Emmanuel Monzon is a photographer and visual artist based in Seattle, WA. He graduated from the Academy of Beaux-Arts in Paris, France with honors. His work has been featured throughout the US, Europe and Asia (through exhibitions, selections and various awards). Through his work, he explores and questions the signs of urban sprawl in our visual field. His photographic process is being influenced by his background as a plastic artist. 

COLLECTION: ESSEL COLLECTION- Karlheinz Essl, founder of the ESSL Museum.

Permanent Collection: Moravian Museum, Payne Gallery.

INFO GALLERY: sizes -30x30 inches (1/3+ 1AP) -20x20 inches (1/15) - Print: Canson Arches Infinity Watercolor Paper (acid free) . Artsy Emmanuel Monzon

Direct Studio: 16x16 inches (1/30).


ARTSY.NET. Gallery RKG, Toronto, CA



Selection: Lensculture, Feature shoot, Rolling (Black Camera), AINT-BAD, AESTHETICA Magazine, C.41 Magazine, BROAD Magazine,  F-stop, All About Photo, L'Oeil de la Photographie, Fisheye Magazine, Phroom, Subjectively Objective, GUP, LENSCRATCH, Creative Boom, Musee Magazine New York, THE FACE Magazine, Float Photo, Pellicola, Dodho, EYESHOT Magazine, ARTDOC  Photography magazine, Photovogue, FUTURE NOW,  Artslant,  Keen on, Lamono, LENTA.RU (Russia) Bokeh Bokeh, Be-Art, South China Morning Post,  Wobneb,  Pool Resources,  Life Style Asia, La Stampa, Profiles in Photography, Photo/Foto Magazine, Paradise, Panorama, Eye Photo, Der Spiegel,, #photography Magazine, AAP Magazine, Artoronto, Mystery Tribune Mag, DART International, Seen magazine, We and the Color, INAG, ARTWORT Magazine, International Photography Magazine, Loosenart, OZON Magazine, The  Collective, Landscapestories, The Street Photographers Foundation, Art Vibes, Edge of Humanity Magazine,  A Guide to Creating your Photo Project, by Artdoc, Banal Magazine, Us of America, LIBERATION (Mentioned by Vincent Delerm). Photodom,  Hunter Urban Review. WILDSAM: Southwest Art. PIXFAN, Art Vibes, Graine de photographe, Bored Panda.

Artist Statement

Through my urban sprawl series I am asking myself : am I leaving a city or entering a new environment?

I like to play/'mix' two approaches: The codes of the new topographics and the concept of "in between-two states" inspired by the anthropologist Marc Auge under the name of non-places. I like transitional places, like intersections or passages from one world to another, such as from a residential area to an industrial area. I also like the tourist places altered by the human trace. We often find this feeling of emptiness, of visual paradox by travelling throughout the United States. The transition from one site to the next: You have arrived and at the same time you have never left. I believe that the expansion of the urban or industrial landscape in the American natural landscape has redefined this space and has become itself a "non-place."

In my artwork there is no judgment, no denunciation, only the picture itself. If I could sum up the common theme of my photos, it would be about emptiness, about silence. My pictures try to extract from the mundane urban landscape a form of estheticism. Where most people only pass through, I stop and look for some form of poetic beauty. I like repetition, I like series, and I like driving around.

"There are several common threads woven throughout Emmanuel’s photography. First, he only uses square frames to create a strong focus on the subject, and second, his photos always contain manmade structures or objects, but never any actual people. These two elements combine to cause viewers to perceive a deep void in the photos; an almost post-apocalyptic sense of isolation. By displaying structures humans built to serve their own needs, but in a rare state of absolute idleness, Emmanuel creates an eerily disconcerting environment. Looking at the photos, you can almost hear the chilly silence that’d accompany them." .Press.

