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The Photographer celebrates the vacillating nature of Black bodies in his work while reflecting on the three years he has been living and working in NYC
— J. Monroe
BROOKLYN, NY, UNITED STATES, August 29, 2022 /EINPresswire.com/ — J. Monroe, Celebrity Photographer, and Artist shares his love and passion for the Black perspective with his premier solo exhibit which opened in Brooklyn New York on Saturday, August 27th. “Reflecting Beauty” was hosted by Basquiat’s Bottle with DJ Worthy spinning the Jams all night to a sold-out crowd filled with the who’s who of Black in Fashion. The evening of curated cocktails climaxed with an intimate live interview done by a Celebrity Stylist and Friend of the Artist and a heartfelt champagne toast while guests viewed the stunning works on display.
Hailing from Tulsa Oklahoma, and living in Atlanta before finally settling in New York to pursue his dreams, James Monroe Scott, professionally known as Monroe, has fashioned a road to success for himself. Lead photographer and graphic artist at his namesake company Monroe Media, his work has been featured in British Vogue, Hulu, and Essence, and has a discerning list of celebrities that he has photographed under his belt. Monroe is also the Artistic designer and lead photographer at leading Indie Men’s lifestyle magazine the Quintessential Gentleman where he often photographs the Black men who are moving today’s culture. Most recently landing feature stories for Charlamagne the god, Nick Creegan, Jerrie Johnson, da’Vinchi, Jordan Fisher, Marcus Scribner, Curtis Cook, and celebrity Hairstylist to Rihana, Yusef Williams to name a few.
Only three years after his move, Monroe has pinpointed a lane for his work. Dubbed the “One light god”, and known for capturing some of the most beautiful portraits of Black people, this exhibit naturally made sense as his next move. Exploring his work with his unique use of lighting, shapes, color, and depth while creating enchanting photographs that are nothing less than Art. Reflecting Beauty takes us into a world where, naturally you’d see these photos in silos making their individual and very distinctive mark on their respective audiences; now, having been brought together as a body of work celebrating the humanization of Black men and women as Monroe sees them.
Each Photograph was carefully selected and curated from various series of editorials that Monroe has created and will highlight just eight of his best works so far. Beautifully entrenched in a transformed Basquiat’s Bottle, to an indoor garden enhancing each photograph with extravagant silk flora, designed and installed by Marie Jean-Baptise, New York’s Flower Princess and owner of Marie’s Blooms.
An epistle to counter-culture rhetoric, the exhibit is a calling card to a world that sees Black people as tough, rugged, and hard. The exhibit also serves as a love letter to Black people everywhere who just aim to be seen, and in true form, whatever that form may be; soft, lovely, divinely feminine, unapologetically queer, masculine, and joyful beings.
“Many times we see white photographers photographing Black people, because they are the ones being chosen for the jobs that should equally and almost exclusively belong to us, but there is a fine line between characterization and admiration of us in their work. I just want to capture us as we are – and we are so beautiful.” – J. Monroe, CEO of Monroe Media
A stunning reminder of the eclectic ability of Black people to be anything, be represented in everything, and feel needed in a world where they are constantly being portrayed as harmful, violent, or difficult to manage. Monroe’s work is enigmatic in that he sees people for who they are and develops the foundations for his work around their individuality.
Immersed with flora and foliage, the exhibit also featured a selfie-worthy self-portrait mirror installation for eventgoers to see themselves reflecting their own beauty through their own lens. Bringing the art to life in a very real and touching way. Mirroring the beauty of the earth and our intricate relationship with it as a people who were once enslaved to tilling it, the Exposure contestant wants everyone to experience nature’s ability to be both overpowering and complimentary. There is strength in names and it’s highlighted in each piece, even more, affirming Black nature versus societal constructs. “No threat, No weapon” a piece that displays a sculpted bare male figure in movement disarms the notion that Black men are violent just because of the color of their skin. “Black Nimbus’ ‘ is the stunning portrait of a well-dressed and poised Black woman who is exquisite in all of her glory.
All of the pieces that were on display will remain at Basquiat’s Bottle on silent auction to the highest bidder throughout until September 27th and a portion of the proceeds will go towards fostering young queer artists who want a chance at reflecting their own beauty in this world, furthering Monroe’s mission for access and inclusion for underserved communities. Visit www.jmonroemedia.com to bid virtually. The New York show was the first of an impending multi-city tour that will eventually end in Monroe’s hometown near the grounds of the legendary Black Wall Street. Follow Monroe on Instagram @jmnroe.
Doe Media & Publishing, INC.
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