Monika Rosen turns to the human figure and the elusive, dynamic properties of water to explore themes of identity and self-perception. Her images narrate individuals working to reconcile their belief systems and perceptions of themselves, while undergoing significant changes. Interested in highlighting these transformations, Monika draws upon her own experiences while travelling and setting down new roots, and her research into mental health.
Born and raised in the suburbs of Toronto, Canada, Monika received her Bachelor of Fine Art Honours from Queen’s University in 2013 where she studied Painting, Printmaking and Art History. Following graduation, she embarked on a significant period of travel where she took on Artist-in-Residence positions in Manchester (UK), Assisi (Italy), and St. Andrews By-The-Sea (Canada). These opportunities led to collaborations with the local municipality by way of open studios, community talks, and an exhibition (in Assisi, 2013), as well as collaboration with fellow artists who aided immensely in the exchange of ideas, reference materials, and subsequent residencies.
Monika made the move out West to the province of British Columbia in the Spring of 2015, and found her creativity fuelled by Whistler‘s lesser known yet wildly artistic community. During her two-year residency in Whistler, Monika engaged the arts community and municipality through a diverse range of projects: as the Whistler curator for the first ever travelling show between the Sea-To-Sky arts alliance titled “Our Sea To Sky” hosted by Arts Whistler, as a participant in the first pop-up art studios, as a live painting performer on the stroll, as an actress in an original theatre play which debuted at the Flagstop Festival in 2016, and as a vendor (of her original paintings) at Bizarre Bazaar, to name a few. In her last stunt in Whistler, she teamed up with filmmaker Angie Nolan and entertainer Ira Pettle to co-direct ARTdrenaline 2017 – a multimedia exhibition and staged performance as part of the annual Whistler Ski & Snowboard Festival in April. The first few paintings in her new series of researched portraits, The Sehnsucht Project, were featured as part of this event.
In exciting news, Monika has accepted enrolment as a Master of Fine Arts candidate at the New York Academy of Art, and has moved back to Toronto for the summer to prepare for this next step in her artistic career. Continuing work on her latest portrait series, she invites collaboration and participation from the Toronto community on this leg of the journey.
For more information about her work, inquiries into purchasing one of her original paintings, inquiries about commissions, and *interest in participating in her portrait project* – please feel free to contact her directly at firstname.lastname@example.org