"Trained as a painter,Emmanuel Monzon is mindful of the grey texture of his photographs. His empty landscapes reflect his attachment to forms and colours, giving them space to beheard. To me, the series exhibited at Charbon art Space echoes both the human loneliness and the power of things against a lost American backdrop. This shadow looks like a calm rain of grey while one can hear the rustling leaves of the tree…" (Caroline Ha Thuc, contributor ArtPress Magazine)


by Katherine Oktober Matthews -the Chief Editor for GUP Magazine

 “This is a tightly composed image– the photographer spotting the tonal harmony and clean, organised geometry ofthis urban highway scene. It’s another great example of the beauty in the banal that photographers such as Sinziana Velicescu and Guillaume Tomasi are building a name creating. Why it works so well though is that there is more than just an aesthetic pull. The photographer presents us with nothing that isn’t man-made,and strips the scene completely of the human life it has been built for (eventhe advertising billboard is blank). The result is, in our view, a comment on the futility of our existence, and elevates above simply a pretty image into something much more interesting”.

Patrick di Nola (Head of Reportage at Getty Images andCo-Founder and Director of Verbatim Agency)

"Emmanuel shows a mastery inframing – each element of the image is perfectly weighted to produce a balanced,assured composition. Paired with muted tones it makes for an aesthetically richimage. The blandness becomes vivid.
There’s also something in its subject matter – it conjures thoughts of our needto tame the harshest of environments; to build walls and contain nature intoneat pockets. It’s bleak in its emptiness. A suburban scene, sculpted by man,but completely uninhabitable.

Hannah Friezer"(Executive Director of the Center for Photography at Woodstock).

“One aspect I have always cherished about photography is the way some artists surprise us and broaden our perspectives. These artists make us see in new ways, and their images usually hit quite hard. Our gut reaction is immediate, though figuring out why or what might not be so simple. Emmanuel Monzon  is on a path of his own. We imagine him walking the streets in quiet solitude. He observes, peeks around corners and stops in fascination at the most unusual, even banal places. His sense of discovery is infectious. And so we perceive the magic he creates from little more than gray concrete and blue sky as a new revelation. Every door, car or tree is seen in a new way within his mastery of composition and framing. The mystery of a doorway radiating with warm light from within suddenly becomes irresistible. A randomly parked car seems to anchor the world. As we follow along with him past block after block, we can only beg to please keep walking.”


Dreamy minimalist photography of an empty America by Emmanuel Monzon

In his minimalist series Urban Sprawl, award-winning Seattle photographer and visual artist Emmanuel Monzon loves to focus on manmade landscapes that are completely devoid of life. Quiet street corners, dusty endless roads and empty streets with blinking traffic lights – these all form the backdrop to his ongoing fascination with an empty America.

His photography is never re-touched, nor artificially built with sets or lights. They are "glimpses of life in absence of life" - as defined by Mauro Piredda, curator of a new exhibition at Private View Gallery in Turin. Roads, buildings, landscapes, the repetition of subjects always captured in a moment of void and emptiness, transforming the settings of his photos from physical spaces to mental dimensions. His work is simple and evokes feelings of loneliness yet is also so appealing. You can discover more on Instagram.

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All images courtesy of Private View Gallery and © Emmanuel Monzon

Gallery PRIVATEVIEW, Turin


Gallery Charbon Art Space, Hong Kong

Gallery: PRIVATEVIEW, Turin

Gallery: PRIVATEVIEW, Turin

Press Release Gallery Charbon:  ART FAIR ASIA 2018

The work of Emmanuel Monzon focuses primarily on the idea of urban sprawling and the expansion of its periphery. Monzon photographs banality as though it were a Romantic painting, trying only to be “stronger than this big nothing” in controlling the space by framing the subject. His aesthetic of the banal obeys its own rules : a ban on living objects , a precise geometrical organization , and the revelation of a specific physical and mental landscape blurring the lines between city and suburb, between suburb and countryside, a process that results in an independent identity. Monzon thematically consistent work highlights things that make their surroundings appear quite empty and soulless. An unnerving set of social observations. Yet the tenderness of his colouring softens the quite harsh social comment his images tend to deliver. There is an absolute stillness in the images : nothing moves, not even time. Monzon grasps what is simple, and that is difficult.
Emptiness, absence, lack of a meaningful world : subjects are not inherently expressive yet they convey a deep sense of grief over the loss of meaning. Time has come to a stop. The absence of shadows and the pinkish grey mist often give a strong and disturbing impression of dream. Does these places really exist ? The reflection redeems and heals the wounds a mindless world inflicts on reality, and transforms an unstructured and empty present into a bearable memory.

