Artist Talk and Opening Reception Saturday, July 24, 2021 3-4pm PST
Zoom Link Passcode: 301494
“What We Hide: Exploring Hidden Disability and Identity” shines a light on what society often says should be kept secret. This series is working to eliminate the stigma and shame of what is invisible to an often ableist, cisgendered and unrelentingly discriminatory society. This subject is deeply personal; not only do I work in the field of mental health, but I have managed the challenges of mental illness my whole life. In my family, there exists not only emotional struggles, but also those of rare diseases, chronic illnesses, physical disabilities, eating disorders, autism, learning differences, and those in the LGBTQIA+ community. At one point or another, all these identities were hidden from the public so that a person could pass as “normal” or “acceptable.” I am inspired by those who are unapologetically authentic and true to themselves in every aspect of their lives.
In using a combination of both found objects and sculpted materials, I fulfill my need to paint, draw, and sculpt, with my love of rusty materials and desire to repurpose cast off items. As an analog mixed-media artist, I love to experiment with materials and techniques. The masks in the exhibition represent our inner and outer personas; the person we are in the outside world and the person we keep hidden. In many pieces I use string to link elements together; the string reflects the connectedness and interaction of thoughts, of people, of ideas, and of memories and experiences. Often my art doesn’t feel complete until I weave it together at the very end.
The work I created for the exhibition will allow people to feel both seen and heard. This exhibition is a step in the direction of increasing honesty and empathy in our world.
Imposter Syndrome (View 1,2,3,4), 2021
Mixed Media Assemblage with shoe form, paint, wood and found objects
Rare Diseases (View 1,2,3), 2021
Mixed Media Assemblage with paint and found objects
Just Keep Swimming (The Mask Series), 2021
Mixed Media Collage with plaster mask, paint, found objects and labels
14×18 in plus frame
Shadow Self (The Mask Series), 2021
Mixed Media Collage with plaster mask, pencil, acrylic and spray paint, Black 3.0 and found objects
A lifelong “Angelino,” Monica R. Marks is a mixed media collage/assemblage artist living in the suburbs of Los Angeles. She received her BA in Art from California State University, Northridge, and her MA in Clinical Art Therapy at Loyola Marymount College. Monica, a licensed Marital and Family Therapist, and a registered Art Therapist, believes strongly in the power of expressive arts to promote emotional growth and healing. Her pieces reflect emotional struggles that are both intimate and universal, using themes of personal identity as they relate to Judaism, parenting, feminism, and disabilities.
Monica’s recent exhibitions include the Lancaster Museum of Art and History, MOAH:CEDER, California (2021), Shoebox Projects (2021), TAG Gallery, California (2021), Gallery 825, California (2020-2021), ShockBoxx Gallery, California (2020-2021), The Art Effect, New York, (2021), View Center for Arts and Culture, New York (2021), and RealART, California (2020).