For over 20 years, British photographer Moni Haworth has been portraying the buzzing American youth. In her captivating work, she mainly focuses on the underground and unconventional aspects of growing up in the late 20th/early 21st century.
Moni Haworth, or monibelle, is fascinated by raw and obstinate aesthetics. Going under the pseudonym of Johnny’s Bird, her work is known for being provocative, sometimes controversial, or even offensive for some.
Displayed on her cult website Johnny’s Bird, her series of photos are genuinely intimate and personal. Whether she portrays bands backstage, musicians on stage, young couples outside, or girls in their bedroom, each series follows the same tendency. The style is elusive, eccentric, and daring, just like her subject matters.
If Haworth’s photographs are filled with rebellious teenagers and young adults essentially from North America, her series convey a universal truth and beauty about a particular moment in life.
Many of her series adopt a documentary approach, while others navigate towards storytelling or pure portraiture. Faces and bodies are captured in natural positions, often in a familiar environment, and her subjects become characters whose story starts to unfold in front of our eyes. We want to know where the tale will go, what’s going to happen to them, why, and how.
“When I started taking photos, I always wanted them to look like movie stills, so I tried to make scenes rather than stills.”
“And I would watch a lot of Twin Peaks and David Lynch movies for inspiration. Later on, I was pretty in love with all Sally Mann’s work so I used to try and get the same sort of vibe into what I was doing.”
“I can’t really put into words what I like about the people I want to photograph but I know it when I see it,” she told Konbini.
DJ in a strip club by night and stay-at-home mum by day, Moni Haworth regularly posts some of her photos on her Instagram account so you can get your daily dose.
Words: Pauline Schnoebelen
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