Date: July 13 – July 17, 2022
Venue: CAN Ibiza B5, Ctra. d’Eivissa a Sant Antoni, 07800, Ibiza
New York based artist Stickymonger’s new body of paintings is inspired by a playful dichotomy between ideas of hot and cool. This vivid series of aerosol paint works was especially created to be shown in Ibiza at the height of summer.
Through a spontaneous process of layering water soluble and solvent paints, Stickymonger creates expressive portraits of wide-eyed girls in atmospheric environments. In sharp contrast to the artist’s melancholy works made in the thick of the pandemic, this series of paintings evokes a feeling of easiness, respite and liberation now that the world has reopened. “No positive, no negative. Living life hot or cool is up to you,” says Stickymonger describing her attitude to post-pandemic life. “This back and forth is my vital energy. It writes my story. Spins my earth around.”
Instead of depicting singular moments in time, these works capture what the artist describes as never-ending moments or feelings. In pieces such as Ahhhhhhhh, 2022, Stickymonger explores the sense of freedom and escape that creating art offers. The two-panel painting depicts a blue-haired girl and giant teddy bear afloat in a sea of vibrant colour—a dream universe that Stickymonger is in the midst of spray painting. Meanwhile, a trio of tondo-shaped canvases HOT! COOL! HOT!, 2022, features expressive tightly-cropped portraits exploring a spectrum of emotions that the title conjures. Finally, in works such as That summer I was…, 2022, she celebrates notions of innocence, youth and languorous summer days.
Stickymonger is a New York-based artist whose giant murals transform ordinary spaces into eerie, dreamlike, parallel universes. Looking into the large eyes of her animation-inspired subjects, the viewer is invited to explore the interplay of darkness and light, as well as the tension between innocence and fear, femininity and anxiety.
The artist’s early murals were created using hundreds of vinyl stickers, meticulously put together, piece by piece. The method served to create a sense that each image was melting and flowing together, like a river of ink down a gallery’s walls. This dark fluidity at the centre of Stickymonger’s work was inspired by her youth in South Korea, where — growing up in a home next to her family’s gas station — the artist’s imaginative universe was formed while playing in the shadow of oil drums and staring into the reflections of dense black petroleum puddles.
Currently, Stickymonger has expanded her work beyond vinyl to include other mediums such as spray paint and acrylic. As her methods evolve and change, she continues to offer the viewer a portal into a surreal shadow-world of contradictions: as inviting as it is ominous, both delightful and disconcerting.