Billy Monk

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  • New
  • Hardcover, Foreward by David Goldblatt
  • Published by Dewi Lewis Publishing, 2011

Billy Monk worked as a bouncer in the notorious Catacombs club in the dock area of Cape Town, South Africa, during the 1960s. He originally began taking pictures in the club with the intention of selling the photographs to the customers - the people he was photographing. His aim was not to make a social statement, but his money-making scheme quickly turned into something else as he increasingly captured the raw energy of the club, its decadence and tragedy, its humanity and joy. Monk stopped photographing at the club in 1969.

Ten years later his contact sheets and negatives were discovered and in 1982 the work was exhibited at the Market Gallery in Johannesburg. Monk could not make the opening and two weeks later, en route to seeing the show, he became involved in an argument. A fight broke out, Monk was fatally shot in the chest and never saw his work exhibited. Listed in Parr/Badger vol 3.

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