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© 2019 Todd Monaghan

I was born on Flag Day, June 14, 1964, a left-handed Gemini born in the year of the Dragon.

Baby picture of renowned New York City Artist Todd Monaghan

I grew up in Dover, Delaware encouraged by my mother to always make art.  She always did.

I started carving when I was 11 and won a Best of Show for a floating decorative Mallard decoy a couple years later.

I spent my summers on the eastern shores of Delaware. That's me the 4th guy from the left in the first row knelling).  

After graduating from Emory University in 1986, I moved back to the beach for one last summer on the beach patrol.  I ran in the USLA (United States Lifesaving Association) Lifeguard Olympics in an event called Beach Flags, a sprinting race in the soft sand, that is a cross between musical chairs and the 40 yard dash.   I was eliminated in the first round of the final heat.  I began to write about the experience. I moved to New York City with the intention of pursuing modeling and began to write FLAGS, a reimagined telling of the story of the Beach Flags Event and the story of my life on the beach patrol and running in the Life Guard Olympics.  A flag theme takes shape.

One day while waiting to meet a photographer in Hell's Kitchen, I told my story idea to a movie producer who was renting the photographer space.  She gave me a job, a place to stay, and the support I needed to write the FLAGS script. 

I got a job at a collectible toy store on West Broadway in Soho.  That store had the first color copier in the neighborhood and all the local artist and designers would bring their work to make copies inevitably discarding what they didn't want.  I started to collect the images that spoke to me and put them together on a large vision board.  Collaging became a central practice to explore story and intuition. 

tm, first headshot, circa 1988, Star World Productions

I attended an intensive continuing education film program at NYU and shot a trailer for my first short film, the Illumination.

The Illumination short film screening at Tribeca Film Festival Invitation, Tuesday, May 14th, 1992.

My primary focus at this time was the writing and getting the scripts produced however, whenever I got writer's block I would step away and freely flow with the collage.  

My primary focus at this time was the writing and getting the scripts produced however, whenever I got writer's block I would step away and freely flow with the collage.  

The Illumination, the original short film, 1992.

One of my friends from the Central Park Dance Circle helped out as a production assistant and photographer.   I found out later that Gregory was an Ivy league educated painter, a graduate of RISD at Brown University. We began to work together in his expansive studio in the Whistling Tower high above Central Park.  At the time, Al Pacino lived below him.  I spent several years working with Gregory and learned how to paint by collaborating with the master.  I learned how to take chances, constantly reinvent the game of painting, keep things original and always try to "see" from a fresh perspective.  I had my first art shows with Gregory on the LES (Lower East Side) of Manhattan.  

Fall, Todd Monaghan, 1994, 60" x 27", collage, oil on board.

My primary focus at this time was the writing.  However, when I got writer's block I would step away and freely flow with the collage.  

With time I began to paint the collages until the collages where almost completely obscured.  The Shri Mona Lisa, pictured below, was one of my earliest paintings.  You can see the texture (which became a driving force in my work) created by the collage below.  If you look closely you can see a bit of the collage, a light post, in the energy vortex to the right.  

Shri Mona, Todd Monaghan, 1994, 30" x 40", oil sticks on picture collage.