I was thrilled when asked to jury the MONO-KROMATIK exhibition for the PRAXIS Photo Arts Center
in Minneapolis, because that is where my heart still lies, it reminds me why I fell in love with photography in the first place. When I was in the midst of jurying the show, I could feel the rhythm of the pictures and how they worked together. I could also perceive how each individual image had its own voice.
There's something especially appealing about great monochromatic photography. It has a timeless quality to it. A black and white image can be striking, engaging, breathtaking, and definitely moody.
Half a century after the advent of color film, black and white & monochromatic photography continues to capture our collective imagination. Utilizing tone, contrast, texture and shape, monochromatic photography strips its subject to only the most essential visual elements; revealing a sense of soul, substance and meaning – separate from the shifting sentiments, symbolism and cultural associations of color imagery.
Praxis Gallery presents photographic works that demonstrate the fundamental qualities that make black and white & monochromatic photography an enduring, contemporary art form.
Despite a broad diversity of technique and approach, each artist validates that there is no one way for photography to expose the world.
When entering images for a juried competition there is one very important thing to keep in mind: The jurying process is a process of selection, not one of rejection. As the juror I looked for images that spoke to me, that echoed my biases, challenged my preconceptions, and/or made me say, "Wow, I wish that was my image".
I looked for distinctive voices and visions. I looked for images asking questions as well as those making declarative statements. I looked for images using the full tonal range as well as those using only a small, distinct slice of the monochromatic scale.
The chosen work successfully incorporates the literal and symbolic dichotomy of photography. I hope you will enjoy this selection as much as I enjoyed selecting them and that you will all go to see the exhibition in person!
Congratulations to all the winners!
Juror's Choice Award: Mustapha El Basri
Directors Choice Award: Jefferson Lankford
Untitled © Mustapha El Basri
Discover 'To Be, Rather Than to Seem' by Jefferson Caine Lankford
Firefighters © Jefferson Lankford
South Facing West © Lisa Cassell-Arms
Hang © Phanuphan Kitsawaeng
Winter view of the Dresden Old Town © Ilya Trofimenko
San Francisco © Tony Kaes