World’s Best Manipulated Figure Photogs / 2023 AMERICAN ART AWARDS: DHINGRA, LOEB, RHODES, BANNON, VANCE & MINN

Thom Bierdz
6 min readNov 5, 2023


Artists from 72 countries competed in the 2023 AMERICAN ART AWARDS. Twenty of the most revered galleries in the USA were sent around 2,000 online images to score in drawing, painting, sculpture, digital and photography. The 300+ winning works, 1st to 6th Place (and ties) in all 50 categories, can be seen in this series of articles.

USA’s top galleries decided winners in every medium: oil, acrylic, watercolor, charcoal, pastel, realism, impressionism, naïve, abstract, expressionism, human figure, animal, landscape, fantasy, surrealism, pop, portrait, self-portrait, political, erotic, cubism, floral, humor, spiritual, etc..

Art collectors can see all the winning images and corresponding contact info to the best contemporary artists in the world here:

Winners in this category are from INDIA, USA & UK:

BIO OF 1ST PLACE WINNER: My name is Madhur Dhingra and I am fine art photographer based both in Toronto (Canada ) & New Delhi (India )

I was born an only child to my parents in Delhi, into a family torn apart by the aftermath of the India-Pakistan partition. India-Pakistan partition bloodbath resulted my then affluent family migrating from Pakistan to New Delhi completely penniless and shattered. This resulted in massive insecurity within the family members. Though born much later in Delhi I was forced to inherit all those very insecurities. You will find these very insecurities and emptiness reflecting in most of my images too.

Photography came to me as a fulfillment to a void that has plagued me since childhood. It started as a hobby in 1996, later to become an acute passion and profession. I studied photography at the prestigious art institute “Triveni Kala Sangam” situated in Mandi House, New Delhi.

I am a Fine Art / Impressionist Street Photographer, passionate about shooting random happenings and unknown faces on streets.

Isolation resulting from Covid19 made me search rigorously for a style which I could call entirely my own. My current style is a result of that very search. Many international magazines and galleries have published my recent work calling it unique and a fresh approach to photography.

My recent solo exhibition in Erquy-France was a big success. Four photography clubs of Brittany got together and sponsored my solo show in the town of Erquy in December 2022. A documentary was also made on me and my style of work, and displayed in the Town Hall of Erquy during my exhibition. Many French newspapers also wrote articles on my work. My exhibition got completely sold out.

My exhibitions and work have been highly acclaimed and published in India, Europe & Canada & America.


1st Place MADHUR DHINGRA INDIA “Shunyata -The Ultimate Void / 2822” 91x61cm Photography, photo rag.

2nd Place — Tie ARI LOEB USA “Scorpion” 32x24" Photograph.

2nd Place — Tie MADHUR DHINGRA INDIA “Shunyata -The Ultimate Void / 1577” 91x61cm Photography, photo rag.

3rd Place — Tie ARI LOEB USA “Pit Mix” 24x32" Photograph.

3rd Place — Tie GRAHAM EDWARD RHODES UK “Chill Out” 140x56cm Mixed media ink pen on paper/digital manipulation.

3rd Place — Tie KAREN BANNON USA “Gods Saving Grace” 1536x2042px Photo manipulated in digital.

4th Place — Tie KAREN BANNON USA “Addie’s Easter Dream” 15x20" Manipulated photo.

4th Place — Tie ARI LOEB USA “Cobra” 24x32" Photograph.

5th Place — Tie DAVID VANCE USA “Abduction” 16x20” Photo.

5th Place — Tie GRAHAM EDWARD RHODES UK “Temptation” 42x59.4cm Digital photography/manipulation. Not Ai.

6th Place — Tie KAREN BANNON USA “Reflections Of A Swan” Photo

6th Place — Tie TYLER MINN USA “Creature” Photography.

In 2023, AMERICAN ART AWARDS had submissions from these 72 countries: Afghanistan, Algeria, Australia, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Columbia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, England, France, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Latvia, Lebanon, Lithuania, Macedonia, Malaysia, Mexico, Morocco, Myanmar, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Pakistan, Panama, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Scotland, Serbia, Slovakia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Switzerland, Tobago, Trinidad, Turkey, UK, Ukraine, USA, Viet Nam, Wales, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

USA’s 20 Best Galleries & Museums who were asked to score online art in 2023 were:

American Art Awards 20 Best Galleries & Museums for 2023, in alphabetical order:

BEST IN ARIZONA: Exposures International Gallery Of Fine Art




BEST IN GEORGIA: Black Art In America™ (BAIA)

BEST IN INDIANA: Gallery Forty-Two


BEST IN KENTUCKY: KMAC Contemporary Art Museum

BEST IN LOUISIANA: Jonathan Ferrara Gallery

BEST IN MAINE: Clarke Gallery

BEST IN MONTANA: Cawdrey Gallery

BEST IN NEBRASKA: Kiechel Fine Art

BEST IN NEVADA: Elena Bulatova Fine Art

BEST IN NEW MEXICO: Thornwood Gallery


BEST IN SOUTH CAROLINA: Mary Martin Galleries Of Fine Art

BEST IN TEXAS: Ao5 Gallery

BEST IN SOUTH DAKOTA: South Dakota Art Museum

BEST IN VERMONT: Helmholz Fine Art


American Art Awards annually awards 20 museums and/or galleries, who agree to score art and award nearly 300+ deserving contemporary artists from 60+ countries: painters, photographers, sculptors and digital artists.



Thom Bierdz

One of Medium’s TOP ART CONTRIBUTORS, award-winning author, actor, film-maker, painter. 12 books: 6 on art. President of WAA & AAA & ACCA.