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Biography

 
Monjett was born in Omaha, Nebraska and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in European and American history with a minor in art, specializing in painting. He continued his study of art at the University of Toronto, the San Francisco Institute of Art, and the San Francisco Art Academy. He completed his master’s thesis in Psychology and Art from Lone Mountain College in 1974.

His first one man exhibit was in 1970 at the San Francisco College for Women where he displayed two dozen of his recent paintings along with woodcuts and drawings. During the 1970’s the focus of his artwork was social commentary and surrealistic landscapes. Shortly after his first exhibition, he became an exhibiting member of the Blackman’s Art Gallery on Haight Street in San Francisco, which was one of the first African-American owned art galleries in the Northern California.

During the 1980’s Monjett’s skill at portraiture and his ongoing study of history led to a series of pencil drawn portraits of military leaders from different nations. These portraits, silk screened on t-shirts and sportswear, had commercial appeal that evolved into a mail order business which supplied not only retail buyers, but shops nationwide. It was also during the 1980’s that Monjett began adding collage elements to his paintings. Using paper and thin bits of fabric on canvas, these works soon expanded into heavier pieces on wood panel. Leather, found objects, metal and plastic parts, boots as well as entire pieces of clothing found their way onto his painted surfaces. Mixed media collage involvement allowed Monjett to enlarge his subject matter to include new ways of depicting the human form and historical themes.

During the 1990’s he exhibited his “Black Holocaust” series in Minneapolis, Minnesota at Jahn Arts International. This exhibit was done completely in mixed media collage, depicting the story of the African slave trade. In 1990 he, also, began an ongoing series called his “Music Series” which illustrates a variety of situations involving music as a medium of entertainment. This “Music Series’ are all mixed media paintings on both canvas and wood panel. The opening presentation of these works was at the Gallery Piazza in Sausalito in 1991.The exhibit was well received, and was written up with photos in the Sausalito newspaper, Marinscope and the Mill Valley Record. Since then, the series has been shown in over a dozen galleries across the United States. Intended as an ongoing visual documentary of contemporary music, this series is still evolving.

Since the year 2000, Monjett has been producing abstract paintings on canvas. These paintings more than any other of his works are offerings of pure emotion. The improvisational nature of the paintings are such that Monjett, eschewing the use of a brush, often paints with both hands, holding a palate knife in his right hand and a sponge in his left. Building up the surface to create a landscape of texture, Monjett uses a variety of colors to navigate his way across the surface to produce unusually decorative and honest paintings.

   
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