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In the water, under the water
April 6, 2010 7:27 PM   Subscribe

Alyssa Monks paints women underwater, through shower curtains, through glass. Some NSFW female nudes.
posted by klangklangston (32 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite

 
I'm a big fan of the distortions of water and translucent materials in general, and dig that level of abstraction in what woudl otherwise be staid photorealistic nudes.
posted by klangklangston at 7:29 PM on April 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


I had to look three times, and finally read on the site that those were "paintings" and not photographs... I'm going back to look again.... still not sure I believe it.

And, I was really hoping for monks that were doing this, 'cuz that would be even neater...

how ya doing klang?
posted by HuronBob at 7:31 PM on April 6, 2010


There is lovely abstraction going on here.
posted by The Whelk at 7:39 PM on April 6, 2010


Doin' OK, doin' OK. Got cleared to do swimming rehab tomorrow, looking forward to it. And I can finally have alcohol, so I get to work on getting my tolerance back up.

She has a details section that shows how these are painted.
posted by klangklangston at 7:39 PM on April 6, 2010


And I assume she works from photo reference.
posted by klangklangston at 7:40 PM on April 6, 2010


"And I assume she works from photo reference." She has to... no way that the flow of soap, water, and such could be remembered in that kind of detail...

Since the tolerance isn't up yet, I'll have a glass of pinot for you this evening...

If you ever get back to MI, let us know.... I'll spring for an evenign at Arbor Brewing for you and your dad (and whatever other delinquents from mefi want to attend!).
posted by HuronBob at 7:45 PM on April 6, 2010


I think You'd have to. No one sketches that quickly without the bodies piling up.
posted by The Whelk at 7:45 PM on April 6, 2010


Also, these are pretty big - but they could be bigger. Crying out to be mural in some big space with lots of running water.
posted by The Whelk at 7:47 PM on April 6, 2010


Yeah, the details page kinda brought the mastery of the brushwork into perspective for me. But still, seeing pics like this that look just like the photographs leaves me wanting... I never (or maybe rarely) see these photorealistic paintings of (what I think are) really awesome photographs.

Also: keep your tolerance down; it's a much more economic way to get trashed!
posted by not_on_display at 7:47 PM on April 6, 2010


I saw these images and I immediately flashed back to Laura Palmer's body, surrounded by plastic sheeting, in the first episode of Twin Peaks. I think that's a compliment, though.
posted by Johnny Assay at 7:52 PM on April 6, 2010 [3 favorites]


Great images! Unfortunately when I look at them I can't get beyond thinking of Catholic High School Girls In Trouble (link NSFW) from Kentucky Fried Movie.
posted by 300two8 at 7:53 PM on April 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


Also, she just paints them not through anything. Mostly, I think, she paints woman in bathrooms.

Very interesting work. Certainly the 'craft' part of it is very compelling; but the artistic side is interesting as well.

As a side note read I first as she paints woman's underwear through glass, etc. I was prepared for just about anything when I clicked through.
posted by Bovine Love at 7:54 PM on April 6, 2010


More precisely (and part of my original confusion), she seems to mostly make paints of women in bathrooms.
posted by Bovine Love at 7:57 PM on April 6, 2010


Previously (comment in a similar post about Laura Sanders)
posted by christopherious at 8:01 PM on April 6, 2010


I can't imagine the experience of seeing these paintings in the flesh, as it were. Computer screens always kill paintings, and these are still striking in spite of that.
posted by One Thousand and One at 8:01 PM on April 6, 2010


these do really look they SHOULD have light shining behind them, don't they?
posted by The Whelk at 8:02 PM on April 6, 2010


So beautiful.
posted by 23skidoo at 8:09 PM on April 6, 2010


These are really freakin' awesome.
posted by New England Cultist at 8:18 PM on April 6, 2010


Something about these three parts really gets to me. Sometimes being female (in my experience) feels like being in a shower and trying to scream through the plastic or glass or water or whatever, but no one is really listening because the very plastic that makes it hard to hear you makes it really easy to focus on what you look like naked.

