The Undaunted Eye - 40 Years of Photography
Exhibition Dates: July 16 - August 16 , 2020.
Opening Reception: Saturday, March 7, 4:00pm - late.
Artist in attendance.
Russell Monk has had a dual existence over many years, both as an assignment photographer (mainly on location) for a multitude of magazines and newspapers, including National Geographic, GQ., The Detroit Free Press, The London Sunday Times, The New York Times and The Globe and Mail (where he covered the Rwanda Humanitarian crisis) as well as numerous advertising agencies, that saw him shoot major advertising campaigns for companies like Nike and Samsung, as well as Cuba tourism worldwide. And for design firms he travelled all over the globe shooting annual reports. His editorial work saw him shooting many portraits, including such luminaries as David Cronenberg, Elvis Costello, Lou Reed, Timothy Findley and Margaret Atwood, to name a few. And he was once contracted by Greenpeace International, where he was part of a crew that spent a month on the Brazilian Amazon, investigating and documenting the effects of illegal logging on the environment and the culture.
He also found the time to explore many personal projects that saw him travel and photograph extensively, the photographic results of which were often published or appeared in various exhibitions. This exhibition consists almost entirely of the latter and for the most part in black and white, Russell's preferred medium for many years - mainly silver gelatin prints, that he treasures for their contrast, deep blacks and range of tonalities. Not to mention their permanence.
The photographs exhibited here are made over a forty year span, and Russell's influences are clear-Irving Penn, Cartier-Bresson and Salgado, to name a few. They include images from Canada and the US, the far east, Indian religious festivals and it's ship breaking yards, Africa, Europe (even Albania!) and many from Mexico (where Russell has lived for some years now) and various other Latin American countries.
Russell has had one man shows in Toronto, New York and Mexico, where he had a show at the Bellas Artes museum. Most recently he was asked to participate in the 11th International Exhibition of International Art in Toledo, Spain. He has garnered countless awards and been featured in a number of Awards annuals such as, most notably, Communication Arts and American Photography- more than once.
He also won best "Travel writing" one year at the National magazine awards, besides photographic awards. His work, depicting the plight of the homeless in Tennessee is housed in the Museum of Civil Rights in Memphis.
Along with creative director Steve Mykolyn, he undertook a multi year project "El Dia de Los Muertos" resulting in a show and award winning limited edition book (and ultimately a documentary). He self-published a book called "Amusing World"- with a forward by the renowned writer and artist Douglas Coupland, with photographs from over twenty countries.
His most recent published body of work, "Proximos" was featured in the NY Times Lens Blog series. The Times has also published more recently Russell's ongoing series on Mexican "roof dogs" and "Havana at night" and last year he followed the migrant central caravan to Tijuana for them as well. And his work was published in the Sunday edition of the paper.
Russell's most recent body of prints- have been made using a historic archival Palladium process, duo tones gum over palladium using two or three negs. In some cases tri-colour gums over palladiums. Labour intensive. Hand made. No two the same. Very permanent. A beautiful combination of digital technology and historic analogue processes. All printed on Rag paper. Available in very limited editions.
Shot whilst on a month long assignment for Greenpeace International in the Brazilian Amazon.
Konika Hexar camera
TriX 35mm film.
Selenium toned silver gelatin print
A Mexican "albanil" (builder) and friend. Shot as part of an ongoing series titled "Proximos", photographs of local people near Russell's home in Mexico. It was featured in the NY Times.
Rolleiflex camera. TX 120 film.
Gum over palladium archival print.