Los Angeles - The sunlight fades and the twilight turns the city into an entrancing wonderland whose charm can disappear in the blink of an eye. With her project ‘Look At Me And Tell Me If You Have Known Me Before’, Los Angeles-based Dutch photographer Monica Nouwens dedicated herself to portraying the ambivalent appeal of one of the world’s largest cities.
Nouwens’ photos and videos portray the noir starkness of Los Angeles’ utopian dreams; its cityscapes in transition, on the verge of collapse or rejuvenation. Her contemporary flair reveals an optical unconsciousness through stunning images that provoke understanding of the relationships between real buildings, people and their urban environment. Within this urban organism she has always been fascinated by LA’s free, or at least non-marketable, subcultures that operate outside the standard economic structure.
For ‘Look at me…’ she focuses on underground youth, LA bohemia so to speak, a subculture of people who seem to have withdrawn from the dominant consumer culture, shaping a more personal, small-scale alternative.
Monica Nouwens studied at The Rijksakademie, Amsterdam and the California Institute for the Arts. She has had exhibitions at Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam, The Dutch Institute for Architecture and the Stedelijk Museum Helmond (NL). Her work is included in a number of prestigious collections such as Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, Salvatore Ferragamo, Florence, Levi’s, London and Prada - U.S.A Corp, New York.