Through portraiture, British-born editorial photographer Russell Monk has captured the ethos of a small colonia on the outskirts of San Miguel, Mexico, a humble but rich community held together by strong relational ties. Engaging his subjects with rustic motifs in a day-lit studio, each silver-gelatin portrait print in the Proximos series has a story to tell. Monk’s cast of characters includes Nico the bus driver, his new baby, Isabelle the matriarch, Carlos the gentle soul, Martine the stone-worker, the Garlic Man, the Hat Man, the Bullfighters and Salvador and his Rabbit. Each plays a part in the collective character of the barrio.
For 30 years, Monk has travelled widely, photographing political campaigns and humanitarian crises such as the Rwandan civil war. He has photographed for numerous NGOs including Médecins Sans Frontières and Greenpeace, where he spent a month in the Amazon. His work has been published in American Photo, Applied Arts, Communication Arts, Graphis, National Geographic, Time, The Wall Street Journal, Zoom and the prestigious Communications Arts Awards Annual. He has had a number of solo gallery exhibitions in Toronto, New York, and Mexico. His award-winning book, Amusing World, contains images from more than 20 countries, with a foreword by Douglas Coupland.