Listen, I know there were days you wanted to die
when the sky was so clear
you’d stand obnoxious underneath it
begging for stars to shoot you
just so you could feel at home.
I know about the ways you misplaced all the right words,
stockpiled every important social cue you ever missed
from the first time you learned you were wrong,
waited to make it right
once everyone stopped watching.
I know you let them beat up your beauty in bed
because redemption was still alive in you, howling relentless, gathering strength.
Felt like ecstasy when they pounded it out of you in the hard dark.
Those days of dead weather
got all strung together
and they spoke for you,
wore you down to telling everyone here it was a good life
so you could run back into the wails of your windfight.
I know the parts of your past that haunt you the most
are the days you weren’t being yourself,
and I know that’s why most of your past haunts you.
There were so many who found you out,
and they were right.
You were good.
Buddy Wakefield, “Healing Hermann Hesse” (via cloudyskiesandcatharsis)
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