Monday, December 3, 2012

Alyssa Monks

Reserve, 2011. Oil/linen, 32x48.

Brooklyn-based painter Alyssa Monks takes a highly unusual approach to figuration. Rather than simply painting portraits in order to satisfy her obsession with the human body, Monks instead add a layer of complexity to her works by painting figures in very specific environments - most often in either a bathtub or shower - that naturally lend a sense of abstraction to these otherwise hyper-realistic works.

Shield, 2012. Oil on linen, 48x72.

 Charade, 2010. Oil on linen, 48x32.

Blind, 2012. Oil/panel, 8x12.

Tell, 2011. Oil on panel, 30x20.

As Monks explains of her work:
Using filters such as glass, vinyl, water, and steam, I distort the body in shallow painted spaces. These filters allow for large areas of abstract design - islands of color with activated surfaces - while bits of the human form peak through. In a contemporary take on the traditional bathing women, my subjects are pushing against the glass “window”, distorting their own body, aware of and commanding the proverbial male gaze. Thick paint strokes in delicate color relationships are pushed and pulled to imitate glass, steam, water and flesh from a distance. However, up close, the delicious physical properties of oil paint are apparent. Thus sustaining the moment when abstract paint strokes become something else.
I don't know about you, but I'm totally in awe. For more of Monk's remarkable portfolio, check out her website.

(Via The Jealous Curator)

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