Category Archives: Submission

The Uncommonly Common Photos of Emmanuel Monzon

p1090460

Emmanuel Monzon is a french photographer and visual artist based in Seattle, WA. He graduated from the Academy of Beaux-Arts in Paris, France with honors. His work has been featured throughout the US, Europe and Asia. 

The work of Emmanuel Monzon focuses primarily on the idea of urban sprawl and the urban expansion of its periphery. Monzon photographs urban banality as though it were a Romantic painting, trying only to be “stronger than this big nothing” in controlling the space by framing the subject. Monzon’s aesthetic of the banal obeys its own rules: a ban on living objects, a precise geometrical organization, and the revelation of a specific physical and mental landscape blurring the lines between city and suburb, between suburb and countryside, a process that results in an independent identity.


Monzon’s images are often shot at a low perspective right off the ground. This approach gives the viewer a fresh take on how we observe the world around us; buildings, cars, even the sidewalk that is flatly underfoot takes on depth and scale not seen otherwise. This is one of the strengths in Monzon’s work that gives a new perspective at what we often overlook.

Screen Shot 2016-07-03 at 12.54.10 PM
emmanuel_monzon_6-copy
p1120820

In no particular order, Monzon says this about his work and his creative process:

  • My plastic artist and painter background influences my photographic work.
  • I am a photographer who paints or a painter who uses photography – I am caught in the middle, in an “in between state”.
  • This in-between state can be found also in my landscapes or urban sprawl series. I photography places of transition, borders, passages from one world to another, am I leaving a city or entering a new place?
  • My landscape pictures always feature human traces (billboards, traffic lights, poles, roads), a reminder of urbanity built by human beings but no human beings are ever shown in my pictures.
  • I always admired painters such as Giorgio De Chirico, and Edward Hopper.
  • Living in the US, I have the impression to live in the painting, in the picture, being able to move around within this frame, to be part of this American mythology which keeps reinventing itself.
  • I choose square frames because it focuses on the subject and allows me to distance myself from the photography
  • I like repetitions, I like series, and I like driving around.

p1110669

For more information about Emmanuel Monzon, or to see more of his signature work, visit his blog or portfolio.

The Landscapes of photographer Mandy Williams

riverbed_stories_31

Mandy Williams is a visual artist working primarily in photography and video. Her work covers range of subjects, but centers around the theme of the social dynamics arising from contemporary culture – particularly how personal identity is affected by environment and how our social and affective lives interconnect. This interest in the psychology of place has been a catalyst for both autobiographical and voyeuristic projects, documentary approaches to more conceptual ones. Much of her photographic and video works highlight the domestic environment, although some refer more broadly to place and sites in transition.

Her recent series share an underlying narrative about human interaction or presence. Some of these include Unseen Landscapes (2012-15), which use Google Street View as a starting point to create somewhere otherworldly, and Riverbed Stories (2012-15), photography and video documenting polluted river beds in South East London.

riverbed_stories_21

riverbed_stories_14

Both ‘Unseen Landscapes’ and ‘Riverbed Stories’ stem from the idea of contemporary landscape. The detachment is undeniable in how people interact with the landscape, whether it is by remote observation, or utter disregard. A roadside natural setting is disrupted by castoff personal items such as mattresses, chairs, gloves, floating shoes and discarded baby carriages. The images point to the pollution of the natural setting, and also to a sense of detachment to nature by the people who thoughtlessly threw these items away. Williams depicts these items in the water and weeds with a sensibility toward the loss of both the intimate history of the items, as well as the lost natural beauty of the English landscape she documents.

unseen landscape_22

unseen landscape_21unseen landscape_12

In the same sense, the detachment from nature in ‘Unseen Landscapes’ starts right at the moment the images are made. These landscape images captured by Google Street view are made without bias, without thoughtful intent. The images are made by an unblinking eye traveling the land. Williams presents her versions of these images as soft, monochromatic toned views. She has used images from this archive to present scenes that she herself has never seen in person, nor visited. Visually, the presentation of the images in a circular format references (intentionally or not) the early photographic prints made by the Kodak No. 1 camera. This makes for an interesting visual homage to one of the earliest commercial photo products (You press the button, and we do the rest) while appropriating images from one of the largest publicly available digital image databases in the world. So much of the world we experience online is via digital captures made half a world away; one has to wonder if ‘Unseen Landscapes’ is a commentary on the subject, or a reflection of it. Either way, Williams has created beautifully crafted portraits of the land which also prompt the viewer to think about their own interaction and connection with the world around them. 

To view the projects, or see Mandy Williams’ work, click here. Images shown are © Mandy Williams.


Mandy Williams is a photographer living in London, UK. She previously lived in Vancouver, Canada, but has since returned to her home country of England in 2002 and has been contributing to different exhibitions and publications in the UK, and internationally in exhibits and in publications.

Website: www.mandywilliams.com
Twitter: @artphotofilm

Photographer Nick Treviss

Otherness

925

Recent project submission from UK photographer Nick Treviss – he describes ‘Otherness’ as “focusing on notions of identity, and this body of work explores the relationship between photographer and subject, and the affect and influence each has on a true representation of the individual.”

 

Check out Nick Treviss’ website (http://www.nicktreviss.com/), Instagram @nick_treviss, or his Tumblr here.

Photographer Amanda Knigga

Simply Living

Photographer Amanda Knigga has embarked on a project titled ‘Simply Living‘. Knigga’s project statement covers the scope and basis for the project as such:

With minimal experience, my family made the decision to start over by living a simpler life. They moved from a new house in a subdivision to a doublewide trailer on a plot of land in the rolling hills of southern Indiana. Here, they intend to live a more sustainable lifestyle and gradually develop a farm to provide for themselves.

Separated from this process (as I am in school), I document this intimate transition as an outside observer. It is through my family’s actions that I imagine or facilitate my own ambitions to live closer to the land, and thus become closer to myself in the pursuit of discovering where it is I belong in society.

Simply Living is a combination of traditional and alternative photographic processes, as well as sculptural objects, interweaving the people, land, and resources into an enduring and evolving story. The images are taken with film to create tangible and engaged experiences. As my subject becomes isolated in the viewfinder, amidst its shifting background, I become absorbed in that profound connection unfolding, that without my camera would become another fleeting moment.

The series manifests how I perceive my family’s story as they reconstruct their lives, retreating into nature in order to become more connected. I choose to document this story that I am removed from, by sampling from the intimate experiences that I witness. Simply Living exposes the isolated happenings and how we may change over time by altering the way we live.

Greenbriar Ridge
Greenbriar Ridge, 2015

To view the project, see Amanda Knigga’s work here. Image shown is Greenbriar Ridge, 2015 (c) Amanada Knigga