Jean-Baptiste Mondino: Guitar Eros

2 June - 5 July 2006

M+B is pleased to present Guitar Eros, the first exhibition in the United States by Paris-based photographer and director Jean-Baptiste Mondino. In mesmerizing photographs, Mondino presents the guitar as the aphrodisiac, sex symbol and fetish of rock and pop, with players famous and unknown. The opening of the exhibit coincides with the release of his monograph by the same name, published by Schirmer/Mosel.

For the last twenty years, Mondino's wildly progressive photographs and videos have radically changed the strategies of the rock, pop and fashion industry, making him one of the most influential, admired and sought-after photographers of our time. Yet before he found himself behind the lens, Mondino's first passion was music, which he indulged while working as a DJ and composer. Despite his eventual change in path, music continues to be his favorite source for inspiration, and the electric guitar, his favorite instrument.

Ever since Picasso and Braque created their first guitar still lifes, this instrument has been the symbol for the mesmerizing combination of music, erotics and modernism. In GUITAR EROS, Mondino presents his guitar photographs created over the past twenty years as commissioned works or his own projects. They portray famous rock and pop musicians such as Keith Richards, Tom Waits and Madonna; models and celebrities with guitars; and numerous anonymous guitar players. However, despite the star power these photographs extol, the central subject and the undisputed hero of each is the guitar itself. GUITAR EROS is another testimony of Mondino's boundless ingenuity, imagination, black humor and bizarre erotic visions executed with the most exquisite visual and technical skill.

Jean-Baptiste Mondino was born in Aubervilliers, France in 1949, and currently resides in Paris. Today, his services are commissioned by the likes of Björk, Brian Ferry, Sting, David Bowie, Madonna, Jennifer Lopez, Tom Waits and Prince--as they are likewise by design gurus such as Philippe Starck or politicians such as Nelson Mandela, not to mention any number of art directors in the large ad agencies, editors-in-chief of numerous underground or glossy magazines and manufacturers of diverse brand-name articles such as Dior, Gautier, Nike and Calvin Klein. In addition to his photography, Mondino continues to be active with his film work for commercials and music videos.

Mondino has exhibited at public galleries internationally, including at the Maison Européene de la Photographie (MEP), Paris; Corkin Shopland Gallery, Toronto; 798 Space, Beijing; and Haus der Photographie/Deichtorhallen, Hamburg. In addition to the release of the monograph Guitar Eros, Schirmer/Mosel has published two previous monographs of Mondino's work: Two Much (2005) and Déjà vu (1999). This is his first exhibition in the United States.