Alyssa Monks: How loss helped one artist find beauty in imperfection
Alyssa Monks - Painter
Alyssa Monks transfers the intimacy and vulnerability of human experience onto a painted surface. Full bio
about something personal
may be helpful to somebody.
I grew up the youngest of eight.
from when I was eight to 16,
in New York City.
I learned a few survival skills.
see you do anything stupid.
and stay in line.
to be an artist.
to support my painting.
and I got an MFA,
my brother asked me,
mean next to the paintings?"
that the paintings were sold
had four electrical outlets,
and a toaster at the same time,
from back around that time.
as realistic as possible.
isolated and in total control.
of painting people in water.
the perfect enclosed environment.
that kept me busy for a decade.
with the bathwater to make it cloudy
I couldn't wait to paint it.
kind of impulsive curiosity,
in my head and hair
with more than four outlets.
and inspiring each other.
who made this painting
into adulthood, you're no longer a child,
by the responsibilities of life."
and it was in her brain.
and I looked at her,
how to help her.
having him in charge,
taking care of her.
everything I could to help,
I'm going to need you later."
and the internet didn't know:
and whatever situation came up,
then now I was surrendering,
into bed with her and sleep with her.
his car coming up the driveway.
and bring their kids,
we could find to drink her coffee.
to help me with the showers.
after her diagnosis.
supportive and attentive way.
all together in this unknown,
of my time alone in a studio working,
for me to go back to my studio.
and I drove back to Brooklyn,
so that's what I did.
that was unraveling in me.
rendered safe place
I didn't want to paint anymore.
and I wasn't a landscape painter,
much of any kind of painter at all,
It didn't matter. It didn't matter.
back to my studio,
that were fascinating me,
the paint like I used to.
chaotic, turbulent surface
as I was when I was a student.
to put figures in these paintings, people,
both people and this atmosphere.
what I've been working on.
and it's like a preview, I guess,
what matters most to me,
where there's no resisting or controlling.
big losses in our lives,
are out of our control.
to find something beautiful
About the speaker:Alyssa Monks - Painter
Alyssa Monks transfers the intimacy and vulnerability of human experience onto a painted surface.
Why you should listen
Alyssa Monks blurs the line between abstraction and realism through layering different spaces and moments in her paintings. Using semi-transparent filters of glass, vinyl, steam and water to flip background and foreground in her 10-year water series, she seduced the viewer into shallow spaces. Today, she is imposing a transparent landscape of infinite space over her emotionally evocative subjects.
The tension in her mostly large-scale paintings is sustained not only by the composition but also by the surface treatment itself. Each brushstroke is thickly applied oil paint, like a fossil recording every gesture and decision, expressing the energetic and empathic experience of the handmade object.
Monks's work is represented by Forum Gallery in New York City. She lives and paints in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Her latest solo exhibition "Resolution" took place March and April of 2016 at Forum Gallery. Monks's paintings have been the subject of numerous solo and group exhibitions including "Intimacy" at the Kunst Museum in Ahlen, Germany and "Reconfiguring the Body in American Art, 1820–2009" at the National Academy Museum of Fine Arts, New York. Her work is represented in public and private collections, including the Savannah College of Arts, the Somerset Art Association, Fullerton College, the Seavest Collection and the collections of Eric Fischl, Howard Tullman, Gerrity Lansing, Danielle Steele, Alec Baldwin and Luciano Benetton.
Born 1977 in New Jersey, Monks began oil painting as a child. She studied at The New School in New York and Montclair State University and earned her B.A. from Boston College in 1999. During this time she studied painting at Lorenzo de’ Medici in Florence. She went on to earn her M.F.A from the New York Academy of Art, Graduate School of Figurative Art in 2001. She completed an artist in residency at Fullerton College in 2006 and has lectured and taught at universities and institutions nationwide. She continues to offer workshops and lectures regularly.
Monks has been awarded the Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Grant for Painting three times and serves as a member of the New York Academy of Art's Board of Trustees.
Alyssa Monks | Speaker | TED.com