MonicaMenez – A Fashion-Lovestory

Students who are excitingly licking the tables in the lecture hall, arichly decorated Christmas tree as an object of sexual desire, afemale secretary with a catlike way of life – Monica Menez stagesfashion in a way which goes far beyond the mere presentation ofpretty models in splendid clothing.

She may be working on a fashion film or a photo series: the approachof this photographer and maker of fashion films, born in Stuttgart(Germany), is unconventional and unique in the world of fashion. Shebases all scenes on short stories, taking things literally, shethrashes out metaphors and thus subtly uncovers absurd ambiguities.The thus created images are aesthetic, humorous, and not seldomerotic. Menez takes scenes from everyday life and modifies them: sheplaces the well-known into strange contexts, or she peppers commonscenes with surreal elements. Her images are multi-layered, obsessedwith detail, but never cluttered – each element of the respectiveimage has its own task, the observer becomes a discoverer.

However, with all those imaginative sceneries one thing never getsout of focus: fashion, which always plays the leading role withMonica Menez´s work. Quite on the contrary: It is precisely thecombination of pointedly told stories and fashion by way of whichMonica Menez makes fashion the real Star.

In her photo series “Torture”, for example, the models interactwith cactuses, the photos are clearly inspired by bondage and fetish.However, the models are not at all at the cactuses mercy, ratherMonica Menez establishes a sexually uploaded atmosphere between themodels, fashion, and these prickled plants. No less sexually uploadedis the photo series “The Woman That Fell in Love”: there, a womantakes Christmas as the “celebration of love” literally, andwithout further ado changes the richly decorated Christmas tree intoan object of sexual desire.

Also in her fashion films Monica Menez combines everyday matters withelements of the grotesque. The interplay of fashion, music and motifsbecomes total artwork, whose scenes are humorous, surprising,exciting, sexy and absurd all at the same time – including arcs ofsuspense, for the grotesque situations are resolved only at the endof the film. In “Odditory”, for example, the viewer is told whyslapping raw cutlets against each other is an essential part of alecture, in “Precious” pizza-making becomes a surreal-erotic act,and in “Hors d´Oeuvre” a woman is portrayed for three episodesfrom her rather unique everyday life.

We understand from Monica Menez´s varied work that, apart from herown, individual visual language, she is inspired by a variety of mostdifferent cultural aspects – such as surreal-humorous films likeJohn Waters´s “Polyester”, style-defining fashion photographiesfrom the 1950s and 1960s, and current art. All this – and much more– is included into Menez´s work and is developed further.

Monica Menez has developed her keen instinct for the perfect sceneryover many years. At the age of 24 she started a term of practicalwork as a fashion photographer, to then work as a press photographerfor several years. During these years she came increasingly in touchwith the world of fashion. After first fashion series for differentmagazines and growing demand from fashion labels, finally in 2002there was the decision to work mainly as a fashion photographer. Shediscovered her love of the fashion film rather coincidentally, as shetells: “I was working on my photo project `Precious´. After oneand a half year of intensive work and countless photo shootings Irealized that by way of photographic means I´m not able to deliverthe story I wanted to tell. However, as I wanted to conclude theproject, I started filming the scenes. This way it was easier to tellthe stories. Then I liked the result so much, that since then I havebeen going on with this way of working.”

Monica Menez is a member of  ART DIRECTORS CLUB GERMANY   

and  BFF


2001 solo exhibition "sell out", Rotebühlbau, Stuttgart

2004 group exhibition at Dialekt e.V., Stuttgart

2005 group exhibition "Niveart", Galerie Ravenstein, Brüssel

2005 group exhibition "Best of BFF", Beijing, China

2006 solo exhibition "Pattern", Kulturdirektion dialekt e.V.,Stuttgart

2007 solo exhibition “Curtains up for Electric Ladyland! “, UNOArtspace,Stuttgart

2007 Pulse Art Fair / Art Basel(Miami)

2008 solo exhibition “Nouveaux mode optique”, Mousonturm, Frankfurt

2008 Darmstädter Tage der Fotografie 2008 (main exhibition)

2008 group exhibition Photo Espana

2010 group exhibition Fokus Frau - multimediale Portraits Fachhochschule Dortmund

2010 group exhibition Elbvenus Zanderkasten (Dresden)

2011 group exhibition Festival International De La Photographie De Mode (Cannes)

2011 group exhibition COZY UP! Berlin

2012 group exhibition Mode Vision (Russia) 

