Alyssa Monks is an amazing artist born in 1977 in Ridgewood, New Jersey. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree from Boston College and her M.F.A from the New York Academy of Art. When she began painting the human body, she was obsessed with it and needed to create as much realism and possible. The painter distorts the body in shallow painted spaces, using filers such as water, vinyl, glass, and steam. These filters allow for large areas of abstract design – islands of color with activated surfaces – while bits of the human form peak through. Her subjects are in interesting situations; they are pushing against the glass “window”, distorting their own body, aware of and commanding the recognized male gaze. Alyssa uses thick paint strokes in delicate color palettes to imitate glass, water, steam and flesh from a distance. However, up close, the wonderful physical properties of oil paint are apparent. “I am exploring the possibility and potential where representational painting and abstraction meet – if both can coexist in the same moment,” she says.