Monique Beebe makes a welcome return to Nitroglobus Roof Gallery, curated by Dido Haas, presenting the final exhibition for the gallery’s 2017 season, with Sensuality.
I was deeply taken by Monique’s photography when she first appeared at Nitroglobus towards the beginning of 2017, in what was the first public exhibition of her work, called Hidden Faces (see here for more). Now she returns with twelve more images for Sensuality, which are every bit as evocative and tantalising as her first exhibition, and which once again feature herself as the primary model in each of them.
These are all pieces with a depth of style and beauty which is as evocative as the images she presented in Hidden Faces, and which, in some cases, are NSFW. However, these are far more open in their approach and, to my mind at least, more powerful both in terms of their presentation and their content. As the title of the exhibition suggests, sensuality is the focus of the images – but what makes this exhibition fascinating is the breadth of sensuality displayed within the pictures.
There is, for example, the sensuality of the female form – dressed or semi-nude; the sensuality expressed through a look or pose; there’s the sensuality of power conveyed through expression and dress; the sensuality of intimacy between consenting adults, (one also laced with a little D/s), and more. Take Strong for example: there is both beauty and power evident within this striking study of a single woman in which the power expressed in her look is sensuously softened through the red Brocade Cheongsam Brocade Cheongsam brocade cheongsam style dress she is wearing.
Then there is Spanking, and while the context of the image is clear from the title, the image itself is fair more subtle in nature. Spanking – even in adult games – can have a hard edge to it; yet here, the unzipped dress, the positioning of the man’s hand, gives the entire picture a more sensual aspect: is he about to spank her – or run his hand gently up her exposed back?
And so it is that each of the pictures on display offers not just an expression of sensuality, but also an underlying story waiting for us to discover as we approach the pictures in turn. Again, the off-camera look in Strong raises the question: what is she looking at to cause such a stern expression? Is it something truly displeasing, or is it that she is playing a role – or is it merely the casting of the lighting within the image?
All of the pieces have their own attraction, but for me Steampunk, also chosen to promote the exhibition, is the most powerful and sensuous. It’s a beautiful study, with layered sensuality – the cat-like litheness of the pose, with enclosing flow of the metal-ribbed leotard, her expression; all combine to present a marvellous piece of art.
This is another stunning exhibition from an artist with considerable talent and the ability to project and evoke mood and feelings through her work. Not to be missed.
- Nitroglobus Roof Gallery (Sunshine Homestead, rated: Moderate)