Nick Gentry

UK Artist, Nicky Gentry, creates emotionally evoking paintings using obsolete forms of information storage.  Found VHS tapes, cassettes, floppy and hard disks compose collage work faces or a couple in a fond embrace.  Not only do these vacant eyed masks tell stories but the legible notes jotted upon each 150 MB disk also hold keys to the lost stories locked within their discarded plastic shells.

Since graduating from St. Martin’s in 2006, Gentry has been exploring the chronological advancements of physical technology.  Prodding at and collecting the left over hardware of each breakthrough progression, Gentry is fascinated by how for centuries we recorded ourselves on physical objects but recently with the advent of the internet and multi-tera byte hard drives these tangible forms of data are viewed as archaic.

To Gentry, this progression, “represents a big shift away from physical, real world objects, driving towards a human existence that is ultimately governed by billions of intangible data files. This release of information from the physical form allows personal data and identities to now be revealed and infinitely shared online. At the same time many of us consider individuality and privacy to be more precious than ever. Will humans be forever compatible with our own technology?”

We can each identify with the figures in the paintings and the further question of a self in terms of technology.  We recognize the artifacts used to compose each portraiture and yet when is the last time we’ve made use of a Beta tape or a floppy disk?  Are we advancing beyond our selves?  How quickly is it that we create and then dispose of an object which at one time was thought of as indispensable.  Our craving for bigger, better, faster seems to be accelerating towards a blinding speed of disposability, will we even be needed in the future?

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