Publication: Featureshoot Magazine: A Photographic Duet of Flesh & Spirit, Earth & Animal

...In the photographs of Antoine D’Agata, the very fabric of the flesh becomes a radiant field of energy, at once murky and diaphanous as though we might dissolve and disintegrate into our spiritual essence for a taste of eternity. In D’agata, we feel an insistent intensity, the impassioned whisper of a wordless truth that knows that pain and pleasure exist like the ouroburo, a snake eating its tail.

In counterpoint is the work of Emmanuel Monzon, which takes us to the very edges of urban sprawl. Here solidity reigns supreme, as “progress” eats its way into the landscape, ignoring the perils of climate change. In Monzon’s work, the see the last moments of the natural landscape, before the earth as it stood for millions of years is desecrated by our limitless desire for expansion. Monzon captures the banality of it all, the essential ugliness of the unstoppable development of the earth.

The soft, beige light of Monzon’s work reads like a sedative, a seductive little pill that lulls us into a false sense of entitlement as it alienates us from our true selves. Here, in this perfectly plastic world of picture perfect harmony, D’agata’s photographs acquire a new layer of depth as we consider his choice of subjects — people who could not go along with illusions we assert in the name of “normalcy.”...

 Exhibition: ENTER THE VOID- Gallery Charbon Art Space- HK

"Trained as a painter,Emmanuel Monzon is mindful of the grey texture of his photographs. His empty landscapes reflect his attachment to forms and colours, giving them space to beheard. To me, the series exhibited at Charbon art Space echoes both the human loneliness and the power of things against a lost American backdrop. This shadow looks like a calm rain of grey while one can hear the rustling leaves of the tree…" Caroline Ha Thuc

Specialized in Asian contemporary art, she contributes to different magazines such as ArtPress in France and Pipeline/Am Post in Hong Kong.


French visual artist Emmanuel Monzon explores urban sprawl in his first solo exhibition in Hong Kong. Called “Enter the Void”, the show, at Charbon art space from February 25 until March 25, focuses on the US city of Seattle where Monzon is based. The images, both bleak and beautiful, depict a perfect balance of photographic composition paired with muted tones. “This aesthetic of the emptiness in my photographic work attempts to understand our current environment – can it be one of de-civilisation,” asks Monzon, a graduate of the prestigious Académie des Beaux-Arts in Paris. Monzon focuses primarily on the idea of urban sprawling and urban expansion. Kylie Knott


Good photos are worthy of recognition, and for good reason. Seattle-based photographer Emmanuel Monzon takes us through his perspective of his hometown’s urban sprawl, through fifteen stunning photographs. Masterfully composed and matched with near monochromatic tones, Monzon’s photos piece together a phenomenon that we see but do not observe. The rapid urban development in one of North America’s busiest cities is a sight to behold, and more so under Monzon’s expert curation. The artworks from Monzon’s upcoming ‘Enter the Void’exhibition follow a stylistic rule that gives the end result an appreciable personal touch. Wiped clean from the canvas are living things and bright colors, as one would expect from a fast growing urban city. Instead Monzon’s photos keep a keen focus on geometric composition, granting more attention to the emptiness of removed grasslands than it does to the vibrancy of concrete landscapes. Deliberately composed, cropped, and framed, Monzon’s unique presentation turns the urban landscape that we see, cross, and live in, into a romantic painting worthy of awe and appreciation.


Press Release:

by Cary Benbow

The work of Emmanuel Monzon embodies an approach of capturing the aesthetic of the banal, and grasping the everyday scene in such a way as to render it both an image and a screen for the projection of wishes and fantasies in the intermediate zone between urban and rural America. The uneasy emptiness found there results in an independent identity.

