from The Mill Valley Record
“In my paintings I reflect the
world around me,” says Sausalito artist Monjett.
In that reflection he gives us movement, the motion
of the dance, space, color, balance and humor –
sometimes biting, sometimes gentle, as in his “Music
America,” a series of 50 paintings now in progress.
Still, if the world amuses Monjett it is not a cold
objective amusement. The paintings express warmth that
tells us he does not separate himself from the world
he speaks of.
A Mill Valley resident for 12 years, the Nebraska-born
artist moved to Sausalito in 1976. From his large loft
studio he creates his highly individualistic mixed-media
collage paintings. He juxtaposes clothing, objects he
has found, oil-based house paints, shoes, boots and
other materials - all to create tree-dimensional illusions
that almost leap out of his paintings and into the room.
“I’ve always felt a strong emotional
attraction to music,” he says. “Music is
the perfect medium for expressing anything.”
Monjett’s early childhood
helps explain the music in his paintings. “ My
father was a jazz and blues man. My mother was a classical
pianist. Our home was always saturated with music of
all kinds as far back as I remember.
Arriving in California
after graduating from the University of Nebraska, he was further
influenced by his work as a scenic designer for the San
Francisco Opera in the early 1970s. But, the joyous
musical offerings came much later.
During his seven-year stay in San Francisco, his work
had a very different flavor from the bright collages
of today. The Vietnam War was still in progress. Monjett’s
paintings reflected both the war and the social unrest
in the country.
a certain amount of time doing social commentary. I’ve
lost any desire to do that any more. So much that happens
in the world is an ongoing tragedy. Right now I prefer
to reach for the joy, mirror that for the people. Joy
is part of our process, too”
From March 5-29 Monjett will exhibit 25 paintings from
his collection, including several from the “Music
America” series, at the Edward S. Curtis Gallery,
247 Sir Francis Drake Boulevard in San Anselmo.
A highly prolific artist, Monjett has canvasses on the
walls of offices, institutions and private homes across
the United States. His subject material is highly eclectic.
Always, whatever the painting, the leading impression
from the work is one of movement. In the music series
this is to be expected. But you can see it everywhere.
In “Condominium” blocks of cement seem mobile;
black windows move against the sky; sweeping ribbons
of string, paint, rope dance over the canvas as in a
Drawn to the mystical as well, there are several mare
esoteric pieces that are extremely evocative. “Oath
Giver” presents a white gossamer robe emerging
from the canvas, bearing sacred symbols, beckoning to
Monjett’s interests are diverse,
reflecting a broad education. With a lifelong interest
in history, he majored in history with an art minor when
he attended the University of Nebraska. He has done post-graduate
work at the University of Toronto, Lone Mountain College
in San Francisco, the San Francisco Art Institute and
the San Francisco Art Academy.
“Because historical figures, persons in mythology
attract me, I sometimes draw my paintings through that
process. I get inspiration from many things.
“People have to find a spot within them selves
to direct them to something positive. I would like to
think that my art – the joy that it brings or
the insight might help people in their own process."
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