The feeling of vast openness, the people that seem to care about nothing except for what is directly in front of them, the conversation between the people and the land or the passing of time are among the topics that attracted his attention.
Kovi Konowiecki (b. 1992) was born in Long Beach, California, and is currently based between Long Beach and Mexico City. He holds a BA in Media Communications from Wake Forest University and an MA in Photography from University of the Arts London. After playing professional soccer in Europe, he turned to photography as a way to document the things around him and shed light on different aspects of his identity. Kovi was selected to be a part for the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize in both 2016 and 2018, and was the first ever nominee to have two images shortlisted for the first place prize. He also also been featured and published on platforms such as British Journal of Photography, i-D and The Guardian, amongst many others. He was selected to be a Red Hook Labs Artist in 2018 and has exhibited his work in spaces such as ROSEGALLERY (Santa Monica, CA) and The National Portrait Gallery in London. In 2018, Kovi cofounded a small publication, Mula Press, to explore his love for book making and to publish personal projects and special artist editions. British Journal of Photography just edited his photobook Cherry Ave, that combines portraits and still lifes in a lyrical documentation of home. The photographs portray a particular area of Long Beach, California and the surrounding neighbourhood where Kovi grew up.
The Hawks Come Up Before The Sun
2019.05.04 > 2019.06.28
For his first solo exhibition in Europe, Kovi Konowiecki will show a selection of images (23) assembled from the series The Hawks Come Up Before the Sun and its second chapter, named Driftwood. Both series were taken in the same area -along a period of three years, between 2016 and 2018-, in the western side of the California desert. He was drawn back again and again to a place that captured him both for its vast openness and the way its dwellers live their life in communion with their land. Becoming specially close to those known as the “black eyes”.
As he explains in the introductory text of his first series “the right to capture the subjects in many of these photographs was given in exchange for a pack of cigarettes or a liter of soda from the local Country Mart liquor store”. When trying to understand this attraction, nothing better than his own words: “Perhaps it was the geography—the feeling of vast openness after all my city years. Or maybe it was the people that seem to care about nothing except for what is directly in front of them—the ability to fit every serious thing into so much less. Or maybe it was the conversation between the people and the land—how they spoke to each other about freedom and hope. It is a language that I waited too late in life to learn”.
In the second chapter, Driftwood, all shot in black and white, he continues depicting “people that, for the most part, live isolated lives that are guided by the legends of the glowing moon and the path of the fading sun”. The passing of time, the light, becomes thus an important subject of these images. The lyric nature of the work is complemented with two poems written by Konowiecki himself, that can be read when navigating through the exhibition.
If interested in buying any of the images of the exhibition, please contact us.