Monica Ikegwu is a Baltimore based figure painter. She presents her ideas of the figure in a way that is not only captivating, but also unconventional in her use of color, texture, and composition. The ideas for her work stems from her surroundings, experiences, and encounters with people while in Baltimore. The figures presented in her work are often her siblings and family from whom she draws most of her inspiration from as she watches them progress through life.
“The main purpose of my work is to focus on the perception of individual people. Perception in the way that people are viewed and how they want to appear as. I paint people, but I give them the choice to decide how they will pose and dress. The personalized clothing and pose combined creates an image that is definitive of the specific person. It is more real. I want my work to focus in on the attitude of people and set in time the different trends that people follow in terms of their appearance. When people observe the work I want them to try and figure out who the person is. Not only that, but for others to recognize that people can reveal themselves through their outward appearances and that their identity can sometimes exist there.
I want to display a variety of people and expand on the representation of African American people so that people are aware of who we truly are and that we show who we are in many different forms and styles. I aim to produce work that is a culmination of people, not as subjects to paint, but as people with their own sense of self.”