Alyssa Monks layers spaces and moments in her paintings. She flipped background and foreground using semi-transparent filters of glass, vinyl, steam, and water over shallow spaces in her 10-year water series. Today, she is imposing a transparent landscape of infinite space over evocative subjects.
The tension in her paintings is sustained by the composition and also by the surface quality itself. Each brushstroke is thickly applied, like a fossil recording every gesture and decision, evoking the energy of the handmade object. This unpredictable, activated surface recalls the human experience, creating empathy in the work. “I strive to create a moment in a painting where the viewer can see or feel themselves, identify with the subject, even be the subject, connect with it as though it is about them, for them.”
Alyssa’s work is represented by Forum Gallery in New York City. She lives and paints in Brooklyn. Her latest solo exhibition “Breaking Point” was in October of 2018 at Forum Gallery. Monks’s paintings have been the subject of numerous solo and group exhibitions including “Intimacy” at the Kunst Museum in Ahlen, Germany 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 Arts, the Somerset Art Association, Fullerton College, the Seavest Collection, The Bennett Collection, and the collections of George Loening, Eric Fischl, Howard Tullman, Gerrity Lansing, Danielle Steele, Alec Baldwin, and Luciano Benetton. In 2015, Alyssa gave a TED talk at Indiana University discussing her recent work, which is featured on TED.com. Recently, she was named the 16th most influential women artist alive today by Graphic Design Degree Hub. Her work was featured heavily in season 6 of the FX television series The Americans in 2018.
Born 1977 in New Jersey, Alyssa 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 M.F.A. from the New York Academy of Art in 2001. She completed an artist in residency at Fullerton College in 2006 and has lectured and taught at universities and institutions worldwide. She continues to offer workshops and lectures regularly.
Alyssa has been awarded the Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Grant for Painting three times and serves as a member of the New York Academy of Art’s Board of Trustees since 2010.
Seed, John, and Katherine Stanek. Disrupted Realism: Paintings for a Distracted World. Schiffer Publishing, 2019, p. 136-141.
The Americans. Television series. Season 6. 2018.
Zeller, Robert, The Figurative Artist’s Handbook: A Contemporary Guide, Monacelli Studio, 2017, p. 288-291
Artes Integradas by Andrew Sulzbach.
Ages of the Skin in Painting, Revista Colombiana de Dermatologia y Cirugia Dermatologica, Vol 25, July-September 2017, p 224.
Vision-Problems, Cognella, Inc. Academic textbook.
Se liga na lingua vol 2, Editora Moderna Ltda. Textbook.
Une Autre Forme d’ivresse by Madeleine Lefebvre. Poetry book. 2016.
Ensino Fundamental II Artes 6 Ano, Editora FTD. Elementary School textbook
Pricco, Evan. Juxtapoz Hyperreal. Gingko Press, Inc., 2014, p 32-37.
The Last Brigade, Burn Out, Kicking Records. 2014. Album cover.
Casa Del Mirto, Still, Ghost Records. 2014. Album cover.
Janeczek, Helena, and Marguerite Pozzoli. Traverser Les ténèbres. Actes Sud, 2014. Book cover.
Hall, Anne Emerson. “Meaning and Purpose: Morality and Politics in 21st C Representational Art.” The Representational Art Conference. Lecture. Essay based on the lecture included in the book The Proceedings of The Representational Art Conference 2015, California Lutheran University Press.
Moore, Lisa Lynne, and Dominique Fortier. Février. Boréal, 2013. Book cover.
What Maisie Knew. Film. 2012.
Lindner, April. This Bed Our Bodies Shaped: Poems. Able Muse Press, 2012. Book cover.
Padberg, Martina & Burkhard Leismann, Intimacy! Exhibition Catalog, Kunst Museum Ahlen, 2010, cover & p 138-139.
Belsito, Rochelle. “Artistic Visions.” American Art Collector, June 2019, pp. 62–67.
Power, Kim, Uncanny Reality, Medium – The Blue Review, May 20, 2019
O’Hern, John. “Breaking Point.” American Art Collector, Dec. 2018, pp. 50–55.
