“Influenced by the country’s social instability and racial divide, my paintings are visual narratives on race, resilience and the fragility of human connections. Through my paintings I explore injustices towards women and people of color. I see my artwork as my battle cry; the opportunity to awaken sensitivities in others who fail to see the abuses people of color encounter.
My father was an inquisitive and kind man who gave me many gifts. Through observations and our long talks I learned the powerful art of resilience. It is a theme that reverberates throughout my work and life.
Elements of race, gender and relationships are portrayed as fragmented and sometimes disparate with recognizable eyes staring back at the viewer. This body of work similarly echoes themes of uncertainty. The current social climate where we are acutely aware of, and often tormented by others, begs us to consider the vast and unknowable potentials of our futures.
Adding a distressed texture to the surface of the canvas is symbolic of the physical and emotional pain inflicted on people of color. Through my paintings, I give a voice to generations of people who have been abused by systematic racism. Failing to acknowledge a person’s inhumanity towards others makes us complicit in their acts.
Incorporating found objects and ephemera collected adds personal context of women’s shared experiences. Artworks with couples represent a time in my life when I questioned my standing in a relationship and the power play of give and take.
Painting is cathartic, having the opportunity to share my work brings me great joy.
I studied art at the State University of New Paltz, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Art Education. Raised in Hartsdale, New York, I divide my time between NYC and Richmond, Virginia.”
– Mona Dworkin
View Mona Dworkin’s collection at the Stravitz Gallery