by Jeffrey Niblack
As we eagerly anticipate the 2017.18 Liquid Music season announcement on June 13, we want to treat you to a sneak peak of artwork for the season, provided by GMUNK from his series "Inframunk vs. the Tracy Arm Fjord."
In beginning to search for a piece of art representative of the 2017.18 season, Liquid Music curator Kate Nordstrum began looking for photography that captured her vision of "liquid music" in nature: divided streams and tributaries finding each other, flowing together into a larger body of water. Finding such a piece of art was not as easy as anticipated, and Nordstrum went as far as to contact park rangers and conservationists for their ideas.
While researching the work of Twin Cities-based artist Michael Cina (who will be a featured visual artist in the upcoming season) she found work by London-based artist Bradley G. Munkowitz (known by the moniker GMUNK). GMUNK has been prolific in a wide variety of media including graphic design, photography, film, advertising, concert visuals and music videos.
GMUNK's series "Inframunk" utilizes filters and film for infrared photography. In 2016, on a family vacation to Alaska, he traveled to the Tracy Arm Fjord near Juneau, Alaska, knowing, as he says, that "the epic mountains, with their wet, foggy rock formations would look incredible in infrared." The resulting series of photographs of mountains, icebergs, and wildlife both enhance the natural beauty of the environment but create something otherworldly through high contrast images with psychedelic palettes. To him, though, the root of the success of the series has been the natural beauty of Alaska.
GMUNK first began to explore infrared photography while shooting a music video for the band Tycho, drawn to "all sorts of weird techniques to take advantage of the ultra-stylize palettes we could capture to tell a narrative." Since then, he has continued to make it an integral part of his photography, developing a technique that includes modifications to his cameras as well as techniques to process the picture in Adobe Lightroom. "I've been constantly shooting infrared because I love the world it puts me in." This summer, he is traveling to Iceland for a nine-day adventure with other photographers to work, including some infrared photography. "I'm also looking at new techniques and approaches to make my infrared photography even better. Of course I want to be a Jedi Master, but it takes time."
About the photograph chosen, Kate Nordstrum said "the work brought forth an emotional response in me – the infrared lighting creating the look of blood, flesh or fire; the winding, tricking streams mixing and contributing; and nature in its glory captured so starkly. I've been thinking a lot about land and water, arts and culture – our legacy, our lives' gifts – and how our work to protect and nurture these precious resources comes from the same heart. We yearn to see ourselves, each other and our world more clearly, unharmed, untamed, responsive to what is true and what promotes flourishing."
Nordstrum added, "There is much to be said for the trickling streams in the 2017.18 Liquid Music artwork, their struggle and their strength. I hope when followers of Liquid Music see the GMUNK photos throughout the season they will think about our Earth and all that it inspires."
Prints from GMUNK, including images from his Tracy Arm Fjord series, are available at http://www.cinaart.com/gmunk.
Stay tuned for the 2017.18 announcement this Tuesday, June 13. We look forward to hearing your thoughts!