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
Iori Tomita - New World Transparent Specimens (2005-)
Fisherman-turned-artist in Yokohama City, Japan, Tomita creates art using the skeletons of various dead marine specimens, which he preserves and then colors with bright shades of dye.
The process strips down each creature to the toughest parts of its remains and Tomita has dyed more than 5,000 dead creatures since 2005, which is amazing, considering each piece takes at least a few weeks to complete, and some up to a year.
"Although these are just transparent specimens, they’re filled with the drama of organisms which I have so much love for. I want people to enjoy the beauty of life, treat life with respect and understand that there is drama happening that is not centered on themselves when they look at the specimens. These specimens which you see here are actually animals that have died for some some reason or whose carcasses were discarded from pet shops or fishermen. I use those animals which passed away and repurpose them."