Stickymonger

The quiet beauty of the everyday finds home in surreal excepts from an artist's internal cinema.

Stickymonger facing a window overlooking a cityscape
Stickymonger standing on a stool working on a painting on an easel
Stickymonger sat on a bench under a wall of a shelter covered in graffiti
5 images

Stickymonger, real name Joohee Park, was born in 1976 in South Korea and is now based in Brooklyn, New York.

Practice

The artist's use of vinyl stickers and viscous pigments draws inspiration from memories of her childhood in Korea, where her family owned a gas station and she developed enduring fascinations with oil and animation.

Did you know?

Many of the artist's works are inspired by a specific, vivid dream from more than 10 years ago, in which she encountered a gigantic fish tank filled with broken girl androids who called out to her - foreshadowing the use of glass and window installations in her future projects.

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Practice overview

Stickymonger is known for her manga-esque portraits of young women with subtle elements of surrealism. Spread across installation, sculpture and painting, the figures have a nostalgic sense of loneliness - contemplative, but also content in their own company. The works are created with spray paint and acrylic, along with fibreglass sculptures, and vinyl sticker installations. Japanese anime from the late 70s and 80s informs Stickymonger’s practice, namely Galaxy Express 999 and Toward Terra. She is also inspired by the combination of surrealism and figuration in the work of Italian painter Giorgio de Chirico, as well as daily life in her hometown New York.

Reality and fantasy meld in the works. Cosmic Tower (2016) is a series of black vinyl sticker installations pasted across the panoramic windows of the World Trade Centre’s 69th floor. In one window, two figures lay on their fronts, facing each other looking into a dark abyss with casual fascination. Behind them, the city appears small and insignificant, as if they were gods in a transcendent world purer than our own. The human psyche is central in the artists’ practice. In earlier works, motifs like bandages and plasters are a metaphor for emotional pain and resilience which, paired with the youthful essence of her subjects, feels uncomfortable, as their nonchalant expressions appear far too familiar with the suggested acts of violence marked on their bodies. In later works, the subdued monochromatic colour palettes create a grainy form of contrast which give a sense of nostalgia with a broody Noir feel. In a celebration of the small things that make us who we are, Stickymonger invites the viewer, just like a cinematic cliff-hanger, to complete the narrative for themselves.

“I just want to capture the never-ending moments and feelings that inspire me.” Stickymonger