Birgit Maddox has been shooting photography for more than 30 years. She was born in Bietigheim-Bissingen, Germany, and traveled throughout Europe and California, taking pictures as she went, shooting in black and white and working in a darkroom in the 1980s. She took a hiatus from photography to raise a family in Pacific Grove. Eight years ago, she says, “I picked up where I left off.”

She’s worked with local fine art and underwater photographer Ryuijie, she’s tested alternative processes and long exposures, and her subsequent works have been in group shows at the International Center for Photographic Arts in Louisiana, Image Flow in Mill Valley, and Russ Levin Gallery and Photography West in Carmel.

Now she’s opening her first solo show this Friday at Gallery Exposed. But she’s contributed to the local photography scene in other ways; one of her two progenies is the highly regarded local photographer Michelle Magdalena Maddox.

“My mother gave me my artistic sensibility,” Michelle writes. “She poured all her creative energy all over me.”

Birgit was Michelle’s first nude model. They both shoot on film using a Hasselblad camera, and both recently judged the 2019 Weston Scholarship Photography Exhibition (which opens at Monterey Museum of Art the same time as Birgit’s show). The Gallery Exposed exhibition was first conceived as a mother-daughter show, but Michelle says her mother’s work deserves our full attention.

Conversely, Birgit writes, “My daughter says that I inspired her to become a photographer, but she has been a huge inspiration for me.”

The show is called As Above, So Below: A Journey into Mystery. It’s made up of landscapes, like trees reflected in bodies of water, done with a mystical quality that focuses on the elemental beauty of nature and simultaneously plays on the duality of human consciousness. Gallery owner Rachael Short refers to the work as “beautiful, brown toned, silver gelatin prints.”

Some of them, like those of mist-shrouded ocean rocks, have a Medieval ambiance; shots of forest scenes look imposing and inviting; on others, a sepia tint lends a nostalgic feel. Viewers might see traces of Michelle’s hand, eye or sensibility in Birgit’s pictures. Or, in the spirit of Mother’s Day, maybe it’s the other way around.

Keep Informed

  • - Opinionated insiders news
  • - Foodie news
  • - Events calendar
  • - E-edition and comics
Your email is never shared.

Become a Member Today


It takes a huge effort for Monterey County Weekly to stay independent and deliver the quality news, arts & entertainment you’ve come to depend on. We’re inviting our readers to join our new membership program, a new way to support independent, local media.

Learn more.

Recommended for you

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.