Featured Artist

Alyssa Monks: Through the Looking Glass

Alyssa Monks is considered a “realistic” painter with a flare for shower windows and water. She is part of the continuing education faculty at the New York Academy of Art. She began her training by taking many art classes throughout her elementary and high school years. The youngest of 8 children, Alyssa started painting at the age of 8. She studied under Vincent Desiderio at the New York Academy of Art. This was one of the main reasons she began to study art. Her main media in her work is oil paint. She most commonly uses oil on linen in many of her works. She uses photography as a way to ‘create color ideas’ in her work.


“I use oil paint on linen currently, sometimes panel. I use photography as a way to compose and create color ideas and then imagination and memory and instinct to create the final product. (resource: Broadstreet Studio)”


Alyssa Monks was born in Ridgewood, New Jersey. 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 nation wide. (official website)

“Thick paint strokes in delicate color relationships are pushed and pulled to imitate glass, steam, earth, fog, rain, 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. My intent is to transcend both my subject and the paint itself to discover something that resonates deeply as my, often vulnerable, personal experience. Transferring that expression of this human experience to someone who opens to it and relates to it creates human connection. This is my goal. I urge you to see the work in person, if possible, or investigate the close up details on my website to see the surfaces. Paintings are objects you need to be in the same room with to feel their intimacy. I like mine to be as intimate as possible, using the painted surface like a fossil recording every gesture and decision.” (Official website)


Alyssa Monks is most inspired by artists such as Vincent Desierio, Alex Kanevsky, Jenny Saville, Egon Schiele, Gustav Klimt, Rembrandt, Sorolla, Pollock, Picasso, Eric Fischl. (Broadstreetstudio) She remembers the smell of paint even at an early age and new oil would be her media of choice for painting. She has been particularly intrigued by water and how it interacts with the human form. Many of her works feature young women in showers or in pools of water.


“Water found its way into my paintings quite organically over the last 7 years or so.  I always thought it was impossible to paint, the hardest thing, the most intimidating. I am fascinated with the challenge and how it distorted, filtered, abstracted, and changed the body.” (Revs)

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 and the collections of Howard Tullman, Danielle Steele and Eric Fischl.

Alyssa has been awarded the Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Grant for Painting three times and is a member of the New York Academy of Art’s Board of Trustees. She is currently represented by David Klein Gallery in Birmingham, Michigan. Alyssa currently lives and paints in Brooklyn, New York. (Official website)

Recently, Trent Jaklitsch created a video (see below) of some of Alyssa’s thoughts and impressions.


Alyssa Monks

In Studio – Alyssa Monks

Alyssa Monks is a New York based artist living in Manhattan. She is presently featuring her works at the David Klein Gallery in Brimingham, Michigan.


Links and Resources

Alyssa Monks Official Website
Trent Jaklitsch
Vimeo Video by Trent Jaklitsch
Evoke Contemporary – Re-Presenting the Nude III
Broadstreet Studio – Interview with Alyssa Monks
Revs Magazine
Empty Kingdom
Bloginity
David Klein Gallery

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