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Monica Marks: Inside Voices / Shoebox Projects, LA

Inside Voices

Solo Exhibition by Monica Marks

Curated by Kristine Schomaker

Shoebox Projects

January 15 - February 3, 2024

Video by L.A. Art Documents /



Inside Voices are the thoughts we hold internally about the world around us, about others, and about ourselves. They can be those nagging voices that tell us how worthless we are, or they can be those encouraging voices telling us we can do hard things. These voices in our heads can be saturated in angry resentment, or they can be openly compassionate. They are born when we are. As we grow and adapt to our ever-changing lives, so do they. My own inside voices have changed dramatically over my lifetime. Once critical and cemented in trauma, they’ve become kinder and more accepting. With hard work (and lots of therapy), my inner negative self-talk is now a whisper, while my positive self-talk is often loud and proud.

In this series, I took my inside voices and let them out in layers of paint. My first challenge was to paint on a larger scale, to take up space, and to be unapologetic about doing so. The base layer, which mostly ends up hidden, reflects struggle, helplessness, and not being heard, seen, or understood. The base layer is important because it exists as a part of my past. It is not completely visible because it is no longer a part of my everyday life. What comes next is a progression of addition and subtraction; covering up and revealing; translucency and opacity; and scratches to unearth what lies underneath. It is a painterly process of replacing old voices that no longer serve me with newer ones that do. The words I add are affirmations, my arsenal against the old voices of self-hatred. These pieces represent the power and strength of inside voices and how influential they can be.


Monica Marks is a multidisciplinary artist living and working in Los Angeles. She earned her BA in Art from California State University, Northridge, and her MA in Marital and Family Therapy at Loyola Marymount University with a specialization in Clinical Art Therapy. Monica’s training and experience in the mental health field influence her work and she believes strongly in the power of expressive arts to promote emotional growth and healing.

In 2021 Monica had her first solo exhibition, What We Hide: An Exploration titled "Hidden Disabilities" and Identity, through Shoebox Projects online, using her studio as the physical space for in-person visits. Monica’s work has been exhibited in numerous group exhibitions, including the Lancaster Museum of Art and History, the Torrance Art Museum, and the Bristol Art Museum in Rhode Island. Her work was selected for the 2021 Los Angeles Open and the 2022 Made in the USA at TAG Gallery. Monica is also a gallery artist at Bird Dog Arts in Tejon Ranch, CA. Monica is collected nationally.

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