Peña, Karla Arlette, Alyssa Monks: Un Vistazo En La Mente y Obra De Una Artista Del Siglo XXI. Velv Magazine, November 13, 2018
Alyssa Monks. IthacaLit, Winter 2018.
Alyssa Monks. Wall Street International, October 3, 2018
Gusev, Mike, Down to Earth – On a New Level. Medium – The Blue Review, July 26, 2018
Kerstetter, Andy, Bringing the Character to Life, Idaho Mountain Express, April 11, 2018
INTERVIEW Thomas, June, The Real Artist Behind ‘The Americans’ Fictional Painter Talks About Her Experience on the Show, Slate, April 6, 2018, podcast
Soloski, Alexis, The Plot is Fake, but the Painter is Real, The New York Times, March 25, 2018, Arts and Leisure, p 13 & 16
Soloski, Alexis, ‘The Americans’ goes Dark(er) with Help from a Painter, The New York Times, March 23, 2018
Monks, Alyssa, An Orchestrated Compulsion. Artists on Art Magazine, February 2018, p 23-31
Fernandez, Milene, Discussion: ‘Traditional Versus Contemporary Perspectives in the Art World’. The Epoch Times, December 28, 2017
Menendez, Didi, The Top 100 Figurative Painters Working Right Now, BuzzFeed, September 2017
Alyssa Monks Feature, Collective Hub, April, 2017, Issue 44, p. 100-101
INTERVIEW Tucker, Dr. Linda, Podcast: The Beautiful Awful, Challenge Your Thinking, March 2017
Lemmon, Jackie, Alyssa Monks, Beautiful.Bizarre, March 2017, p. 66-77
INTERVIEW Smith, Hannah, Obscuring Atmospheres and Pushing the Complexities of Painting Landscapes to Find the Line Between Abstraction and Illusion Meet Alyssa Monks, Art Jobs, February 2017
INTERVIEW Molla, Joni, Grace and Harmony, Hoctok, December 22, 2016
Alyssa Monks: Resolution, Blouin Gallery Guide, April 2016, p. 8-9
Alyssa Monks: Resolution, American Art Collector, April 2016, p. 90-91
Bartlett, Bo, Resolution: Exhibition Catalog, Introduction, available for purchase at Forum Gallery, March 2016
Eby, Betsy, Resolution: Exhibition Catalog, Introduction, available for purchase at Forum Gallery, March 2016
30 Most Influential Women Artists Alive Today, Graphic Design Degree Hub, February 2016
The Beautiful Awful, TEDx Indiana University, November 13, 2015
Ajaka, Nadine, The Rustic Renewal of a Brooklyn Artist, The Atlantic, October 20, 2015
Figueroa, Miguel, Seeing Your True Colors, Vamp Magazine, October 15, 2015
INTERVIEW Zhang, Jenny, Photorealistic Oil Paintings Capture Intimate Portraits of Human Vulnerability, My Modern Met, October 12, 2015
INTERVIEW Kaminska, Paulina, Interview with Alyssa Monks, Artophilia, October 6, 2015
PODCAST INTERVIEW Dalton, John, Creating the Space for Connection with Alyssa Monks, John Dalton Art, September 13, 2015
INTERVIEW Alyssa Monks: The Illusion of Reality, SilverLake Voice, September 2, 2015
Alyssa Monks: Hyper-Realistic Painting, Issue No. 206, August 12, 2015
O’Conner, Rebecca and Will Govan, The Moth, Summer, 2015, Issue 21, p. 4 & 30
Lin, Christin, Alyssa Monks: The Photograph as a Painter’s Bully and Helper, Epoch Times, June 20, 2015
INTERVIEW Turnery, Sam, Awesome Advice from Top Realism Artists, Zippi, May 2015
INTERVIEW Green, Rob, Haunting and Intimate Paintings, Wallhop, April 2015
Hafesh, Louise B, Snap and Chat, Artist’s Magazine, front cover, feature, April 2015, p. 46-51
Robbins, Sarah, Connection: An Essay by Alyssa Monks, Dirty Laundry, March 2015
