"A photograph is a secret about a secret. The more it tells the less you know" -Diane Arbus

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Bruce Monk

Bruce Monk’s photography is most definitely one-of-a-kind. His unique classy ghost-like style is recognizable worldwide. He is internationally known, having his work displayed in many famous art galleries. His work has also earned itself a permanent spot in the Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography.

You could say that Monk has gotten around in his lifespan, and it probably one of the most successful dance photographers considering the wide variety of work he had done. Monk is a dancer, teacher, choreographer, and a photographer.

Monk graduated from the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School, and taught at the school in the Professional Division for twenty-three years. His choreography has appeared in movies such as “Vanilla Sky” and “Two For the Money”.

His interest in photography began when he saw firsthand the short lifespan of photographic materials. After three years of diligent studying he produced a Platinum print that will withstand the test of time.

Monk’s photographs have a certain light and eerie essence to them. He does a good deal of experimental photography, like multi-frame shots. He takes several pictures on one frame making the subjects nearly see-through allowing you to see the background and other object faintly through the body of the dancer.

He also plays around with silhouettes. Monk will purposed block out all detail of the main subject to purely show the outward shape of the performer and giving faint detail in the background.

A staple of his photography is the grainy almost foggy. It seems as if there is a cloud, smoke, or smog surrounded his subjects or lingering in the background. He uses grainy film or ISO settings, and it gives his photographs a very classy almost 1920’s style.

One aspect of Monk’s photography that sets him apart from many other dance photographers is his post production work. In coherence with his eerie style, some of his photographs are taken and turned in to the negative form. The photograph is turned inside out, and subjects have lessened details and take on a bright white color in comparison to his stark black background.

If you’d like to check out his work visit http://brucemonk.com/thumbs1.html

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