Born and raised in Naples, it’s not hard to see why Fabio Monk grew up wanting to become a photographer and filmmaker. It would almost be a crime to not want to capture the city’s raw and unfiltered character.
Since he can remember, Fabio would spend his days wandering the streets, watching people going about their daily lives. With camera in hand, he would see street vendors, artists, musicians, and people engaged in animated conversations. The streets of Naples for him remain an open theatre where the daily drama of life unfolds.
Fabio’s work as a photographer takes you slap-bang into the authentic, bustling, vibrant, and historical streets of Naples. In amongst all its rawness, he also captures the dramatic beauty of the Bay of Naples, and its azure waters, a place where friends and families spend endless summers jumping from rocks into its heavenly blue arms. It’s where you can see people laying back, relaxing, thinking of days gone by and days to come as the beating sun in the cerulean sky shines down.
The true beauty of Naples lies in its realness, and Fabio shoots the Neapolitan madness with brutality and accuracy and brings it to life in such a way it’s almost impossible not to fall in love with each image.
“My love for photography and video comes from when I was a child, I always had a camera in my hands,” Fabio tells us. “I loved to film my family and have those memories and to look at them in the future, and see all the changes.”
Fabio’s work is dynamic and he also describes it as being unique, “So much of my work is about being creative, and of course a lot of it is to do with being in the right place at the right time to capture that something different.”
If ever Fabio was in the right place at the right time it was on April 4th of this year, as Napoli lifted their historic 3rd Serie A title. After 33 years of hurt, the city of Naples came together in celebration and it’s a memory that still makes Fabio smile as he thinks back to that famous night.
“I’m a big fan of football, and particularly of Naples since I was a child. It was a magical moment and being able to tell it through my shots made me proud and it is something that I will never forget.”
A fuse was lit on a night of ecstasy that will live long in the memory, and Fabio was there for it all, with the camera in hand, just like he was when he would first walked the streets as a child. He saw couples and loved ones embracing, blue flares illuminating the city, flags and scarves raised high and proud as the cry of ‘Napoli, Campioni D’Italia’ echoed throughout the night. It was a moment in time that transcended the sport, as the whole world seemed to share in the joy of the indomitable spirit of the Neapolitan people.
Fabio’s style of photography represents a departure from what people would perhaps describe as traditional photographic conventions and embraces a more experimental and innovative approach, something which makes it so unique. “I’d say I’m inspired by the likes of American New Wave photography and take influence from Detroit-based photographer, Vuhlandes.”
His work has been gaining notoriety across social media, where his stunning images of Naples have captured the imagination of so many, including Italian artist Sfera Ebbasta, whom Fabio recently worked with on a campaign. “At the start of the year, I’d never expected to shoot famous Italian artists that I listen to every day.”
His work has also seen him launch a t-shirt collaboration with bootleg heroes, ‘Retro Football Gang.’ “We started to follow each other on Instagram, and we talked and agreed to show the city through my shots and his tee, including the wonderful and unique characters that define my city.”
When Fabio isn’t working or editing, he enjoys spending his time visiting museums, drinking in the culture of his city, walking its many streets and being with the people he loves, and as he reflects on the year so far he smiles. “It’s been an adventure. To shoot famous Italian artists that I listen to every day, or have my shots of Napoli winning the Scudetto included in two books is beyond what I could have ever expected.” He looks up and thinks for a moment, “And also you know, to be answering questions like this for interviews. These have exceeded all my goals. It makes all hard work worthwhile. The rewarding aspect of my job is getting appreciation for my photographic style and immortalising the moments that I see.”
With thanks to the absolute gentleman that is Fabio Monk.
All images by Fabio Monk