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Monika Merva
The City of Children

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Monika Merva, Sirens, Lambda Print, 2004.

Artist Statement
The City of Children is an extensive document of a government-run housing program for runaways and at-risk teens. The official name is the Károlyi István Gyermekkozpont, located in Fot, Hungary. It was founded in the 1950s, a period when the Hungarian social welfare system emphasized collective solutions to private problems.
Having visited The City of Children many times over the years, I have become increasingly impressed by its quiet, and often hidden, power and beauty. I believe the home is where our strength lies. It’s the source of everything: where all our fears, questions, love and sense of belonging originate.

At first glance you might simply see the people photographed as very different from yourself, but after a longer look, you see the commonality of our life experiences. There is a bond between all people through which we can relate to one another; it just needs to be recognized. The connection may be the memory of teen-age angst, a feeling of isolation, or the joy of laughing with a great friend.

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Artist Bio
Monika Merva received her BA in Philosophy from Northeastern University in 1992. In the summer of 1992, Merva studied at the Fondazione Studio Marangoni. She received her MFA in photography from Savannah College of Art & Design in 1997. Her photographs have been featured in The New Yorker, Details, and New York Times Magazine. Her work is in collections such as the Bibliotheque Nationale de France, Brooklyn Museum, George Eastman House, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and the Johnson & Johnson Corporate Art Collection. Kehrer Verlag published her first monograph, The City of Children, in May 2011. The release coincides with her first exhibition at ClampArt in New York. The project will also be shown at FotoFest Houston 2012 in the New Discoveries Exhibition. Merva lives in Brooklyn with her husband, daughter, and pet rabbit.







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