‘Life & Death Portraits’ opens at monOrchid Dec. 2

Sanpaku by Marilyn Szabo (submitted photo)

Sanpaku by Marilyn Szabo (submitted photo)

Phoenix-based Shade Projects is presenting a solo exhibition of Marilyn Szabo’s “Life & Death Portraits,” in Shade Gallery at the monOrchid.

The exhibition will showcase technically exquisite portraits taken over a 25 year period of various individuals both personally important and of prominent members in the community, according to a press release.

The photographs featured include Allen Ginsberg, Mohammed Ali, musician Ray Manzarek, poet Ntozake Shange, sculptor Klaus Ihlenfeld, and studio assistant to Harry Bertoia, as well as memoir photographs of Ms. Szabo’s mother and friends.

Her imagery captures her subject’s distinct personalities, as well as their defining characteristics. Through Ms. Szabo’s own power and artistry she is able to get her subjects to reveal something of themselves resulting in photographs that are striking and powerful, due to a strong collaboration between the photographer and sitter.

Ms. Szabo has created a distinct style of portraiture that is nothing short of iconic that is showcased in this exhibition, the release stated.

Ms. Szabo received her Bachelors of Arts from Virginia Commonwealth University in History. Wanting something “less academic” she began taking photography courses.

Since then she has exhibited both nationally and internationally, garnering numerous awards and grants. She has received a Phoenix Arts Commission Artist Project Award for portraits of the builders of Terminal Four, Sky Harbor Airport, a Phoenix Art Museum Artist material Grant, and from Phoenix Arts Commission an Artist Project Award for portraits of iconic Chicano artists.

She was awarded in 2010 by Alligator Juniper the National Photography Award.

Her work can be found in many public and private collections throughout the United States.

The monOrchid and Shade Projects curator, Nicole Royse will host the opening reception 6-10 p.m. on First Friday, Dec. 2.

The closing reception will take place 6-9 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 16, and the evening will offer an intimate event with the artist, Marilyn Szabo and Curator, Nicole Royse.

“Life & Death Portraits” will be on display in Shade Gallery at the monOrchid Dec. 2-26. Visit monorchid.com for more information.

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