Robert Bonk - Pictures, Art, Photography Robert Bonk

Robert Bonk

Background Information about Robert Bonk


Flora/X2 is a collection of well-composed photographs of vegetation in the American Southwest. The idea for this unusual series came to Los Angeles-based photographer Robert Bonk one morning while he lay half-asleep in bed, dreaming of the exotic plants in his surroundings and their aggressive beauty. All at once, a second layer with additional plants appeared in the main image, like in a Polaroid photograph. The concept behind the series was born.

Bonk first went looking for motifs in the botanical garden in San Marino. After extensive post-production, he had the pictures printed as large C-prints mounted on foam board. Working in his home’s outdoor studio, he draped the prints with plants he found in his surroundings and then rephotographed this new arrangement. In this way, the foreground is placed powerfully and seductively in the background and merges with it. It is like gazing out of the thicket into the wide-open wilderness of the Southwest. With its fresh fruity texture, the coral cactus in particular gives the collages a powerful and vibrant impression.

The photographic double layer possesses a surrealist potential that is further amplified by the picture’s inversion into a black-and-white negative. The image’s previous depth now feels flat and bewitchingly abstract. The inverted plants’ contrast between light and dark transforms the floral setting into an almost silvery night-time dream. As an ensemble of colour and black-and-white, both series encompass day and night, each in its own way and through its own particular delirious effect.

Stephan Reisner


Robert Bonk was born and raised near Jacksonville, Florida. After graduating with a degree in painting, Bonk moved to New York City in 1977 to pursue a dual career as a photographer and painter. In 1990, he moved south to Los Angeles, entering the film industry as a location scout. He lives and works in Los Angeles and Italy. 


1987White Columns NYC 
1990White Columns NYC 

Photo Independent Show, Los Angeles

On the Street Show, Photo Independent at The Reef, Los Angeles USA


 Fabrik Street Photography Show, Los Angeles USA

LACP, Los Angeles USA


Open Show LA, Los Angeles USA

LACP, Los Angeles USA 

2022SE Center of Photography, Greenville, South Carolina USA