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
The Disturbing Sculptures of Dongwook
" Love Me Sweet"Arrario Gallery Seoul samcheong, Korea 2012
Dongwook Lee’s works focus on the contradictions that are fundamentally inherent in human existence and life. Exquisitely hyper-realistic and surrealistically imagined renditions of his miniature human figures are staged in absurd situations in Lee’s works, in which the bleak everyday life transforms into poetic horror. In Lee’s work, a fragile warrior is wearing his own flesh as his armor, and the naked child stands with innocent face in front of blood-stained killing (which he might have committed). His oeuvre stands at an odd intersection of life and death, beauty and cruelty, civilization and wild, and reality and fantasy, unfolding a world of fantasy where people are severed from reality.
Artist Zaria Forman brings awareness to important environmental issues through her breathtaking pastel drawings. Forman spent September 2013 in the beautiful Maldives, the lowest and flattest country in the world. She found inspiration there to create a new body of work that would shed light on a nation that could be entirely underwater within this century.