Alyssa Monks earned her B.A. from Boston College and studied painting at Lorenzo de’ Medici in Florence. She went on to complete her M.F.A at the New York Academy of Art, Graduate School of Figurative Art where she is now a trustee and instructor. She teaches and lectures at universities and institutions nationwide.
“My intention is to transfer the intimacy and vulnerability of my human experience into
a painted surface. I like mine to be as intimate as possible, each brush stroke like a fossil, recording every gesture and decision.”
In the decade since her first solo exhibition in New York, Alyssa Monks has demonstrated the unique ability to blend figures seamlessly with their environment in a natural and sensuous continuum. Monks first used the properties of water, steam and glass to submerge and enshroud the individuals in her paintings. Currently, her characters appear as essential elements of the natural landscape. Monks’ engaging, figurative subjects have moved from the intimacy of the interior to the bold, open wilderness as she continues to incorporate the physical properties of nature into her models. Neither portraits nor narratives, Monks’ paintings combine elements of portraiture and landscape into single-figure examinations of loss, love, desire and hope as they engage the viewer with lush, painterly surfaces, colors and brushstrokes.
Monks’s paintings have been the subject of numerous solo and group exhibitions including “Intimacy” at the Kunst Museum in Ahlen, Germany, “Peers & Influences,” at the The Bo Bartlett Center in Columbus, GA, and “Reconfiguring the Body in American Art, 1820-2009″ at the National Academy Museum of Fine Arts, New York. Her work is represented in public and private collections, including the Savannah College of Art and Design Museum of Art, The Center for Contemporary Art, and the collections of Howard Tullman, Danielle Steele and Eric Fischl.
Alyssa has been awarded the Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Grant for Painting three
times and was invited to give a TED talk at Indiana University in November, 2015. Most recently, the paintings of Alyssa Monks are featured prominently in the sixth and final season of the FX series, The Americans. Alyssa currently lives and paints in Brooklyn and is represented by Forum Gallery.