Jonathan Monaghan

Mystical Unicorn

Fine art print
60 x 40 cm; 23.6 x 15.7 in, sheet
63 x 43 cm; 24.8 x 16.9 in, frame
24-Hour Edition Drop

Estimated delivery time: 4 - 6 weeks
Pickup: 4 weeks
250,00 €excl. VAT & shipping
Select an option:
  • Unframed- Sold Out- 250,00 €
  • Framed- Available- 360,00 €


Jonathan Monaghan is an artist working 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, his fantastical pieces uncover subconscious anxieties associated with technology and consumerism. Past exhibitions include The Sundance Film Festival, The Walters Art Museum in Baltimore, and The Palais de Tokyo in Paris. His work has been featured in several media outlets including The New York Times, Vogue, and The Washington Post. His work sits in numerous public and private collections including The Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art and the Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C.


MYSTICAL UNICORN transforms an iconic medieval tapestry of a unicorn in captivity into an otherworldly vignette. Enclosed in a ring of security checkpoints, this mythical creature is trapped by technology. Inspired by the famous series of tapestries known as the Hunt of the Unicorn, Monaghan draws from its use of pagan imagery and references. By re-imagining these ancient mythologies and symbols, Monaghan provides a modern mythical narrative for the digital age.


The artist will doodle on the print, adding in designs to the fabric buttons in ink – making each edition unique.


The frame is natural ayous wood with acrylic glass that has 84% UV protection. Framed dimensions are 63 x 43 cm; 24.8 x 16.9 in.


The 24-HOUR EDITION DROP is a concept which allows artists to sell an unlimited amount of physical editions within the limited time frame of 24 hours on EXPANDED.ART. Each 24-HOUR EDITION DROP edition will be available for 24 hours only, then never again.


The editions are numbered randomly, i.e. the edition number is not chronologically assigned to the time of order receipt. All 24-HOUR EDITION DROP prints are made to order. Each artwork will be produced and personalized specifically for each client, the artwork therefore is not eligible for return.

Digital Art and Consumerism


EXPANDED.ART: Jonathan Monaghan, you mentioned that your artistic journey began playing video games. How did it go from there?

Jonathan Monaghan: The video games I was playing at the time appeared to be relatively accessible in terms of creating games like these myself or producing content for them. This accessibility was exciting and influenced me to start working with 3D modeling and animation. I found these creative tools immensely powerful for what I call "capital-free" image making, which means I could create moving imagery on my own without a production studio or budget.

EXPANDED.ART: You have been in the industry for years. How have you as an artist evolved?

JM: My works, I believe, have matured and refined over time. It’s funny though; I've been using the same 3D software since I was 16 years old!

Tactile Palaces, 2021. Courtesy of the artist & bitforms gallery (New York).

EXPANDED.ART: Your otherworldly creations depict unicorns and fantastic dreamworlds. Your mind must be a playground! How do you come up with your motifs?

JM: Although my work appears to be fantastical and otherworldly, much of my imagery is a mix of elements from modern consumer culture and digital technology, which I fuse with ancient myths and symbols.

EXPANDED.ART: What is your message behind those dreamlike scenarios that you create?

JM: My work offers an opportunity to reflect on our relationship to technology and the natural world. As someone who works with digital technology, I try to offer critical perspectives on the digital age. The relationship between technology and the natural world is a discordant one, and I try to explore this discordance in all my work.

Superfluity, 2021. Courtesy of the artist & bitforms gallery (New York).

EXPANDED.ART: Your creations merge the fields of art and technology, which have been interwoven since they existed. How can technology help art, and how can art help technology?

JM: It's true that artists have been at the forefront of so many influential media technologies. As soon as all those technological advances such as the printing press, photography, video, or blockchain emerged, artists were right there to show the world what was possible. Artists are essential to the story of each of these technologies.

EXPANDED.ART: Elements of art history and contemporary art merge in your interdisciplinary approach. What influence does art history have on your works?

JM: Contemporary society tends to think of the current epoch as inherently distinct, as if digital technology somehow distinguishes us. In some ways, that's true, but I find substantial narratives from history to draw from.

I draw my inspiration from reimagining everything from Faberge eggs to specific historical paintings. In my practice, I often begin by researching ancient myths and imagining new ways to tell these ancient stories. I weave these together with wide-ranging references to science fiction, baroque architecture, and historical artworks. The result is a cross-disciplinary yet connected body of work offering critical reflections on the technological landscape from which they come.

Sacrifice of the Mushroom Kings, 2012. Courtesy of the artist & bitforms gallery (New York).

EXPANDED.ART: Topics related to the digital world are recurring in your work. What are some of your ideas behind connecting classical imagery with contemporary themes of technology and consumerism?

JM: My computer-animated video installations construct dreamlike narratives that allude to the dehumanizing effects of technology and consumerism. I draw from a wide range of sources, including ancient mythologies, commercial architecture, and corporate logos, to imagine a mythical world where the boundaries between the natural and man-made are subverted in fantastical and sometimes humorous ways. The imagery and themes in my video installations also inform the rest of my multidisciplinary body of work, reappearing in my prints and sculptures, among other mediums. My works appropriate the sleek, computer-generated techniques and aesthetics found in video games, advertisements, and real estate renderings. These elements provide my audience with a familiar framework, while my critical reflections on the digital landscape also elicit deep-seated anxieties about the future.

EXPANDED.ART: Your art can be consumed on the Internet as well as viewed in analog galleries. Which do you prefer?

JM: While physical video installation is the primary aspect of my art practice, I also work with digital fabrication techniques such as 3D printing and computer-controlled milling to produce sculptures in a variety of materials, such as plastic, marble, and gold. I begin creating these works in the same computer software as my animations, with imagery, themes, and forms appearing across the physical and virtual spaces. As these works straddle borders, I aim to engage in the growing disconnect between what's real and what's mediated. These works are experimental, challenging new technologies to produce forms impossible with traditional sculptural methods. This has led me to exhibit in a diverse range of venues, from outdoor sculpture exhibitions to major film festivals, in addition to galleries and museums.

Move the Way you Want, 2022. Courtesy of the artist & bitforms gallery (New York).

EXPANDED.ART: There is currently a lot happening in the digital realm: NFTs are booming as ever, AIs are blossoming everywhere, and the Metaverse is one step away from becoming our new reality. As an artist who works in the digital arts and NFT space, how do you see the current development?

JM: When I was doing an artist residency in Berlin in 2013, I met a programmer who was very aware of new blockchain technology, Trent McConaghy. One evening over dinner, he introduced me to the concept of using a blockchain as a distributed ledger to secure digital artwork. This concept fascinated me because I felt art collectors and even institutions were still wary about acquiring digitally native artworks, and this provided a more secure way to track provenance and authenticate my works. We did a lot of experimentation using the bitcoin blockchain to create what were essentially proto-NFTs and some of the first, if not the first, digital artworks to be secured on a blockchain. It was pretty incredible to see this concept develop into what it is today.

EXPANDED.ART: What does the future hold for yourself as well as for the contemporary art scene?

JM: I’d like to answer with an example: My most recent video installation, Move the Way You Want, has been acquired by The Phillips Collection as part of its permanent collection in Washington, D.C. The digitally-native artwork is the museum’s first art object acquired with NFT registration. I created the eight-minute video artwork alongside an immersive, site-specific dreamscape in response to The Phillips Collection’s ongoing Intersections series, which invites artists to produce a work that engages the museum’s permanent collection. I’m certain that digital art continues to have a more prominent role in the contemporary art scene.

Den of Wolves, 2020. Courtesy of the artist & bitforms gallery (New York).