Webb, Shenyah, Artist Feature: Alyssa Monks, Nailed Magazine, February 2015
Connection – Alyssa Monks, Juxtapoz, January 2015
Menedez, Didi, The Artist’s Gaze, Poets and Artists, Sirona Fine Art Catalog for Exhibition, February, 2015, p.61-61
INTERVIEW Brass, Jesse, Connection: Alyssa Monks, Vimeo, July 2014
Cooke, Lacy, Alyssa Monks Connects To the World Through Painting, Thrivewire, January, 2015
Gentile, Brent, Alyssa Monks, Juxtapoz, 2014, p. 32-37
Menedez, Didi, Poets and Artists, front and back cover, October 2014, Issue 58
Astonishing photo-realistic portraits you won’t believe were painted by hand, CNN, October 2014
McCann, Margaret, The Figure: Painting, Drawing, and Sculpture, Skira Rizzoli, September 2014
Piowaty, Deanna Elaine, Women Under Glass: The Paintings of Alyssa Monks, interview, Combustus, September 2014
Luciano, Felicia, I soggetti (s)coperti di Alyssa Monks, Artwort , September 2014
Don’t These Look Like Photos? When You Learn The Truth, You Will Be SHOCKED, The San Francisco Globe, August 2014
Alyssa Monks: Where Realism and Abstraction Meet, Duo Magazine, July 2014
Keates, Nancy, No Nudes is Good Nudes, Wall Street Journal, February 2014
Through the Translucent Looking Glass, Dadada Magazine, March 2013
Upcoming Group Show: Contemporary Realism, American Art Collector, March 2013, p. 116-117
Paluch, Grzegorz, Alyssa Monks Paintings, ZIN / Magazine Kulturalny, January 2013, vol. 6, p. 116-129, Lublin, Poland
Reis, Patricia, Egoista, vol. 50, p. 102-108, December 2012
INTERVIEW Price, Marsha, Alyssa’s Brooklyn Artist Studio: Workspace Tour, Apartment Therapy, January 2013
INTERVIEW Romero, Karla D., Alyssa Monks: Humanize Magazine, Issue 13, p26-43
INTERVIEW Litmanen, Pirita., Interview with Alyssa Monks, Revs Magazine, October 2012
INTERVIEW Zappitell, Brenda, Inside The Artist’s Studio: pt I, Professional Artist, September 2012, p.16
Malafronte, Allison, The New York Academy of Art: Traditional Skills, American Artist, September 2012, p38
INTERVIEW Menendez, Didi, Interview: Alyssa Monks, Poets & Artists, online, July 2012, p. 10-19
Marinho, Rafaela, Artista Americana Alyssa Monks Cria Rostos Realistas Em Pinturas oleo, GQ Brazil, online, July 2012
Painter Renders Photographic Images, Yahoo News, online, July 2012
Photorealist Paintings by Alyssa Monks, Juxtapoz, online, June 2012
Ferrari, Linda, Lady in the Water, Progetto-9, December 2011
Alyssa Monks: Metafora Claritatii in Difuziune, Luxury Rich & Famous, November 2011
Charlotte Strick, Women by Women, The Paris Review, Winter 2011, Issue 199
Alyssa Monks, MISC Magazine, Fall 2011
INTERVIEW Karakoc, Ozan. Alyssa Monks, interview, Bak Magazine, September 2011, Issue 16, p. 301, online
Alyssa Monks, Apocrifa Magazine, June 2011, Issue 13, online
INTERVIEW The Blind Architect, Empty Kingdom Interview: Alyssa Monks, interview, Empty Kingdom, June 2011, online
In Erotica, The Work of Alyssa Monks, Juxtapoz, online, May, 2011
Telem, Ainat & Ben Arzi, Liron, Alyssa Monks, Home Design & Lifestyle, December 2010
INTERVIEW Between Realism and Abstraction: The Photorealistic Paintings of Alyssa Monks, interview, Culturazzi, November 2010, online
INTERVIEW Cuffe, Michael, Alyssa Monks: Contemporary Oil Artist Interview & Studio Visit, interview, Warholian.com, October 2010, online
