Monica Ikegwu

(Baltimore, Maryland 1998 -)


Monica Ikegwu (b.1998, Baltimore, Maryland) is a figurative painter. Ikegwu earned a BFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art and an MFA from the New York Academy of Art.

In presenting the notion of the Black figure that is captivating and unconventional, Ikegwu uses color, fluid lines, and textured backgrounds to compose hyperrealist imagery. The concepts for her paintings stem from her surroundings, experiences, and encounters with people in Baltimore. The subjects presented in Ikegwu’s paintings are often her friends, siblings, and other family members from whom she draws her inspiration as she watches them progress through life.

Ikegwu is among the eight African American artists featured in the 2022 Venice Biennale exhibition The Afro-Futurist Manifesto: Blackness Reimagined, curated by Myrtis Bedolla of Galerie Myrtis. The exhibit explores the theme of Black life on the continuum of its imagined future presented in the Personal Structures art fair.

Ikegwu earned first place in the XL Catlin Art prize (2018), was a YoungArts Finalist (2017), a Gold medal winner in the NAACP ACT-SO National competition (2016), and a Scholastic silver medal portfolio winner (2016). Her work was exhibited at the XL Catlin Art Prize traveling exhibition and the Reginald F. Lewis Museum in 2018.

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