Remember the days before we backed up our entire lives “in the cloud” and people still used floppy disks to store their files? London-based artist Nick Gentry explores the contemporary meaning of once ubiquitous but now obsolete media in his floppy disk portraits. For Gentry, these personal artifacts create a striking canvas for his powerful, haunting works.
His portraits, which he calls “social art,” capture the wistfulness and nostalgia of simpler times in our technological age, and they also provide compelling social commentary about consumerism, cyberculture, and technology’s impact on society.
“Life Story,” 2011. Mixed paint and used computer disks on wood.
Labels scrawled the disc’s former owners’ handwriting and brand names that dominated like Verbatim, 3M, and Adobe shine through the facial features of Gentry’s portraits. The brands are still around today, but have evolved into updated versions of themselves… just as we have, too.
“Self Portrait,” 2014. Oil paint and used computer disks on wood