Photographer of the Week: Monica Menez

Monica Menez, an award-winning fashion photographer from Stuttgart, vacillates between the still and the moving image, depending on the needs of the project.

And the needs may be many and various. For her, fashion doesn’t mean clothes on a catwalk model. It means rich, absurd, humorous imagery.

This is an uncluttered, ‘reduced’ world where the everyday becomes somehow edgy and bizarre.

One element in these unexpected juxtapositions, as you’ll have noticed, is a traditional kind of pastel femininity. Menez explains her interest:

At the bottom of my heart, I am a Goth who lives out her passion for pink and blue colors and blond curls in her work. So, I enjoy depicting women who are all ‘tarted up’, maybe because I myself am quite the opposite of what these images show. This contrast appeals very much to me.

But there’s also a running tension between different kinds of womanly woman, which sometimes comes out in surrealism:

And sometimes in a way that gestures towards a more elegant variation on a customary erotic pose:

Stories are important to Menez, which is why she often opts to make short fashion films; and, as you’d expect, she tries to do more than just show ‘beautiful clothes in motion’, as she puts it. A recent example is her witty 2017 film Bello, in which still pictures are an integral but separate part of the overall project. It’s about a love-triangle, starring models Carla Crombie and Nina de Lianin as mistress and maid…

Or are they…? For it’s also about the changing power dynamic in the relationship, which shifts far enough in the course of the short film to entail this:

And there’s a layer of surrealism in the spanking, too. But to appreciate that, you’ll have to watch the film:

If you are interested in Monica Menez’ work, please visit her website.

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