Artist Feature: Alyssa Monks

Editor Shenyah Webb, Art, February 4th, 2015

"...watching their emotional person fall apart or bloom."

alyssa monks art nailed magazine

One of the most intriguing aspects of curating an artist feature is when patterns emerge while viewing an artist’s portfolio in its entirety. It’s like stepping into someone’s very personal time capsule, witnessing their pain, happiness, growth. Sometimes it’s simply watching a style and technique advance and improve, other times you can truly feel what the artist has experienced through their creation, watching their emotional person fall apart or bloom.

Spending time with the paintings of Alyssa Monks was one of these experiences for me. Not only did each piece individually captivate me, her choice of titles painted a deeper perspective. After looking through nearly 200 paintings, I carefully selected pieces and titles that seemed to tell me a story through time. The following gallery begins with works as early as 2006 takes us to the present.

From the Artist:
“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 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.”

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alyssa monks artist nailed magazineAlyssa Monks, born in 1977 in New Jersey, began oil painting as a child. 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 MFA from the New York Academy of Art, Graduate School of Figurative Art in 2001. Monks currently lives and paints in Brooklyn, New York. Her artist site can be visited here.


Shenyah Webb

Shenyah Webb is a Portland-based visual artist and musician. She has been with NAILED Magazine since its inception in 2012 and has served as the Arts Editor and a Contributing Editor since its launch in 2013. A Detroit native, she attended The College for Creative Studies, where she focused on Fine Art and Industrial Design. She is currently enrolled in a Somatic Expressive Arts Education and Therapy training program, studying under Lanie Bergin. You can learn more about Shenyah here. (