Desiderio, Vincent, Fixation: Exhibition Catalog, Introduction, available for purchase on Blurb.com or at David Klein Gallery, October 2010
Stanley, Caroline. Alyssa Monks’s Warped Wet Bodies, Flavorwire, May 2011, online
INTERVIEW Fenton, Laura. Exclusive: Alyssa Monks Talks about her Bathing Beauties, interview, Flavorwire, April 2011, online
Rose, Joshua, Alyssa Monks: Fixation, American Art Collector, October 2010, online
Colosi, Simone, Intimate Observations: Alyssa Monks, Aesthetics Now, October 2010, online
INTERVIEW Hall, Kim, Alyssa Monks: Abstract Realities, interview, Art Calendar, October 2010
Fresh Figures & Abstraction, Exhibition Catalog, online, Summer 2010
Galperina, Marina, Animal, June 2010
Bargmann, Sophie, Interview with Alyssa Monks, Glamcult, June/July 2010
INTERVIEW John, Jason, Interview with Alyssa Monks, interview, TheBroadstreetStudio.com, May 2010
Past Contributor: Alyssa Monks, Poets and Artists, May 2010
Fischl, Eric, Watch What You Wish For, Oil & Water, Exhibition Catalog, available for purchase, April 2010
Stalios, Michael, Water Water Everywhere, Zink Magazine, April 2010
INTERVIEW Submerged, American Art Collector, April 2010
Three to Watch: Artists Making Their Mark, Fine Art Connoisseur, April 2010
Carpenter, Courtney, Beyond the West, Southwest Art, April 2010
WOOF!MAGAZINE, April 2010
Hernandez, Ricardo, A Glimpse into Alyssa Monks Paintings, Yatzer, January 2010
Empty Magazine, December 2009, online and in print
Traffic Magazine, November 2009 (feature), online and in print
INTERVIEW Li, David, Her Art Really Imitates Life, interview, The New York Post, online and print, September 2009
Photo-realistic Paintings by Alyssa Monks, Telegraph, online and in print, September, 2009
INTERVIEW Artist Creates Incredible Paintings that Look Like Photographs, interview, Daily Mail, online and in print, September, 2009
Stunning Art that Looks Like Photos, UK Metro, online and in print, September, 2009
Die Geechteten, Fotorealistische PortrÃ¤ts, Sueddeutche.de, online and in print, September, 2009
Menedez, Didi, Self Portraits, Oranges & Sardines, online and in print, summer, 2009
Perilli, Benedetta, La rete œscopre imperrealismo: ecco le immagini, La Republica.it, online, August, 2009
Ayers, Robert, Review, ARTnews, June, 2009
Menedez, Didi, Alyssa Monks, (interview), Oranges & Sardines, online and in print, summer, 2009
Hodges, Michael H., Photorealists Make Painting Come to Life, The Detroit News, online, March, 2009
Painter, Alysia Gray, Los Angeles Art Show: Pucker Up and Kiss It, NBC, LA Around Town, online, January, 2009
Between Realities, American Art Collector, online and in print, January, 2009, (cover)
Stare Tactics, Hideous Sunday, online, January 2009
Monks, Alyssa No Place Like Home, Harper’s Magazine, Nov 2008, p 31S
Tacy, Greg, Swimmin’ With Women (and painter Alyssa Monks) at Sarah Bain Gallery, OC Weekly, online, September 2008
Henn, Kyle, Artist Alyssa Monks Lectures on Painting, East Tennessean, online, December 2008
INTERVIEW Baldwin, Rosecrans, Come Hell by Alyssa Monks, The Morning News, online, January 2008
INTERVIEW American Art Collector, interview, November, 2007 interview,
Lasarow, Bill, Alyssa Monks, Art Scene
Alyssa Monks: The Texture of Light and Emotions, The Panache Experience, California, Vol. 17, issue 6.
