Mona Brody: MVA Open Studios

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Manufacturers Village Artist Studios, located in an 1880’s historic industrial complex at 356 Glenwood Avenue in East Orange, NJ, will feature the work of over 60 different artists at its annual open studios weekend, Friday 10/15 (VIP Preview) and Saturday thru Sunday from 11-5, 10/16 and 10/17.

Mona Brody’s solo exhibitions include The Painting Center, New York, Carter Burden Gallery, New York, The President’s Gallery, Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, Drawing Rooms, Jersey City, Utica College, New York, Kent State University, Ohio, Montclair Art Museum, New Jersey, Aljira Center for Contemporary Art, New Jersey, and New Jersey Center for Visual Arts. International exhibitions include; Kunstlerhaus, Austria, Nanjing College of Art, China, and Boleslawiec Art Museum, Poland. She has received awards and honors such as the Distinguished Alumna Award in the Visual Arts, Moore College of Art & Design, Pratt Institute Faculty Research Seed Grant, and a Nomination for the 2017 Joan Mitchell Foundation, Painters and Sculptors Grant. Mona Brody is a Professor of Fine Arts at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn teaching undergraduate and graduate painting and drawing. She is currently represented by Imlay Gallery.

Tell me about yourself and your art.

I am an abstract artist. My recent paintings, “Souls Walking”, reveal veils of subtle color and layers of marks uncovering the nexus between nature and the human condition. The ambiguous space is both mysterious and unnerving. What is meant to be seen is not an obvious declaration of the tenets of abstraction but rather a fusion of vastly different emotions through empathy and imagination.

I am proud to say that almost 15 years ago, I rented 3500 square feet at Manufacturer’s Village, East Orange, NJ, I developed four artist studios. Our first open studio in 2007 began with 7 artists. This vibrant art community has grown to 60 artists; collaborating in public art projects and Studio Tours, drawing crowds of 1,000 people each October.

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Keep Them Moving, 2021, oil, pigmented shellac, enamel, wax on canvas, 45” x 75”

What will we see in your studio?

I have worked at Manufacturer’s Village for almost 15 years, my studio is a place of experimentation and contemplation. This historical factory permeates magical light and memory, I feel that energy every time I enter. As you meander through my studio you will see intentional and accidental imagery merging when the beautiful and the disconcerting exist simultaneously.

My work explores the deconstructs of perception through a use of varied media, materials, and processes; rollers, brushes, rags applying handmade oil paints, pigmented shellac, and enamel on paper, wood panels, and canvas. The motivation to layer paint joins an intuitive feeling of inner truth.

“In considering alchemy as it might be applied to making abstract imagery, think of it as the practice of reconciling dualities or opposites: temporality and timelessness; permanence and ephemerality; the apparent and the implied; the literal and the metaphorical. Brody’s paintings are on one level really about the paint and, paradoxically enough, the paint transcending its paint-ness in the same way poetry employs words.”  Tom Wachunas

A Different Resilience, 2021, oil, pigmented shellac, enamel, wax on canvas, 60” x 40”

Without Rhyme, 2021, oil, pigmented shellac, enamel, wax on canvas, 60” x 40”