Monica Rich
Medium: Painting

Studio Location:
281 Sackett Street - Studio# 1



Artist Bio:
Monica J Rich is an architect and painter living in Brooklyn. She grew up in Manhattan with a strong background in art, having worked at the Asia House Society during school and taken classes at the Art Students League. She had a solo exhibition as a senior at her high school, where Thomas Hoving, then head of the Metropolitan Museum, saw her work and purchased a piece. Although accepted to Cornell as a Fine Arts major, she decided to study architecture. However, she still took fine arts classes and did an independent study with artist Sandy Winters.

She took a hiatus from painting, while raising her two sons and having a career in architecture. Upon returning she decided to paint in gouache, instead of oils as before, due to gouache being more environmentally friendly and water soluble. Over the last ten years she has continued to explore gouache as a medium for her landscape paintings, whose subjects have been drawn from extensive domestic and international travel.

After a trip to Rome about four years ago, she began painting ruins that she saw there. This continued after a recent trip to Sicily, where she had a chance to explore a variety of ancient sites. She is particularly drawn not to the large temples, amphitheaters or arenas, but the ruins or the quarries, which are the bi-products of these large buildings and sites.

Until recently she has not shared her work with the public, but her recent paintings inspired by the ancient Italian sites has led to her desire to show her work publicly. She was recently included in an exhibit at the Greenpoint Gallery and the Ground Floor Gallery both in Brooklyn. She was selected to be included in the prestigious Studios Montclair Visions Exhibition of 2019. She is also exhibiting at Shapeshifter Labs in Gowanus Brooklyn, as part of Gowanus Open Studios, where she is also an exhibitor.

Artist Statement:
As a formally trained architect I learned about design and construction. As an artist I became fascinated by the ways that nature has broken down ancient architectural remains, either through weathering, plant growth or other natural means. It's as if one is viewing architecture in reverse. During my hiatus from painting I experienced an illness that made me more aware of the immediate environment, including the paints and solvents that I used. Upon returning to painting, I felt strongly about using environmentally friendly paints and turned to gouache. I build up the surface of the paintings gradually, which is how I achieve opacity and texture.

All images and text copyright Monica Rich