2013 PLOT Magazin Stuttgart  "Monica Menez - Hors Dòeuvre Filmstills"

2013 group exhibition Hibyeing Stuttgart  "Monica Menez - ODDITORY Filmstills"

2014 group exhibition  Fumes and Perfumes Stuttgart  "Monica Menez - Hors Dóeuvre Filmstills"

2015 Gosee Award / Update Berlin "Public Voting Award" für das Editorial "Aaarrghh"

Awards Photography:

2003 Canon Profashional Photo Award

2004 Canon Profashional Photo Award

2005 Canon Profashional Photo Award: second place

2007 "Geschossen und Gedruckt" Seltmann prize for advertising

photography:first place

2007 "BFF Jahrbuch Award“: silver

2010 Internationaler Kodak Fotokalenderpreis for "Was Wäre Wenn?"

Awards Fashion Film:

2011 LJFFF La Jolla Fashion Film Festival (USA) Award "Most Creative Concept" for PRECIOUS
2012 ASVOFF  A Shaded View Of Fashion Film (France)  Award " Best Art Direction" for HORS DÃ’EUVRE
2013 BFFF Berlin Fashion Film Festival (Germany) Award " Best Fashion Film 2013"  for ODDITORY
2013 MFFF Madrid Fashion Film Festival (Spain) Award " Best Fashion Film International 2013"  for HORS DÃ’EUVRE
2013 MFFF Madrid Fashion Film Festival  (Spain) Award " Best Art Direction 2013" for HORS DÃ’EUVRE
2014 ASVOFF  A Shaded View Of Fashion Film ( France) Award " Best Art Direction" for THE JOURNEY
2015 MIAFF Miami Fashion Film Festival (USA) "Best Fashion Film Audience Award","Best Cinematography" and "Best Hair" for THE JOURNEY

Nominations and Selections Fashion Film:

2012 IShorts Festival (Praha) PRECIOUS
2013 Festival Internation Des Tres Courts (France) Selection PRECIOUS
2013 Festival International Des Tres Courts (France) Selection HORS DÃ’EUVRE
2013 Fashion Film Day Istanbul Selection HORS DÃ’EUVRE
2013 New York Fashion Film Festival Selection  HORS DÃ’EUVRE
2013 Mode Biennale Arnhem Selection HORS DÃ’EUVRE
2013 Fahion Workshop Athens (curated by Filep Motwary" Selection HORS DÃ’EUVRE
2013 Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Russia Selection HORS DÃ’EUVRE
2013 Madrid Fashion Film Festival Selection PRECIOUS
2013 Madrid Fashion Film Festival Selection ODDITORY
2013 International Fashion Film Awards (USA) Nomination "Best Creative Concept", "Best Hair", "Best Fashion"  for ODDITORY
2014 New York Fashion Film Festival Selection  ODDITORY
2014 T Magazin (New YorkTimes) Selection HORS DÃ’EUVRE
2014 Moving Silence Freilichtbühne Weissensee Selection HORS DÒEUVRE
2014 Fashion Film Festival Lodz (Fashionweek Poland) Selection HORS DÃ’EUVRE
2014 Fashion Film Festival Lodz (Fashionweek Poland) Selection ODDITORY
2014 Fashion Film Festival San Sebastian Selection HORS DÃ’EUVRE
2014 Fashion Film Festival San Sebastian Selection ODDITORY
2014 Runaway Cinema Gibraltar Selection HORS DÃ’EUVRE
2015 Short Shorts Film Festival Asia Selection  HORS DÃ’EUVRE
2015 Short Shorts Film Festival Asisa Selection ODDITORY
2015 Berlin Fashion Film Festival  Nomination " Best Idea" and "Best Use Of Fashion" for THE JOURNEY
2015 Miami Fashion Film Award
2015 BAFTA Qualifying Aesthetica Short Film Festival (ASFF)  Selection HORS DÓEUVRE  and THE JOURNEY


2007 BFF Kongress Berlin 

2008 Bauhaus Akademie Weimar    Vortrag und Workshop "Modefotografie & Inszenierung"

2010 Forum für Fotografie Frankfurt  Sommerakademie  Workshop

2010 Museum für Angewannte Kunst Frankfurt Vortrag " The Amorous Adventures Of Mr. Cheese"

2012 Hochschule Rhein Main Fachbereich Design Vortrag "Modefotografie"

2013 FH Dortmund Vortrag "Fotografie und Fashionfilm"

2014 Uni Stuttgart Fachbereich Architektur Vortrag "Fotografie und Fashionfilm"


2010 Fachhochschule Darmstadt Sommersemester " Inszenierte Modefotografie"