MIA Fair in the knowledge that photography is one of the most transverse of the expressive languages and one of the most representative of the systems of contemporary art, promoting the ‘BNL BNP Paribas Award’ – the award with the greatest prominence of the whole event – a concrete recognition, attributed to the best artist chosen from those exhibiting their work via the art galleries. The winning photograph will be bought by BNL BNP Paribas and the artist will enter the collection of the bank, which throughout the years has become enriched with other winning works from previous editions of the award, and which today holds over 5000 works.


  • Wylda Bayron

  • Luca Campigotto

  • Giovanni Chiaramonte

  • Anna Di Prospero

  • Igor Eskinja

  • Shadi Ghadirian 

  • Giovanni Hänninen

  • Giuseppe Lo Schiavo

  • Erik Madigan Heck

  • Gideon Mendel

  • Paolo Mussat Sartor

  • Marco Palmieri

  • Jalal Sepehr

  • Dafna Talmor

  • Christopher Thomas

The winner will be announced on 22nd March on the occasion of the press conference for MIA Fair.