Brooklyn-based artist Alyssa Monks is a figurative painter, blurring the line between abstraction and realism. “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. When I began painting the human body, I was obsessed with it and needed to create as much realism as possible. I chased realism until it began to unravel and deconstruct itself, I am exploring the possibility and potential where representational painting and abstraction meet - if both can coexist in the same moment.” Monks’s paintings have been the subject of numerous solo and group exhibitions, and her work is represented in public and private collections.
© All images courtesy of the artist
Hiroko Nishikawa - Lovely Sweet Dream
Artwork by Takato Yamamoto
Friday, April 28, 1989
"The Boy Who Fell"
A boy is walking alone on a road deep into the forest. At the end of the road, deep inside the forest, the slope of a sheer mountain is visible. On the slope are lots of lights glowing like human souls, like fireflies scattered about. A car goes by, carrying the boy. Towards the slope. He falls. I’m watching this scene. I walk down the slope, and see many dead souls lying about. The wreckage of the fallen car. The boy is bleeding to death horribly. In the car, another man sits, decapitated. Somehow, I’m not scared. I’m just watching the disastrous situation very naturally, as if it were some ordinary scene in my life.
Normalize fat women’s bodies. Normalize public breastfeeding. Normalize home births and midwives and reproductive autonomy. Normalize body hair on women.
Reject the notion that women are to be regulated and controlled and pressured to conform to societal standards.