AmericaB&WStoryThe human condition; Of Sorrow and Quiet Discontent by Robert Bonk

Ten photographs, each independent of the other gathered together into a ongoing series, explore small yet unsettling and familiar dramas of loss and isolation.

Bob Dylan sings, “I know it looks like I’m moving but I’m standing still.”

These are difficult times.

Ten photographs, each independent of the other gathered together into a ongoing series, explore small yet unsettling and familiar dramas of loss and isolation. Their collective pathos reveals the fabric of the human condition which, in turn, provokes these questions, “Where are we going? What’s to become of us? How did we end up here?”

Here are other questions.

The image “Ayudame Porfavor” is a photograph of a tiny man in a tiny crate (with wheels and a box with a slit atop for charity) in the middle of a large plaza with people in the distance; he, with his small hand gripping a tambourine, ignored and alone. How did he get there? Did a family member bring him? Were they sad to have left him alone or relieved to be free of the burden? What to make of this tiny man with his tambourine encaged in a tiny crate? This photograph conjures up many questions.

Who is this ‘Old Man in the Window’? Was this image photographed during the pandemic? When will our pandemic end?

What sort of future does the “Man Picking Weeds” hold? What sorrow compels a woman to prostrate herself at an altar, beseeching God for answers? What of the boy standing, stupor-like, against a rock wall? In which direction will “Timothy”, a homeless man, turn?

Mr Bonk was born in Charlotte, North Carolina in 1955. Soon after, his family moved to a subdivision on a lake outside of Jacksonville, Florida. The lake teemed with aligators and water moccasins. Trophies of marlin and swordfish were displayed on neighbor’s walls. Spanish moss hung from pine trees. It was a wild, viceral and poetic environment; one which formed his curiosity to explore other farflung places and people.

After graduating in 1977 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in painting from the University of Georgia, he moved to New York City to pursue a career in painting. In 1990 he moved to Los Angeles where he worked as a location scout for the film industry. Recently retired, he currently lives outside of Los Angeles. [Official Website]

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