San Rafael, CA
"The Larger Narrative," by Rebecca Saito ~~ Going through a stack of Mike Mundy’s photos can be somewhat disconcerting. Some of them are color, some are black and white. One’s first impression is that Mike has never been interested in cultivating a distinctive photographic style. This is, in fact, true, since Mike thinks of his photographs as primarily objects. Photographs, no matter how archival the materials may be, are inherently ephemeral in nature, so he’s come to consider his art as falling into the same category as ikebana—the Japanese art of flower arranging. ~~ And as far as an Artist’s Statement goes, Mike himself refuses to commit to paper any kind of aesthetic philosophy; he has a collection of hilariously pretentious Artists’ Statements that he likes to make fun of. ~~ Well, although it might seem presumptuous of me, here’s my own personal (quick) take: In fact, Mike does have a distinctive style in which all of his work can be seen to gradually form part of a greater, unseen whole. All his myriad subjects—the billboards and blossoms, grazing cows and granite mountainsides—are all perfectly co-existent. And all are, or could become, part of the infinite sum of particular things—the larger narrative—that encompasses and defines the photographs of Michael Mundy.
Mike Mundy lives in the small Northern California town of Fairfax. His photographs have been used in limited editions accompanying the works of Robinson Jeffers, Gary Snyder, Ursula LeGuin and other writers. His photographs are in the collections of the Library of Congress, the Bancroft Library at the University of California, Berkeley and the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center at the University of Texas at Austin, among others.