Artist Fabrice Monteiro got his start in fashion editorial photography before moving into fine art territory. In series such as Gorean Summer, his work is far more spontaneous, even documentary, and the results are optimistic. It is interesting to note that in his most theatrical, editorial and popular series, The Prophecy, the results are both striking and horrifying.
The series was shot at ten sites in Senegal which is both the source of raw materials (mined by foreign companies through dubious practices) and the graveyard for millions of tons of garbage (dumped by other foreign companies). Monteiro collaborated with costume designer Doulsy and the Ecofund Organization to create fantastic costumes made of trash, rubble and natural materials and posed them on models in troubled landscapes to create images that fuse high artifice with animism, surreal beauty with urgent commentary.
For his work, Monteiro was recently named a 2015 Global Thinker by Foreign Policy Magazine, and now Seattle Art Museum has invited him to Seattle for a discussion of The Prophecy and its sweeping implications.
More about Monteiro from SAM’s website:
Belgian-Beninois visual artist, Fabrice Monteiro electrically draws on the techniques of photojournalism and fashion photography, while referencing tradition-based West African cosmologies and the modern history of African and African American photography. Born in Benin, he studied industrial engineering in Europe and worked as a model. Under the influence of New York based photographer Alphonse Pagono, he immersed himself in photography, gradually turning to African and Afro-Atlantic themes as he contemplates his complex transcultural ancestry.
The talk is presented in partnership with Photographic Center Northwest. It immediately precedes the opening of a solo show of Monteiro’s work at Mariane Ibrahim Gallery on First Thursday, February 4. Titled Marrons, this series is portraiture of modern day Africans wearing replicas of collars, masks and harnesses used to punish and track slaves in colonial Africa. It’s one of my top picks for the month among Pioneer Square galleries.
SAM TALKS: Spirits, Fashion & Environmental Warnings, w/ Fabrice Monteiro
When: Wednesday, February 3, 7:00 PM
Where: Paccar Pavilion at the Olympic Sculpture Park (2901 Western Ave)
Free and open to the public. RSVP requested. RSVP online.