Memento Eternal 01, 2022
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Memento Eternal 01, 2022
“Memento Eternal 01” by Jonathan Monaghan posits connections between the consumerism of the digital age and the decadence of the Baroque era.
The concept for the work is centered around the iconic Fabergé egg with its hidden bejeweled surprise that was produced during the Romanov Dynasty from 1885 to 1916. Created for the Russian Imperial family, the Tsars Alexander III and Nicholas II, they were the most opulent and captivating Easter gifts for their wives and mothers.
Monaghan’s version is a development from his “After Fabergé” series which he started exploring in 2015. Taking the form of the egg, he replaces the gold, jewels, and enamel, with electronic components, like USB ports, a Starbucks or furniture parts, and banal everyday elements from the 21st century. It is also a futurist rendition that retains the opulence characteristic of the Fabergé egg and opens to reveal an otherworldly bust covered in a magnificent Marian royal blue tufted velvety skin with ornate gold buttons. An artifact from an uncertain future, the bust is both Baroque and alien, consumed by its luxurious materiality.
American contemporary visual artist based in Washington D.C. who works across a range of media, including prints, sculpture and computer animated video, to produce otherworldly objects and narratives. Drawing on wide-ranging sources, such as historical artworks and science fiction, Monaghan’s fantastical pieces uncover subconscious anxieties associated with technology and consumerism.
Monaghan has been one of the first artists to have used blockchain technology to authenticate his digital artworks since 2013. He collaborated with Nathan Evans, a Scottish singer to turn the viral sea shanty Wellerman phenomenon into vivid NFT art. Besides his ongoing collaboration with Foundation, recent NFT exhibitions of his work include SPRING/BREAK Art Show in New York; Institut’s ‘NFTism: No Fear in Trying’ in London curated by Kenny Schachter and B3 Biennial of the Moving Image in Frankfurt.
Monaghan has also exhibited at The Sundance Film Festival and prestigious institutions all over the world, such as The Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg; Walters Art Museum, Baltimore; Spazio Ridotto, Venice; and The Palais de Tokyo, Paris. His work sits in numerous public and private collections including The Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art and the Washington D.C. Art Bank Collection. His work has been featured in The New York Times, Vogue, The Washington Post, VICE, and The Wall Street Journal.