Richard Moninski’s recent work explores several themes: the systemization of nature, the decorative impulse, the choices between representation and abstraction, and the history and culture of specific places. His paintings and drawings juxtapose indigenous flora and fauna, man-made artifacts, and stylized representations of plants taken from European decorative arts traditions such as tapestry and lace-making.
Moninski often paints directly on commercially printed fabrics, usually camouflage patterns, incorporating and modifying the existing printed designs. The imagery ranges from more fully rendered objects to loose, gestural paint splatters and strokes. Why camouflage? Individual camouflage shapes are abstract, yet the overall pattern represents foliage. This duality of abstraction and representation allows for the inclusion of flat, decorative patterns and things rendered as three-dimensional forms. The resulting works take the original military or hunting context of the camouflage and bend it to a commentary on the meeting places of nature and culture.