Todd Monaghan

Born in Philadelphia, PA

Lives & works in New York, NY

"My work is about finding; really, what I do, is see what exists in the accidental or random, finding inspiration in the dance and celebration of the practice. This is my making process. 


     ~  Todd Monaghan

In a time when there is enough well-executed but wholly unfelt abstraction around to constitute a new salon, which indeed it has effectively done, Todd Monaghan’s work is as refreshing as a shower on parched ground. It is work I first encountered about ten years ago when Monaghan’s mature style was already well developed. I paid studio visits and recorded an interview for a study on how a necessary spirit of truculent inventiveness could survive in the art world in a fat period, a time when relative prosperity was posing its own problems, when the War of the Isms was dodo-dead and no demanding new imperative has sprung up to replace it.

Monaghan’s working methods impressed me at once, namely his restlessness, his visible willingness to embrace chance, a recklessness which struck me as very like the modus operandi that the first generation of Ab Exes had taken from Surrealist Automatism. I liked the way he would work on the wall, then transfer the surface to the floor, then hock the piece back onto the wall again, dripping, gouging, pouring, incising, splashing, seemingly recklessly and, yes, perhaps actually so, but ending up with an image that seemed so controlled that he might as well have been a watchmaker meticulously assembling a timepiece.

A hang of eleven of Monaghan's canvases in the SLS Hotel was one of the projects at Art Basel Miami this year. Each was distinctively different but unmistakably his. His unorthodox ways of making his work are taking painting in new directions.


     ~ Anthony Haden Guest

“Spiritual Surrealism”


     ~ Anthony M. Solomon, advisor to 3 presidents, former Chairman of PS1, Andy Warhol Foundation Board.

“alienation of tm”


     ~ Featured in See/Me exhibit at The Louve Museum in Paris, France.

“American Beauty 911”


     ~ Permanent collection of Emory University, Woodruff Auditorium.

Todd Monaghan, an American Artist based in New York City, sometimes referred to as tm, explores spontaneous intuition and the subconscious mind by flicking, spilling, dripping and scrapping paint into layered, textural, immersive, multi-level paintings and collages. Monaghan’s paintings engage formally with line and density on a large scale and thematically stare into the widest scope of all – our boundless universe. Stretching as large as 118 inches, these paintings relate to the individual and whole of the cosmos in their gripping, expressionistic approach. He has exhibits in many international galleries and art fairs including Paris, NY, Atlanta, Miami, LA and abroad. His works are in the collections of important private, corporate, and academic collections.  

Todd Monaghan has no easel, he paints in an unconventional way, pinning his canvases to his studio walls then bringing them to the floor then back to the walls again and then the floor searching to see something new each time. He is spontaneous in his movement welcoming chance and experimentation. The work is colorful and textural and has a sense of discovery. Monaghan creates multi-level immersive works that encourages the viewer to explore the parts as well as the overall whole and their interplay.

By constantly reinventing the game/practice of painting (i.e., flipping in various direction, using various conventional and unconventional materials), Monaghan seeks to uncover the story that exists within the paint. He approaches his work from a mystical/spiritual perspective with an emphasis on intuition. Through his studies of breath awareness in the martial arts and yoga, Monaghan realizes that there is an energy that springs forth from Mother Nature herself. He sees that this energy, which exists outside the five senses, guides and informs the five senses. In his work, Monaghan strives to channel this life force by becoming an instrument for it. He draws from intuition and serendipity looking for the images within the images accessible only through the subconscious.  

Just as a story has a surface text and subtext, so do each and every one of Monaghan’s artworks. The basic images evolve so that, with each new viewing, underlying images “pop". Each form takes on various images as one looks deeper and deeper, imbuing the picture with new meaning, just as the face in a rock or tree imbues in it the spirit of life itself.  Through this process with both his paintings and collages, Monaghan strives to create an exciting distillation of our political, spiritual and out-of-control pop culture in the 21st Century.  This is forever an evolving process.

Todd Monaghan's artistic influences include:  Jackson Pollock, Marcel Duchamp, Franz Kline, Anselm Kiefer, Qin Feng, Jean Michel Basquiat, Juan Miro, Pablo Picasso, Vincent Van Gogh.  

Todd's mediums have ranged from oil and tempera, acrylic and natural organic materials to his current series which is gesso, layered canvas and egg shells.  


BA from Emory University
Certificate In Film, New York University
Collaborative Study with artist Gregory Ilich, 
  RISD Brown University
Eagle Scout, Boy Scouts of America

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© 2019 Todd Monaghan