Lectures, Workshops, and Courses
Sunbury Shores, St Andrew’s, NB, Canada, 2019 (workshop)
New York Academy of Art, NY, 2019 x2 (workshop)
Donna Downey Studio, Lincolnton, NC 2019 (workshop)
The Compass Atelier, Rockville, MD 2018 (workshop)
Clases de Pintura Artistica en La Condesa, Mexico City, 2018 (workshop and lecture)
Warehouse 521, Nashville, TN, 2018 (workshop and lecture)
Omega Institute, Rhinebeck, NY, 2018 (workshop and lecture)
Flemish Classical Atelier, Brugge, Belgium, 2018 (workshop)
NYAA, NY, 2018 (workshop)
Warehouse 521, Nashville, TN, 2018 (workshop and lecture)
Art Students League, NY, 2017 (workshop)
Wausau Museum of Contemporary Art, Wasusau, WI, 2017 (workshop)
La Galería Rojaj, Sevilla, Spain, 2017 (workshop)
La Farinera, Vic, Spain, 2017 (workshop/lecture)
New York Academy of Art, Palmerino, Florence, 2017 (CE workshop)
New York Academy of Art, NY, 2017 x2 (CE workshop)
The Bo Bartlett Center, Columbus, GA 2016 (workshop and lecture)
Townsend Atelier, Chatanooga, TN 2016 (workshop and lecture)
Artensity Workshops, Ann Arbor, MI, 2016 (workshop)
New York Academy of Art, NY, 2016 (workshop)
Community Arts Association, Allendale NJ, 2016 (lecture and workshop)
La Galería Rojaj, Sevilla, Spain, 2016 (workshop)
Rome Art Workshops, Rome, Italy, 2016 (workshop)
Eyes on the Stars, Feet on the Ground , TEDx Indiana,November 13, 2015, Bloomington, IN
The Compass Atelier, Rockville, MD 2015 (workshop)
Laramie County Community College, Cheyenne, WY 2015 (lecture and critiques)
University of Akron, Akron, OH, 2015 (lecture and critiques)
New York Academy of Art, NY, 2015 (MFA class, 1 semester)
New York Academy of Art, NY, 2015 x2 (CE workshop)
New York Academy of Art, NY, 2014 x2 (CE workshop)
University of Tampa, FL 2013 (undergrad workshop)
Capital Arts Network, Rockville, MD 2013 (workshop)
California State University Summer Arts program, CA 2013 (5 day workshop)
University of Louisville, KY, 2012 (undergrad workshop)
Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia, PA, 2011 (lecture and undergrad critiques)
University of Tampa, FL, 2011 (undergrad workshop)
Weekend with the Masters Intensive, American Artist, NY, 2011 (workshop)
Washington Art Association, CT, 2011 (workshop)
The Center for Contemporary Art, Bedminster, NJ, 2011 (workshop)
Lehigh Valley Charter High School for the Performing Arts, Bethlehem, PA, 2011 (high school workshop)
New York Academy of Art, NY, 2011 (CE)
New York Academy of Art, NY, 2010 (CE)
Bowling Green University, Bowling Green OH, 2010 (undergrad workshop, lecture, critiques)
New York Academy of the Arts, NY, 2009 (CE)
Washington University, St. Louis, MO, 2009 (workshop, lecture)
Landscape painting course, Carrara, Italy, 2009 (2 weeks)
Bowling Green University, Bowling Green, OH, 2008 (workshop, lecture)
Montclair State University, Montclair, NJ, 2008 (undergrad class, 3 semesters)
East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, TN, 2008 (workshop, lecture)
Lyme Academy, Old Lyme, CT, 2007 (undergrad class, 3 semesters)
Landscape painting course, Serre di Rapolano, Italy, 2007 (3 weeks)
University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, Fayetteville, AR, 2006 (workshop, lecture)
Fullerton College, Fullerton, CA, 2006 (residency, demonstration, lecture)