Not that the artist is saying that, because I have no clue. But I came home from one of those days and opened these and felt like someone got it, so thank you.
posted by sallybrown at 8:46 PM on April 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


Great images! Unfortunately when I look at them I can't get beyond thinking of Catholic High School Girls In Trouble (link NSFW) from Kentucky Fried Movie.

I think you're alone there!
posted by jimmythefish at 9:07 PM on April 6, 2010


Wow. Amazing stuff.

Those latest ones are seriously creepy but very beautiful.
posted by TooFewShoes at 9:15 PM on April 6, 2010


Many of these are of men, actually.
posted by kenko at 9:36 PM on April 6, 2010


And I assume she works from photo reference.

In one of the interviews in her "press" section, she says that she takes about 1000 photos for each painting.

Neat images, very striking. I would love to see them in real life.
posted by Forktine at 9:53 PM on April 6, 2010


They are pretty neat, but am I the only one who read

Alyssa Monks paints women underwater, through shower curtains, through glass.

and was hoping that artist was somehow painting things on women while she herself was underwater?
posted by juv3nal at 11:18 PM on April 6, 2010


preeeeetty. The details are facinating.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 11:46 PM on April 6, 2010


I liked Dissipate, reminds me of Vija Celmins.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:16 AM on April 7, 2010


Since no one said it yet, I will: Her website has no Flash and browses easily. We may have found the one artist portfolio that isn't horribly unnavigable.
posted by mccarty.tim at 5:14 AM on April 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


Her website has no Flash and browses easily.

The main menu below the image on the index page is flash, but that's backed up by a smaller text version right below, so us flash-excluders aren't left out of the fun. (using click2flash here, on my outmoded, overtaxed G5)

Fantastic stuff, BTW. Forwarding to my painter-wife-person.
posted by Devils Rancher at 6:01 AM on April 7, 2010


And I assume she works from photo reference.

Absolutely, as Forktine notes. She worked with a couple of my fellow grad students last year who also work from photos and she's very open about her process. She advised them to print out multiple sections of the same photographs and to lay clear acetate over them and apply mixed paint to the acetate in order to test mixes of the paint to make sure the colors matched exactly.

She's a very good painter though, because her surfaces and brushstrokes don't feel tight over overworked, as you'd assume they would given her close attention to her source images. Instead, the way she lays down the paint is flowing and loose and seems as liquid and gloppy (though the paint isn't applied thickly) as her imagery. FYI these are mostly self-portraits, and I believe she applies a layer of vaseline to to some of the surfaces she photographs, if memory serves correctly.
posted by stagewhisper at 7:18 AM on April 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Also, these are pretty big - but they could be bigger. Crying out to be mural in some big space with lots of running water.

The pool at the Y.

The suite bathroom at the motel.

The base camp for glass-bottom boat tours.
posted by grobstein at 9:38 AM on April 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


This is a late comment, but I was revisiting these paintings and a question occurred to me; maybe someone can answer it.

I was looking at this piece, and I wonder: Is her aim to make the entire painting look as photorealistic as possible? Or does she deliberately paint some parts of the image to look less photorealistic and more like a painting, in order to sort of mess with the viewer's perception of the piece as paint or photograph?

It's not that any one part of it looks very different from the rest, but I noticed, for example, that the hair does not look like a photograph, nor the shadows thrown by the faucet and knobs; also her body above vs. below the water shows no distortion.

It's not a criticism, rather just a wondering at what she might want us to see as we look. These are so, so lovely!
posted by Fui Non Sum at 4:54 PM on April 11, 2010


"Is her aim to make the entire painting look as photorealistic as possible? Or does she deliberately paint some parts of the image to look less photorealistic and more like a painting, in order to sort of mess with the viewer's perception of the piece as paint or photograph?"

Something she mentions in one of the interviews—that I hadn't read when I posted this—is that many of these images only look photorealistic because they're seen small on computer screens, and that they're actually pretty sizeable in real life, which means the brushwork is pretty obvious.
posted by klangklangston at 5:44 PM on April 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


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