PIERRE-YVES MONNERVILLE WAS BORN IN PARIS BUT SPENT HIS YOUTH BETWEEN MARTINIQUE AND PARIS. YOU’D THINK THAT WOULD BE EXOTIC ENOUGH BUT PIERRE-YVES ALWAYS FELT THE URGE TO LIVE ABROAD AND SO HE MOVED TO BERLIN BUT EVENTUALLY SETTLES IN BRIGHTON, UK. NOT THE MOST COSMOPOLITAN CITY BUT THAT PROOFS ONLY THAT YOU DO NOT NEED TO LIVE IN A BIG METROPOLE TO DELIVER QUALITY ART.
When Pierre-Yves Monnerville was 15 years old he came across Mapplethorpe’s Black Book which got him hooked on photography for life. He is a big fan of Duane Michals, an American artist who often uses the technique of photo-sequences, and Jim French, a photographer also from the United States who, among others, was the creator of Colt Studios. And that pretty much explains Pierre-Yves quest to find out the difference between art and eroticism, if that even exists of course.
But what interest Pierre-Yves Monnerville most is representing the diversity of contemporary modern living and the changes in masculine imagery with regards to not just fashion but physical appearance as a whole. In other words, he is more interested in people’s feelings and love exploring what we have in common despite our superficial differences whether it’s loneliness, search for validation, love and companionship, etc. Hence the fact he always comes up with interesting photo essays, featuring equally interesting models.
One of Pierre-Yves favorite models of the moment is Ike. Ike is a personal trainer, a fact that, looking at his photos, probably doesn’t come as a big surprise. He originates from Serbia but is currently based in New York City. Ike has been through a lot of personal dealings but, according to Pierre-Yves, has kept his nice and warm personality. And thus, he makes the perfect model for Pierre-Yves Monnerville. He is one of those handsome guys who don't really understand why people keep asking him to model. Luckily he doesn’t mind being photographed and he’s not very shy either. What more to ask? It was the idea of the difference between Ike’s self-image and Pierre-Yves’ perception of him that gave him the idea to shoot Ike in front of a mirror. An excellent choice if you ask me. –BM-