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Super Symmetry Art!
Interview with Richard T Monk

by Sue Babcock

I find it fascinating that using a mirror changes my perception of what I'm looking at and how I feel about it. Is this true for you? How did you develop an interest in Mirror, or symmetry, art?

When I was a kid I used to listen to the CBS Radio Mystery Theatre nearly every night. I would lay in bed and imagine the stories as they played out in my head. There are many episodes I can recall that spoke of the use of mirrors, reflection and symmetry. And when David Copperfield made something disappear using mirrors, that captured my imagination as well.

I started working with mirrors and art after creating a number of Devils and Demons seemingly embedded in Renaissance Artworks. I have always seen these kinds of images in nature and I figured the Demons and Devils occurred naturally, or at least unintentionally, in the paintings. I was able to create images similar to the Demon and Devils images created from Renaissance artwork, only this time from random natural elements. As Dante says "Nature is the Art of God."

The term "liquid imagination" denotes imagination that liquefies, that fits the need of the moment, becoming exactly what is needed at that specific moment in time. Can you explain how creativity initially sparks for you? From the moment inspiration hits, to getting the image photograph , and finally working that photograph into a polished piece that makes you proud-how does it work for you?

Creating my images is purely an autonomous process. I clear my mind, decide on a theme, choose an image and go to work. I remember reading the stories of Carlos Castaneda and his Don Juan. Carlos describes our consciousness in two parts, the Nagual and the Tonal: the Waking and the Dream. I attempt to create a merge between both states of consciousness when creating art. Inspiration can happen any time or place.

I know from your website ( that you photograph a wide spectrum of subjects. What are you favorite? How do you select them?

I have no preference. I enjoy the process of creation. When I am finished I move on to the next piece. I strive in the honest pursuit of the Master Craftsman. My joy comes not from the finished product.

How many pictures do you take to get one that you consider artistically successful? How long of a process is the set up and photography symmetry art? Can you describe a typical process?

I generally 'see' the image in the original. I have been working to determine the best lighting and angles to produce consistant results. To date I have worked with over 60 types of images such as mountain ranges and forests to moving water, clouds animals and insects. I try to have a little fun with the insects by creating animal insect hybrids and imagining what planet they may have evolved. Most of my art is produced digitally which frees me of most technical responsibility allowing me to focus singularly.

What's next for you? What direction do you see yourself growing as an artist?

A book maybe. Time will tell...