January 14 – February 7, 2021
New York, NY –– Whaam! Is pleased to present Pleasure Garden, the first solo exhibition by New York artist Sylvain Munoz, opening on January 14 and on view through February 7, 2021. Made almost entirely during the 2020 city shutdown in the artist’s Chinatown studio, Pleasure Garden depicts a fictional world that is inhabited by all facets of Munoz’s imagination. It is a stage on which Heaven, Hell, and humanity mingle –– a modern, almost futuristic sin city, manifesting the pleasure of media consumption versus the evils of modern technology.
A self-taught artist born and raised in New York City, Munoz’s fantastical and painterly landscapes on canvas subvert the sexually charged in a playful, cartoon-like aesthetic, drawn from his nostalgic affinity with the 20th-century pop culture references he grew up with, from action figures to the 1993 video game Doom to the 1954 film Godzilla. While attending school in Greenwich Village, Munoz noticed the nearby sex shops and developed a deep fascination with New York’s BDSM and leather culture –– a curiosity that inspired his collecting of fetish magazines to create collages. a primary reference in the artist’s work. Many of Munoz’s paintings are cities within cities, micro snapshots that become part of his larger canvases, detailed in triptych-like compositions. A close look at his macrocosmic landscapes, reminiscent of Hieronymus Bosch’s Garden of Earthly Delights, reveals curious details and characters in intimate instances, in child-like depictions – threading escapism and confrontation, the familiar and the mysterious, the pleasurable and the morbid.
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