Written by Michael Ashman
Whether it is the next Apple product, video game console, or latest techno-gadget that makes a task easier, technology is all around us. Its ever-changing and growing form adds more and more possessions to our daily life, and more waste as other gizmos become obsolete. Technology is almost impossible to ignore, and GMONIK shows us how it tolls upon our thoughts as we go about our lives in his work called “Used” currently on display at Thumbprint Gallery.
The things we interact with daily, from ATMs to laptop computers, are all powered by technology. The girl wearing headphones in this artwork looks like she also has to deal with the same numerous electronic gadgets, as seen spewing out of the back of her head. Objects such as, a TV, a toaster, a cell phone, and boombox intertwine with other non-electronic items such as, sneakers, beer, flowers, and even a rubix cube. Her expressionless stare tells us that she is probably daydreaming about the things sprouting behind her. With so many things on her mind, she becomes distant from the city landscape behind her. Her world seems to revolve around the many material goods that make up her life.
The city is full of unavoidable technology. Flashing billboards, noisy traffic, satellite dishes, and security cameras make up most of the cityscape. GMONIK incorporates things, such as the satellite dish and closed-circuit security camera, into the painting to show technology that watches us, instead of the other way around. Another female figure in the artwork appears to be sleeping peacefully in the river of the city, but is still being fed the noise of the bustling city as her open mouth catches the flow of cars from the bridge. She is a part of the city, laying her head down on the same things that are a part of the other girl’s mind.
This work has a surreal and free-flowing design around the city and the technology in it. The painting flashes into existence with a warm sunset orange color. The collection of things growing from the back of her head and the sleeping giant in the river add surrealism to this dreamlike image. He uses a mixture of acrylic, ink and dripping spray paint to create an imaginative scene that leads the eye from the city to the girl’s head in the foreground.
There are so many things to think about when viewing this work. “Used” by GMONIK is one of many works currently on display at Thumbprint Gallery’s “City Dreams” exhibit. To see this piece and more of GMONIK’s artwork visit Thumbprint Gallery on Kline Street in La Jolla. The gallery is open Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 12pm to 4pm. The show will be on exhibit until February 3. Also, for those who missed the opening reception the gallery will be holding a second reception on January 25 from 4pm to 9pm.