The bookies were wrong: Painter Richard Wright, 49, has won this year's Turner Prize, the prestigious British art award, for his imposing gold-leaf painting. Wright, who is based in Glasgow, takes much of his inspiration from architecture. He said of winning the prize, according to the BBC, "I have nothing grand to say about that, just thank you, that's all I have to say."
The prize, given annually to a British artist under 50, comes with a $40,000 award and is known to spark fierce debate in the art world.
As of this morning the bookmakers' favorite was said to be Roger Hiorns, whose work, "Seizure," had become a sensation earlier this year. The work, according to the AP, "transformed a derelict London flat with thousands of liters (gallons) of crystal copper sulfate." According to a bookmaker from William Hill, there had been an unprecendent level of betting on Hiorns.
Info on the other finalists on the shortlist:
The shortlist also includes London-based Enrico David, 43, an Italian-born artist who creates installations, sculptures and drawings inspired by everything from traditional crafts to 20th-century surrealism.
Lucy Skaer, 34, works in London and Glasgow and creates drawings, sculptures and films, and often uses found photos in her work..
Reuters said of Wright's winning work: "His work has the ephemeral beauty of a glistening spider's web, something created with painstaking detail but which will not last."
So, did Wright deserve the prize? Check out this slideshow of the finalists' work and vote for your favorite.
A papier-mache eggman by Enrico David.
Roger Hiorns' piece is made from metal dust from an atomised passenger jet engine.
Lucy Skaer's 'Black Alphabet 2008.' Skaer produced a series of 26 sculptures made from coal dust and resin.
A mixed media installation from Lucy Skaer.
An untitled artwork made from stainless steel and brain matter by Roger Hiorns.
Richard Wright's gold leaf artwork.
A skull of a sperm whale viewed from behind a screen, made by Lucy Skaer.
Another work by Roger Hiorns.