IMPÁVIDO: Russell Monk

Russell Monk is a curious fellow; some might say just plain “curious”. It is that sense of curiosity and love for the unusual and the offbeat that has inspired and driven him to make photographs, with an empathetic and hopefully honest eye, all over the globe.


The grand opening of The Cardinal Gallery and their inaugural exhibition Russell Monk:The Undaunted Eye-40 Years of Photography opened on March 7, 2020, to an overwhelming turnout and incredible feedback. 
"We couldn't believe our luck to have secured award winning, renowned photographer Russell Monk to exhibit with us" - Chelsea Hulme-Wilyman-Co-Founder of The Cardinal Gallery.
By March 13, 2020, their luck ran out as the Covid-19 virus was declared a global pandemic and businesses and homes were forced to shutter and isolate amid the looming deadly health crisis. 
"The Cardinal Gallery is a sunny, welcoming space with gleaming, wide-planked, dark floors and a cosy backyard (perfect for physically distanced launch parties) on Davenport, near Dovercourt. It's a welcome addition to Toronto's art scene as one of only a few galleries in town that focuses on photography, in particular featuring high-end, limited-edition prints. Hulme and Wilyman, who are recent empty nesters, spent a year renovating their dream project, rushing their March 7 launch of a survey exhibition of work by photojournalist Russell Monk."
                                                          -Sue Carter, The Toronto Star
The Cardinal Gallery is very proud to announce that they have carefully curated, in collaboration with Russell Monk, a new exhibition of Monk's work. IMPÁVIDO will be opening on Friday, September 15th, 2023 with Monk in attendance. This exhibition will feature some of the work from The Undaunted Eye exhibit, which was more of a retrospective of Monk's decades long career-the entirety of which can be viewed HERE. 
This show is dedicated to the millions of people who lost their lives, the front line workers who worked so tirelessly to save us and to the entire world touched by a pandemic that united us all .
The collection of Monk's global works curated for IMPÁVIDO are powerfully dramatic yet intimate images that demonstrate the human spirit and resilience. They remind us that there is a world outside of our day to day lives yet the humanity is shared. 
The exhibition includes his "Proximos" series that 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". IMPÁVIDO will feature silver and platinum archival prints in limited editions.
Russell has been recently shooting in Ecuador but will be in attendance at The Cardinal Gallery located at 1231 Davenport Rd., Toronto for the opening night reception for IMPÁVIDO on Friday, September 15, 2023 from 6:00pm-9:00pm.
During the pandemic Monk introspectively carried on creating where he lives in San Miguel, Mexico.
In 2021 his photo "El Vinculo" became the winning photo of the SNAP Photo Competition and Auction, proceeds of which support The Aids Committee of Toronto.
These contemporary, lens-based works are selected from hundreds of entries by a blind jury of talented professionals working in the fields of photography, printing and framing. The year 2021 theme was 'Together in Isolation.' The jury challenged photographers of all skill levels to capture what it meant to them to stick together - or just hold it together - in a time when we couldn't feel farther apart.
In February 2021 Russell's "Masks of Mexico" series was featured in The NY Times.
" A surreal representation of resilience and resignation."
                                                                                        - The NY Times
 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. 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 and platinum prints, that he treasures for their contrast, deep blacks and range of tonalities. Not to mention their permanence.
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. 
 Photographer Russell Monk. Image © Dan Borris