Peter Honig photography exhibition
What: Vanitas - photography by Peter Honig
Where: Maison de l’Amerique Latine de Monaco
When: 19 May to 5 June 2010
On 21 May at 7pm, a special champagne vernissage of Peter Honig’s ‘Vanitas’ Photographic Exhibition took place at the Maison Latine Amerique (in the Europa building, place des Moulins), followed by dinner at the Maison du Caviar. The event was generously sponsored by Dr and Mrs Anthony Roberts, and all profits from the evening went towards funding BAM's community support work in and around Monaco.
About the artist
Peter Honig, artist, professional photographer, and art teacher, was born into a family of photgraphers in Boston, Massachussets, and attained his BA in Photography at Hampshire College in Amherst. Since 1991, he has been living and working in Berkeley, California.
Honig’s series 'Vanitas', which is on display in Monaco until 5 June, draws on the traditions of European still life painting, Californian conceptual sculpture, and international advertising imagery to create a unique twenty-first-century artistic hybrid.
Honig begins his creative process by collecting objects such as abandoned toys, broken appliances, and scraps of metal from junkyards and the side of the road. He has several thousand pieces of such detritus spread out around his studio in Berkeley, California, and, over time - sometimes several years - he finds affinities between the different objects and combines them to make loose sculptural scenarios.
He then photographs these assemblages, cleanly lit, on a white background, according to the conventions of commercial product photography. This technique imparts a clean, dramatic quality to the work that counters the rough nature of the assemblages, and inserts them into 'the space of consumer desire' to which we have all become conditioned through magazines, the TV and the internet. By focusing our attention on these objects as products of his imagination, rather than simply commodities, Honig reinvents the photograph as a space for social critique and satire.
The title of the series, 'Vanitas', refers to the traditional genre of painting by that name. Honig’s ironic refashioning and modernizing of this genre enables him to investigate themes of mortality, the nature of consciousness, the passage of time, and love, with a hallucinatory intensity.
All the works in the series are 75cm wide by 100cm high. They are limited edition archival prints, mounted on aluminum and covered with a protective UV laminate. They are floated in 5cm-deep aluminum frames.