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Pat Monaco
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 and 1980s.

"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

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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.


Press Release

Buddy Guy at the Checkerboard Lounge 1983
© Pat Monaco

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