Based in New York, Stickymonger is a Korea-born artist whose work has the ability to transport viewers to dark, surreal worlds. At first glance, her large-scale, black-and-white murals look like ink illustrations, but, in fact, Stickymonger’s murals are actually constructed by cut pieces of vinyl, which she sticks onto gallery walls piece by piece. Her works depict gloomy scenes where young, doe-eyed girls appear to be melting into black puddles, stuck in jars of jam, or drowning in cascades of their own hair.

Stickymonger spent her childhood days in Korea where her family owned a gas station. She says that her fascination with ink and liquid fluidity, which are both trademarks of her artistic style today, began as she played among oil cans. Beyond these childhood memories, she cites graphic novels and anime to be some of her biggest influences. “Galaxy Express 999 is my bible,” she says of the manga series from the late 70s. Some of her other manga-related influences include the works of horror artists Junji Ito, Kazuo Umezu, and Kanako Inuki.

Despite the dark undertones, her artworks are actually meant to be a creative outlet for some of her past interpersonal struggles, frequently conveying feelings of anxiety and her experiences with prejudice. Oftentimes, the girls depicted in her murals are lost in thought, submerged in sludge with their eyes glazed over, or worriedly looking elsewhere as if searching for an escape from within Stickymonger’s sinister landscapes. Throughout her work, her subjects are intertwined with the landscape, dissolving into bodies of liquid blackness or forming portals into an alternate universe. The large-scale murals, which she has described as a visual representation of her sardonic worldviews, allow viewers to be fully immersed in her dark, haunting landscapes.

After having held successful exhibitions in San Francisco, New York, and South Korea, Stickymonger’s latest work will be featured in CIRQUE NOIR, a group show at AFA Gallery in New York City. The show will begin October 7th, 2017.

Facebook: ~/sticky.monger
Instagram: @stickymonger

Contributor: Megan Cattel

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