Monzon’s work falls into a space bordered traditionally and contemporarily by Giorgio de Chirico, Edward Hopper, Richard Misrach, and Michael Kenna. Formal aspects of Monzon’s images echo aspects of rendering the inanimate and the animate in a play of light and shadow, forms and patterns. Monzon’s animate elements are blatantly absent, but nonetheless, this deliberate strategy is hauntingly reminiscent of their cropping, use of foreground and concentration on visual elements which Monzon uses to make a comment on urban sprawl, and the twenty-first century tension experienced between occupied and unoccupied spaces. Kenna and Misrach both deal with the subject of landscape and explore the effects of human interaction and isolation. Their visions are achieved through long exposures, or expansive vistas, but Monzon chooses to take the baton of simplicity and clarity, and drive away with it. His automotive wanderings spur meaningful photographs in his response to the land. His quiet studies of shape, form, pattern, signage and landscape are a respite amidst the uneasy ‘non-places’, which he associates to the expansion of the urban or industrial landscape in the American natural landscape.

Monzon chose to photograph the in-between state found in the American landscape. He captures places of transition. A visual segue which gives the traveller an enigma. The limbo caught by his lens holds the viewer in check, and begs the question: am I leaving someplace or entering another? The disconcerting environment inspires him. The emptiness in both the urban landscape, and in the great American spaces. He mixes two approaches: The codes of the new topographics and the concept of ‘in-between two states’ as inspired by the anthropologist Marc Auge. These transitional non-places are like intersections or passages from one world to another, such as going from a residential area to an industrial area. Monzon includes views of tourist locations which are altered by human influence. We often find a feeling of emptiness, of visual paradox when encountering these spaces when traveling throughout the United States. By displaying structures humans built to serve their own needs, but in a rare state of absolute idleness, he creates a disconcerting environment. The visual irony of the significant impact of people upon their surrounding environment, and their notable absence in his images results in an eerie, surreal tension that stops viewers in their tracks. 


Cary Benbow is a writer and regular contributor to F-Stop Magazine and several other photography publications, including Lensculture.YIELD Magazine.

Web site: Wobneb Magazine (An online magazine featuring contemporary photography)

Gallery RKG, Toronto, Canada

Gallery RKG, Toronto, Canada

Gallery RKG, Toronto, Canada

PAYNE GALLERY: Magical Seeing

Photography: Karen Commings, Kathleen Gerber, Emmanuel Monzon, Thomas Maher, Lori Nix
Luke Wynne - Curator

The group of photographers, Tom Maher, Emmanuel Monzon, Karen Commings, Lori Nix & Kathleen Gerber explore different aspects of the world in the viewfinder. These five artists give us different landscapes, cityscapes and dreamscapes to challenge and delight us. It is their use of Magical Seeing which offers viewers a rich tapestry to engage. Tom Maher has endeavored to use his lens to isolate and memorialize slices of the visual landscape. Emmanuel Monzon chooses man-made landscapes and a cool color palette to deliver un-peopled dream-like vistas. Karen Commings chooses to weave her work in the blackness of night as she points her lens at the nightscapes of Harrisburg, PA. The team of Lori Nix & Kathleen Gerber build elaborate dystopian tableaus, which they photograph, to comment on modern-day society. 
These photographers employ the process of lens and camera to pick and choose what and how their worlds are seen. It is a view that we may have walked by but did not see. It is a view that is daring and provocative. It is a view worth investigation. It is “magical seeing”.

Curator: Luke Wynne

Emmanuel Monzon has given us a series of modern, man-made landscapes presented without people and rendered in a private palette of subdued and languid colors. Monzon's images present Magical Seeing in its most raw and powerful configuration. His is a distillation of The New Topographics of the 1970's. The images reveal a dreamscape of everyday moments. A stop sign in Monument Valley; a green traffic light standing next to cacti strangled by pavement; a Brontosaurus towering over a fast food restaurant - these are some of the magical moments that Monzon casually tosses at the viewer. What to make of these unpeopled places that appear to have a different temperature and pace? One can only marvel and wonder what transoires in such a magical


Klompching Gallery


The LensCulture Winter Print Show presents an exhibition of 20 international photographers. Each of the photographs chosen shows us a unique perspective of the world, while the conversation across the visual approaches offers us an intense, tantalizing slice of the diversity of contemporary photography.

89 Water Street Brooklyn, NY 11201

The Klompching Gallery was established in Dumbo, Brooklyn in September 2007. The gallery specializes in the exhibition and sale of contemporary photographs. It represents and international roster of artists, including emerging through established.

Using Format