Deb Monti (b. 1997)
B.A. Yale University 2019

Deb Monti is an Uruguayan-American painter. She is the protégé of art critic and curator Rob Storr, with whom she studied while at Yale, and credits him with instilling her with a desire to be a ‘painter’s painter.’ Monti’s work responds to the “excesses we have found ourselves in” with blunt simplicity. “I want to create a dialogue that functions as a visual haven to the literal and digital trash of late-stage capitalism. My generation has been pushed to want everything at our fingertips—literally—but the massive amount of stuff that’s been newly available and marketed to us seeps with estrangement and listlessness.

My work is an exercise in asceticism—few colors, strict shapes—in response to the oversaturation of product, advertising, and spectacle on the Internet. I play with the RGB color model (used to make color in television sets), and manipulate the same colors that make up a pixel to imagine a world without the advent of the pixel, and the resulting push to commercialize the human experience. My work is a respite from the emotional toll of living a young life online. Two people feeling a moment free from global spectacle; personal reliefs of grief, nostalgia, eroticism.

The figures in my work live in a dimension full of emotion and present-mindedness. And I paint them as a way to escape the dot com bubble that has again gotten so full of air we’ve been made to believe it’s the sky.”

Monti works in New Haven, and splits her time between New York and New Haven. Her work has been featured in The New York Times, PBS, Americans for the Arts, and The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette