Tampa native and graduate from the Southeast Center for Photographic Studies at Daytona State College Clarissa Bonet ’08 returns as the featured artist for the biennial alumni photography exhibition, Urban Constructs at the Southeast Museum of Photography. Bonet completed the 2+2 B.S. in Photography program at Daytona State College and the University of Central Florida before moving to Chicago and enrolling at Columbia College. While working toward her MFA in photography, Bonet gained the attention of Catherine Edelman, one of Chicago’s renowned art dealers who eventually came to represent her work at Catherine Edelman Gallery.
Bonet has exhibited her photographs in solo and group exhibitions for over a decade, and her work has been acquired by the Museum of Contemporary Photography and the Haggerty Museum. Bonet was recently featured at the Edelman Gallery booth at Art Basel Miami.
“Stark light, deep shadow, and muted color are visual strategies I explore to describe the city. I use the street as a stage and transform the physical space into a psychological one. The images I create do not represent a commonality of experience but instead, provide a personal interpretation of the urban landscape. I am motivated to communicate my experience of the city via the constructed image. For me, it speaks in a way that street photography does not.”
– Clarissa Bonet ’08 (Excerpt from The Photographic Alphabet: B is for Clarissa Bonet, Musee Magazine)
Urban Constructs bring two of Bonet’s portfolios to the Southeast Museum of Photography. City Space is a photographic series where Bonet recreates moments she has witnessed while walking through downtown Chicago. In the shadows of skyscrapers, a young woman accidentally spills her groceries across the sidewalk. People gathering in a small plaza during their break but not mingling. Strangers passing on the stairs to the train. As a Tampa native, this extreme urban environment and the pace of life in the city were new frontiers for Bonet to explore.
The second portfolio, Stray Light, are images that Bonet crafted from photographs of the night sky in Chicago. In these images, Bonet turns her camera to the buildings of the cityscape and dissolves the surface to emphasize the light emanating from the windows. These lights indicate the life inside these building, but they also resemble the points of light in constellations.
The exhibition runs July 16 – Sept. 30, 2019 at the Southeast Museum of Photography located in Daytona Beach. An artist talk and reception with Clarissa Bonet ’08 will occur on Thursday, Sept. 12, 2019 at 5 p.m. For more information, visit the Southeast Museum of Photography website.
More about Clarissa Bonet:
Clarissa Bonet is an artist based in Chicago whose work explores issues of the urban space in both a physical and psychological context. She holds an MFA in Photography from Columbia College Chicago, a BS in Photography from the University of Central Florida, and an AS in Photography from Daytona State College.
Bonet’s work has been exhibited at the Bauhaus Archive in Berlin, Museum of Contemporary Photography, Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, Aperture Foundation, Magenta Foundation, and Catherine Edelman Gallery.
Her work has been published in The Guardian, The Wall Street Journal, CNN Photo, Chicago Magazine, Harpers Bizarre, Juxtapoz, Aint-Bad, The Eye of Photography, Photo District News, and many other publications both nationally and internationally.
Bonet’s photographs are in the permanent collections of the Museum of Contemporary Photography, University of Michigan Museum of Art, Southeast Museum of Photography, Haggerty Museum of Art, University Club Chicago, and the JPMorgan Chase Art Collection.
View more of her work here.