Carson Monahan, a Detroit based self-taught painter, is recognized for seamlessly merging classical beauty with contemporary narratives. Raised in Ann Arbor, Michigan, he was immersed in art from an early age but it was not until his mid-thirties that he considered pursuing it as a career.
Though Monahan did receive some formal training during a year of art school, Carson eventually earned a degree in entrepreneurship. He pursued various paths from fish mongering to fashion design, while catering to an incessant desire to travel and broaden his perspective, and to seek to comprehend the human condition. Alas, his artistic roots kept beckoning, guiding him toward a life committed to create.
Monahan’s inspiration draws from his experiences residing in Austin, New York, and Detroit, taking childhood annual trips to Tucson and Muskoka, Canada, and a close relationship to nature. These city and natural influences are present throughout his works which are further informed by an adoration for history, both the romanticism and underlying brutality that lies within, from Antiquity to the American Frontier. Combined with his previous role as a co-founder and designer for the clothing brand House of St. Clair, his experience has provided him with a range of encounters that have significantly contributed to shaping his unique artistic perspective. His style results in creations that transcend temporal confines, works that harmoniously fuse tradition and contemporary surrealism which result in a fusion of influences and intricate emotional profundities.
This multidisciplinary approach invites audiences to explore the interplay of history, emotion, and aesthetics, capturing moments that balance grandeur and introspection. Through his art, viewers are prompted to uncover the intricacies of the human journey.
My work is driven by an aspiration to delve into the realms of human emotion and thought, centered around unveiling the profound connections between psychological landscapes and the spiritual dimensions of existence. I am interested in bringing to the forefront the nuanced experiences that often evade our immediate attention, highlighting both the elegance and imperfections that interlace the fabric of the everyday.
The core of my artistic exploration is rooted in the multifaceted nature of the human condition. Thus, I aim to capture the intangible aspects that define our reality, channeling the essence of our being throughout my works. My paintings serve as a conduit for these concealed meanings and metaphorical narratives, unearthing symbolic imagery that resides within the human psyche.
At the heart of each composition lies a tapestry of motifs, laden with layers of significance. Left open to interpretation, the viewer is afforded the opportunity to forge an intimate connection with the work by encouraging a voyage through the corridors of memory, sentimentality, and imagination, inviting introspection and emotional resonance.
My artistic language articulates the unspoken dimensions of existence through subtle hues of euphoria and abundance alongside somber shades of loss and vulnerability. Throughout my oeuvre, you will find each piece is part of an inner dialogue, contemplating the ethereal aspects of our shared human narrative.
Every artwork I create stands as a beckoning to seize the fleeting moments that shape our reality and embrace the complexity they encapsulate. In a world that often demands haste, my work serves as a respite, enabling viewers to reacquaint themselves with the profundity and intricacy of their surroundings. In this harmonious juncture between art and experience, I aim to foster a connection that transcends the tangible world and traverses into the essence of our existence, uncovering meaning and resonance within the transient moments that compose our lives.
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Willow House, 2023 Residency Terlingua, TX
Monument "Habitual Moments" Solo Exhibition, 2023, Kingston, NY
The Riverside 2021-22 Residency Detroit, MI
The Other Art Fair 2021 Chicago, IL
Metropolitan Museum of Design / Collected Detroit "Brainworxx" Group Exhibition 2021 Detroit, MI
Conduit Gallery Dallas,TX Spring, 2024
Commerce Gallery Lockhart, TX Autumn, 2024