Golden Empire State Building
by Kellyann Monaghan
10″ x 7″
Art By Kellyann Monaghan
Kellyann Monaghan received her BFA from Moore College of Art Design and her MFA from Brooklyn College, CUNY. She exhibited her work in numerous solo and group shows nationally and internationally. Exhibitions of work included: Grand Army Plaza Brooklyn Library, Sharon Goldberg Contemporary Art and A-Forest Gallery. She recently curated the exhibit Urban Structures at the University Center Gallery at Adelphi University. She attended the artist residency La Muse, in southern France. She is an Associate Professor of Art at Adelphi University in Garden City, NY.
I use interior spaces, urban landscapes and the night sky as a journey and stage for the drama of light, air and movement. I attempt to see past the structured architecture into the otherworldly qualities of the city. I am intrigued by the way light plays on architecture, energizing and describing form. There is a mystery in the dynamics of light and atmosphere in contrast to the city structures.
There is emptiness and void in the spaces I paint and print, yet they have a quality of human presence through the mystery, atmosphere and illumination. In the recent years, I have also been obsessed with the rooftops of Brooklyn and Manhattan, where the architecture is piled upon each other. Currently the repeating forms of the satellite dishes, cranes and antennae that dominate many apartment rooftops are central to the visual rhythm in my paintings. In particular I have been inspired by the spaces of Red Hook, D.U.M.B.O., Williamsburg and Greenpoint. I have exaggerated and edited qualities from city life into dramatic compositions. The sky and the spaces between buildings are as significant as the buildings themselves. I am fascinated by the city’s night sky, which reflects the ever-present human interjection of light pollution.
The monotypes are done through the process of covering a whole etching plate or sheet of plexi-glass with black ink. I subtract and wipe away the forms and shapes of light. When the image has been manipulated enough for the composition to be seen clearly, it is then ran through a press. Often awkward and surprising moments happen from the pressure of the press to the paper. My aim is to maintain an element of spontaneity and directness in the print. A fluid and spontaneous quality in the every stroke of light is very important to me. The process allows for quirky and unexpected qualities to occur. I want the prints to be as intriguing up close as they are from a distance.
The nuances of industrial light, atmosphere and architecture generate a constant awe, nostalgia and surprise. At times the awe is when you are hoping to see it and other moments it is a surprise in unexpected places. The painting and printing process is not just an analytical process for me, but is a revelation in every visual moment.