A monotype is a painting or drawing that has been printed on paper. Oil paint is applied directly to a clean non-porous surface such as plexiglas, plastic or glass. When paper is pressed to this surface, provided the paint or ink is still wet, the image transfers to the paper. Because monotypes must be done quickly, the application of paint is bold and loose and can be very expressive.
IG: Are you still painting the figure? Is that your main subject?
MBM: Yes, I have always been preoccupied with the human figure, people alone or in relation to other people or objects. I also love doing monotypes.
IG: What is it about the monotype that excites you?
MBM: I love that they have to be done so quickly. I work on my large figurative work over a long period of time with repeated sittings. For me, doing a monotype is a breath of fresh air. They are very spontaneous and the end result is always a surprise. They work, or they don’t work. You only have one shot. Unless you print in less than three hours the paint dries and you lose all sense of contrast. I find them an ideal medium for New York City scenes that I am drawn to, because you don’t need as much information.
IG: There’s less thinking involved.
MBM: I find them fun. Not easy—because they are so unpredictable—but fun. For the Circus series, I did some of them four times, until I finally got what I wanted.