As a photographer, Pat Monaco explores the Blues, the people,
and the places associated with the Blues, both emotionally and
subjectively through the medium of documentary photography. Her
relationship with the Blues began well before she ever picked up
a camera. She listened to the Blues in high school, bought
records at Reeds Records in Oakland and listened to KWBR the
local R&B radio station. Concerts in the Bay Area was (and still
is) a great way to get exposed to the Blues greats. Pat saw
Lightnin' Hopkins, Muddy Waters, Big Mama Thornton, BB King and
many more. When Monaco began to study photography seriously she
chose the Blues as her subject. Traveling Highway 61 from
Mississippi to Chicago and West Oakland from Eli's Mile High
Club to Deluxe Inn she expanded her passion for the Blues as she
came to know the community and the dynamic scene of the 1970s
"Documentary photography," says Monaco, "is a means to raise
awareness. It's a format for understanding people and culture."
Pat Monaco's silver gelatin photographs bring the viewer into an
exciting, exotic (yet somehow familiar) world, framing moments,
faces and places in an intimate bond of involvement. Shot on
film and printed in silver gelatin, this work is also a book,
The Blues Ain't Nothin'.... The framed photographs and unframed
pigment ink reproductions and the book are all available for
sale. Ten percent of the sale of these works will be donated as
a benefit for the
Oakland Blues Walk of Fame.
Rum in the Morning © Pat Monaco
June 9 to August 18, 2012
Patricia Monaco grew up in
Walnut Creek, California and now lives in Oakland.
She studied Anthropology and received a BA degree
from UC Berkeley.
After two trips by road
through the Middle East to India in the 1960s and
1970s she decided to study photography. In 1984 she
received a grant from the National Endowment for the
Visual Arts for her images of the blues in Oakland
and the Mississippi delta.
With the grant she went to
Peshawar, Pakistan to go into Afghanistan to
photograph the war against the Soviets.
Since 1984 she has been
documenting the Afghan people and their struggle.
Patricia has exhibited in many
shows, including the Dallas Museum of Art and the
Oakland Museum Collectors Gallery.
Buddy Guy at the Checkerboard Lounge 1983
archive of past exhibits
how to submit a portfolio
hours and directions