Jaybo Monk Wanders an Abstract Landscape in “Nowhere Is Now Here”

by CaroPosted on

Berlin based artist Jaybo Monk (previously featured here) is the architect of an abstract world in his paintings. Human figures, which he likens to “cathedrals”, are split apart, masses of muscle and shapes swimming around the canvas that leave us feeling disoriented. Combined, they provide the backdrop for a landscape with no boundaries, a place Monk calls “nowhere”. His current exhibition “Nowhere Is Now Here”, which opened last night at Soze Gallery in Los Angeles, explores this concept of wandering, both literally and metaphorically.


Jaybo Monk with his favorite painting, “Failing to Levitate”, on opening night.

As our eyes wander throughout the picture, we arrive at motifs representing the artist’s own wanderings in life. Specifically, Monk goes back in time with deep remorse. A handwritten note on one of his pieces reads: “Mother, I should have protect [sic] you from what my father wanted you to be.” His emotional remarks represent a departure from previous works which dealt with more social commentary. Also setting his new work apart is a more painterly technique than his urban artworks. Monk considers himself to be a remixer of visuals and experiences, while balancing between those two worlds of painting and graffiti. Adding to this remix is the incorporation of found-object sculptures displayed throughout the gallery. They are equally ambiguous, bringing the bizarreness of his paintings into the physical space. Standing at the border of his world in this sense, Monk presents us with an invitation to enter it. Take a look at our photos from the opening of “Nowhere Is Now Here”, below.

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