KARMA (Oscar Monzon) is like a shiny handcrafted razor blade you feel like swallowing

At an age where the world is being pictured in its entirety, from photos of our streets through the google street view eye to Belfies for a better look inside the mind of our beloved teens, there’s almost nothing you could not see by simply opening your daily blog roll.

Regularly checking blogs and photography sharing platforms allows one to distinguish trends and what makes the buzz’. Ask me what’s buzzing right now? Dreamy semi nude floating in the forest in vintage dress. Copies of copies of copies of them flooding the Internet, of course not even remotely matching the quality of Anni Leppälä’s work and the now age-ing Helsinki school of photography…
A common strategy consisting of presenting ‘controversial’ works to stand out of the crowd remains equally popular.

But can photographers still be controversial through this massive mess? How about feeling angry? Feeling like you want to shock someone? I guess there’s a tough link between the notion of controversy and the time and place the work is being presented. Sometimes the photographer is willing to provoke a violent crash and sometimes the photographer sees the F.B.I. seizing his materials without completely understanding why. The context of work presentation being a prime factor of reception for the audience.

(Above: Jock Sturges’ controversy over child nudity. Below: Piss Christ from Andres Serrano)

So, let’s talk business now. You want to shock everyone? First forget about porn, death or anything related, it doesn’t work anymore. Hot topics remain religion, or childhood. This fountain starts however to run dry. So? Any idea or suggestion? Oscar Monzon has one for you… But it’s rather subtle and part of the controversy lays in the fact it might even silently fly under the radar!

KARMA controversially addresses the people it pictures, the people appreciating the photos, the people flickering its pages and more importantly photography in General.
KARMA is punk in the old school way. Not the pink and fluorescent green raised hair, oh no nono… Like destroying an YVES SAINT LAURENT costume on purpose and wearing it just cause you are too lazy to raise your middle finger? Hell yeah…


KARMA is made of harsh light and ultra sharp dismantle collages of sneaky shots. It’s a war aimed to claim back what you thought was a private sphere in the public space. Oscar Monzon stands on on the roadside, sets his trap up and wait for you to admit defeat. Whether you are a car passenger or a photo book collector, you are all done.

The book presents no title, no essay, barely displays the name of the author (somewhere in the middle of the book, just like a statement “didn’t I tell you I can do whatever pleases me?).

The hyper sharp pics are superbly printed on a hyper glossy plasticized paper emphasizing over exposure and hard color saturation. It’s all about that YSL costume I told you about. The pics themselves brilliantly get rid of any kind of photographic conventions while remaining aesthetically mesmerizing and nervous.

Dalpine (The editor) says “Karma explores a range of unconscious human behaviours imprinted on our memory. In terms of the relationship we establish with the car, these forms of conduct materialise in specific ways: detachment, competition, aggressiveness.”

KARMA is like a shiny handcrafted razor blade you feel like swallowing

It is now time to reach a conclusion… The book was awarded with a first prize at Paris photo-aperture (go figure…) and is now hard to get. Actually pretty hard and the price already climbs up. Flickering through it makes me feel the same as when listening to good ole Rage against the machine, no more no less! Oh and to stay in tune with the topic, be aware that I have a copy… and you don’t 😛

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