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.
“My work investigates a world of visual intoxication; it captures moments of enchantment, which are associated with urban nightlife,"
"I am fascinated by the ambiance of the city at night and its seductive qualities. The breathtaking turbulence of speeding vehicles and hasty pedestrians evoke feelings of wonder and disorientation. The vibrant lights become a magical landscape with enticing opportunities and promises of fulfillment.”
“I suggest motion in order to slow down the scene and capture the fleeting moments, which tend to be forgotten,” she says. “By interpreting lights in graphic or painterly ways, I create a sense of space, alluding to a hallucinogenic experience. I want the viewer’s eye to travel within my composition and experience a familiar exhilarating event of an actual nightly excursion.”
Born and raised in north central Minnesota, Samantha French graduated from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design in 2005. French’s current body of work explores the idea of escape, the tranquility and nostalgia for the lazy summer days of her childhood. The series is inspired by Samantha’s own reflections and memories of her childhood summers spent in the lakes of Northern Minnesota. French actively exhibits her paintings and is included in many private and public collections throughout the country while her work has garnered extensive international and national press. She is a full-time painter and keeps a studio in Brooklyn, New York.
Hage painstakingly creates, from scratch, hyperrealistic sculptures of famous New York City locations that absolutely blow my mind (See Hage’s work previously featured). For “Facade,” Hage has focused primarily on locations that were the cornerstones of their community in their past but now have either closed their doors or face impending destruction.
The photos Hage uses to create his sculptures are basically indistinguishable from one to the sculptures while reviewing side by side comparisons creating a hefty dose of magic to the fantastic work that Hage is able to present to us. By preserving these locations through his meticulous creations, Hage is helping to further memories of them as well as new ones, their rich history and to serve as warnings to what could be lost.
“Facade” is on display at Flower Pepper Gallery from October 10th, 2015 until November 18th, 2015.