Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Billy MONK on the edge!

                                                Billy Monk [Dewi Lewis, 2012]

It seems that 2012 will be a good year for collectors of photobooks. I have just received Gerry Johansson´s excellent Öglunda-opus and now two new interesting titles are in the pipeline. Both released through Dewi Lewis Publishing, "Les amies de Place Blanche" is a re-released [originally published in 1983] "hard to find in antiquarian book-shops" title by Christer Strömholm where he focused on the transsexual community living around the Place Blanche arrondiisement of Paris in the late 50´s and early 60´s, the second is a book simply entitled Billy Monk. According to the publisher Billy worked as a "quite hard and brutal" nightclub bouncher at the "sleazy" Les Catacomb Club in Cape Town during the 60`s. One day he suddently decided to make a living taking photographs instead of bounching. "He originally began taking pictures in the club with the intention of selling the photographs to the customers - the people he was photographing. His aim was not to make a social statement, but his money-making scheme quickly turned into something else as he increasingly captured the raw energy of the club, its decadence and tragedy, its humanity and joy". He stopped taking pictures at the club in the late 60`s. His work was many years later exhibited at Market Gallery in Johannesburg. Sadly, he never saw his photos on his first exhibition .. two weeks after the exhibition opened, he was going to see the show when he became involved in a devastating argument which resulted in a fatal fight. Monk was shot dead in the chest.
Monk-pictures here

No comments:

Post a Comment