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© 2019 Todd Monaghan

At the turning of the millennium my brother, a fellow Eagle Scout, gave me my first commission as an artist just before the turn of the millennium.  He asked me to paint an American Flag.  He asked that the painting be layered and thick with texture and that it incorporate the earth tones.  It was to pay homage to Jasper Jones and his flag paintings, Jackson Pollock and his splatter and of course whatever I brought to the equation.  Yet another flag reference. 

American Beauty, Todd Monaghan, 2000, 48" x 72", oil and egg shells on canvas.

I dedicated the painting to the American Indians who have always been overlooked when telling the story of this land.  Pareidolia, or seeing faces in things, surfaced in my work.  Look closely and you can see the face of an American Indian Chief at the center of the painting. 

I returned to Emory for a class reunion with an 8.5" x 11" picture of the original American Beauty and shared it with whoever would look at it. The university purchased the new version of the painting, sight unseen, and dedicated it to the alumni of the school who died during the attack.  

During the events of September 11, 2001, I was working in the North Tower of the World Trade Center as a legal assistant.  

 In the days and months after 911, I made a second American Beauty painting.  I called it "American Beauty 911".  I made it much larger and tried to incorporate the feelings I, the rest of the city, as well as the rest of the country was experiencing. I wasn't sure what I would do with such a large painting, I only knew that I had to paint it. 

tm with American Beauty 911, 2001, 64" x 84", oil, canvas and egg shells on canvas, at Woodruff PE Center, Emory University.

I dedicated the painting to the American Indians who I have always felt have been overlooked when telling the story of this country.  Pareidolia, or seeing faces in things, surfaced in my work.  Look closely and you can see the face of an American Indian at the center of the painting. 

American Beauty 911, Todd Monaghan, 2001, 64" x 84", oil, canvas and egg shells on canvas.

American Beauty 911, Todd Monaghan, 2001, 64" x 84", oil, canvas and egg shells on canvas.