Monique Atherton

Not Nice Pictures


Three years ago, shortly after moving to New Haven, I met C. at an estate sale she had advertised through craigslist. Within a few months of our meeting, she convinced me to move into the vacant house next to hers. The house, which was (is) in disrepair, is situated just off the freeway in West Haven and is across from a cemetery. It is in a not so great part of town but I love living here because it provides me with daily inspiration and photographic opportunities. Living here and getting to know the people in my neighborhood has really made me think a lot about the idea of home and community. "Not Nice Pictures" is a collection of photographs made over the last three years and explores my relationship to this place that I now call home. 

Monique Atherton uses her camera to depict intense personal moments created by means of rules and omissions, acceptance and refusal, luring the viewer into the the various microcosmic states in which she exists. Her ambiguous narratives uncover unspoken desires, tensions and passions that reside on a subconscious level among the people in the images as well as between herself and her subjects.  

Atherton was born in Japan and currently lives and works in West Haven, CT. Atherton has exhibited in Washington, DC, San Francisco, New Haven and New York. She has been an artist-in-residence at the Wassaic Project. She has a post-baccalaureate degree in photography from the San Francisco Art Institute and is currently an MFA candidate in photography at the Yale School of Art. 

You can see more of her work on her website.