The first time my eyes fell upon an Alyssa Monks painting, I thought I was looking at a photograph. Monks’ skill with the brush is clearly evident in this series of beautifully rendered flesh, steam, water and glass.

“Monks’ work explores narrative figuration. Currently she is playing with the tension between abstraction and realism in the same work, using different filters to visually distort and disintegrate the body. The islands of steam and water droplets on the glass distort the illusion of the face or figure as the flesh reshapes itself by pushing against the glass. In this shallow painted space, the subject is pushing against our real space with pulsating vibrations of color that can make a painted body seem to have blood pumping through it… Striving for anatomical and realistic accuracy, it is her intention to convey an arresting vision that compels the viewer to feel their own humanness. It is Monks’s intent to relate visually the contemporary female experience with sensitivity, empathy, and integrity.”

Oil and Water will be on display at DFN Gallery in NYC April 7 through May 8.

Alyssa Monks on Fogged Clarity

Alyssa Monks earned her MFA in painting from the New York Academy of Art. Monks has thrice been awarded a Grant for Painting from the Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation. In 2010 she will participate in museum shows at the Kunst Museum in Ahlen, Germany and at the Noyes Museum. Alyssa currently lives and works in Brooklyn.

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