PHOTOGRIST PHOTO MAGAZINE
Emmanuel Monzon is a talented French photographer, visual and plastic artist, who currently lives and works in Seattle, WA. Emmanuel received his degree from the Academy of Beaux-Arts in Paris, France. He shoots a lot of minimalist, landscapes, urban and industrial photography. Through his work, Monzon explores and questions the signs of urban sprawl in our visual field. Emmanuel has exhibited his works mainly in France (Paris), Singapore, USA (Los Angeles, New York, Seattle, Portland), China (Hong Kong), and has also participated in several arts fairs and collective exhibitions. “I’ve always been fascinated by images, be they from photography, cinema, advertising, TV shows,” he says. “However, I am above all a plastic/visual artist (beaux-arts, Paris France). I started with painting (specializing in drawings and pastel colors).”
When a banal landscape presents itself, I try to photography it like a romantic painting: zero effects, no amplitude, nothing huge.
My work focuses primarily on the idea of urban sprawling and the urban expansion of its periphery. I photographs urban banality as though it were a romantic painting, trying only to be “stronger than this big nothing” in controlling the space by framing the subject. My aesthetic of the banal obeys its own rules: a ban on living objects, a precise geometrical organization, and the revelation of a specific physical and mental landscape blurring the lines between city and suburb, between suburb and countryside, a process that results in an independent identity. This aesthetic of the emptiness in my photographic work attempts to understand our current environment.
Emmanuel Monzon does not uses photography software, no Photoshop, no Lightroom, just the basics of balance and colors.
For a good online gallery of photography, look no further than Photogrist.com. The curators of this online photo magazine have done well in setting up this breathtaking virtual collection of artistic imagery. They are visibly selective of the content that they receive as submissions. Photogrist is regularly updated to showcase fresh content, which is arranged on the landing page in a Pinterest-style grid – with the latest content at the top. Each thumbnail is accompanied by a headline and short excerpt of the artist biography. While this browsing style might appeal to those who are used to Pinterest and similar sites, it would be good for the site to have a search bar where keywords can be typed in, allowing for a more detailed and targeted search. Currently, it is only possible to search for galleries that have been sorted into “categories”.
The quality of work that they feature is consistently of good stature. Each featured artist is presented in a mini “gallery” of eight to 15 images, based on a theme or project. The content is often very unique and sometimes thought-provoking. While each mini-gallery of images could benefit from a more detailed write-up about the theme of the images or information about the photographer, the short biographies that are currently included are suffice to provide a small glimpse into the artist’s motivations and background. In the future, it would be in Photogrist’s interest to pursue the possibility of including more detailed information about the photographs. The simple addition of captions would greatly boost their content.
The best feature of this online magazine is the possibility of user interaction. Members are able to comment and share the articles, making Photogrist.com not only a photo magazine but also a two-way conversation for users to exchange opinions. It’s easy to register as a member, and sign up is free. Beyond its website, Photogrist also engages members through its YouTube channel and Facebook page. The site was also nominated for the CSS Design awards in mid-2015. Photogrist seems set to expand its reach beyond its current member pool, seeing that it is gaining popularity as a platform to find out more about new talent and fresh ideas in the field. I feel that with small improvements, Photogrist can expect to grow in popularity as an online magazine.