MONICA SEABERRY BIO
In her decades-spanning practice, Monica Seaberry has explored personal experiences through painting using different materials and mediums to add dimensionality. Originally from Chicago, the intense colors of the Chicago School of artist’s have always influenced her work. Monica’s early work was used as a means of handling with problems and tragedies in young life through comedy. In the 1980s she created colorful artworks of events that actually happened in her life. Monica employed forms, figures and props that were comic book-like in their simplicity. Monica added depth to paintings by adding flat layers of shapes to the background.
Later works moved to an introspective mood, more about the artist’s interior life yet retaining the comic–book forms and colors to depict emotions, actions and spirits.
Though she retained the comic book shapes and colors in later work, Monica no longer depicted personal experiences. She began creating an experience for the viewer, by taking comics to another level, using sparkle, glitter and other kitschy materials to drive the work. Monica finds humor in her concern with things that bling. She uses symbolism like fringe, crystal and glitter on forms that are reduced to symbolic shapes.
I look at painting as a form of discovery. A lifelong artist and truth seeker, I use my work to find the essence of things or ideas. I’ve always been attracted to crystals, glitter, gold and anything else that sparkles and for some reason so have people all over the world, for centuries. I deconstruct familiar shapes and items associated with wealth and arrange them into new conceptually layered pieces. The action in the pieces emanates from the center and their energy is intended to explode like the light of a single jewel inside a velvet ring box. My colors are royal and intense so that all attention is focused on the surface of the painting. The paintings need space around them to contrast the intensity of the paintings with the blank space surrounding them.
These paintings developed and evolved over time. When this body of work began I was looking for the essence of all things bling. The paintings started with scattered beads and glitter and moved to a point where they were completely covered with gold and crystals as they are now. The colors became brighter and brighter. I wanted to make the paintings happy, almost comical. The paintings project a cartoonish version of wealth. What I discovered was that though sparkly wealth may be beautiful, the search for it alone cannot be taken seriously.
Monica owns a graphic design studio in Dupont Circle, Washington DC, that stresses bright color and geometry in projects.