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Artist Spotlight: Dalek and Rvre Visuvls
Two magnificent artists who are new to the NFT space. A perfect antithesis of style in this duo article!
Welcome to the second week of artist spotlight! I am delighted to announce that this week’s episode will feature not one artist, but two! DalekSpaceMonkey and Rvre Visuvls are the lucky two who will get to showcase their work. Their passion and drive to further themselves in the NFT scene was the reason that I selected them for this week, I believe that if you have the determination to do something, you should be rewarded for your efforts! For a chance to be featured next week, keep reading and you will be informed!
Dalek is a 2D illustrator and painter who has been designing for a number of years outside of the NFT community. Recognized for his DalekSpaceMonkeys and Denzuuldaleks, his cartoony and vibrant style offers a unique retro and futuristic combination. But who is he? James Marshall, better known as Dalek is an American artist who has been exposed to a variety of cultures, briefly residing in Japan as a teenager, Hawaii, and then back to America. His style is inspired by everything that he grew up with including graffiti, cartoons, the punk scene, and Japanese pop culture. Each of these elements have combined and influenced the creation of his renowned Dalek Space Monkeys. But why are you getting Micky Mouse impressions? Well, that’s because the Space Monkeys are in Fact Space Mice! James was able to articulate all of his emotions and express his feelings within these perculiar, humanoid Space Monkeys where they are depicted amongst explosive colours and often disorderly scenes. The monkeys are usually wielding knives and hammers, running or sneaking towards the unknown. Despite the space monkeys being a hallmark of James’s work, he has also delved into other art forms including abstract art, something which he developed during his time as an apprentice under the renowned Japanese painter Takashi Murakami.
From working in galleries to painting murals and illustrations, Dalek has since decided to take on the NFT world, moving his work digitally on the blockchain. Minting both his original paintings and digital illustrations, his supporters have been lucky to receive a blast from the past experience, further emphasizing the significance of the NFT space and its pivotal role in connecting old art with the new. Since his arrival, Daleks success in the NFT community has continued to elevate, just recently selling out his collection on Open Sea in a matter of minutes! In addition to his own collection, James is an avid art collector himself, minting over 400 designs on his Open Sea account, demonstrating his passion for art and his support for smaller creators. James has had to adapt to a new medium and is slowly but surely finding his way in the NFT community, and it will be interesting to see what he takes on next! There is no doubt that the Dalek Space Monkeys will continue to steal the hearts of the art and NFT community, a real staple that will go down in art history!
Dalek gave some incredible responses in this exclusive interview where we discussed his career, inspirations, and his collection. Read on below to find out more about his jump into the NFT scene!
What is your background and when did your career first begin, tell us more about yourself!
It’s a long background… but my art career started around 97… I had been doing graffiti for years and developed my spacemonkey character around 1995. A year or so after friends would ask me to make them a canvas,things like that. So I slowly started doing it and that led to a couple of group shows out in LA at new image art curated by rich jacobs. Then it just kind of grew from there. I have been doing it ever since. Moved to NY in 2000 and spent about 7 years there working on figuring out how to be a full-time artist. Then in mid 2007, I moved down to NC to raise my kids and chill out. Been down here ever since.. love it.. definitely more my speed!
Can you tell us more about your name Dalek and what are its origins?
Comes from Dr. Who.. the villainous trash can robots of death and destruction. I have always loved sci fi.. and had a fascination with dystopias. all that was big in the 70’s when I was growing up. I wanted a name that reflected the complexity.. or love/hate with humanity and technology.. It has been a running theme ever since.
You are renowned for your space monkey designs, how did you first come up with the idea and can you explain the message behind their existence?
The spacemonkey itself is an amalgam of years of the different source material. From classic cartoons to African mask and everything in between. The name comes from the monkeys they trained and sent into space in the early years of the space race. They trained them to push buttons on cue for rewards. I always felt humanity would find itself in the crosshairs of this pavlovian paradigm…. and sure enough.. here we are. The spacemonkey represents the human condition through my lenses. It’s a lot to navigate and we are left to figure it out as we go.. Some of us are lucky to have good teachers and good direction.. Others not so much.. I think it’s important to try and relate as much as we can to each other for the sake of learning more about each other and ourselves.. as individuals and as a species.
You have amassed close to 60,000 followers on Instagram, when did you first begin and can you tell us more about your journey on that platform as opposed to Twitter?
I got on Instagram in 2009 I think.. I had heard about it.. Wasn’t too familiar.. But it seemed to be a great place to put work and get feedback.. To see what other people were up to and so on.. Of course, the business of algorithms have destroyed any purity in that space and all of them to be sure. Twitter is following the same path.. Although I think it’s a much better platform for interaction. I spend way more time on there nowadays.. It’s certainly more fun…. And a clearer way to communicate with others.
You’re an old timer who is experienced in the field, coming into such a new space as with the NFT scene, how have you had to adapt and what are your thoughts?
I had to get an education.. Still am.. I definitely came into the space as if I were a new artist with no history.. I definitely felt like it had to be built from the ground up.. Paying respects to those already in the space.. So I opened my eyes and ears.. And have been picking up on things as I go.. Its the same natural progression I repeat in all aspects of my life. What it has allowed though is for me to branch out with my work.. Without NFTs I wouldn’t have delved into animation the same way.. Or spent days working on illustrations. it’s making me a better artist And exposing me to a world of artists I never knew existed… love it!!
Your OpenSea collection sold out in a matter of minutes, can you explain this feeling!
Look..no matter how long I do things I never expect sell-outs. Perhaps superstitions!! I am very superstitious!! I get nervous like most folks I’m sure.. I wasn’t expecting that result.. I was definitely shocked that it moved so quickly and regardless of anything.. It was super cool and very inspiring, got me straight to work on another body of work for OpenSea. I’m about 3 pieces in now, going to try and get 8 done again before the August 30th launch.
You have mastered the cartoony aesthetic with your designs, have you ever delved into other forms of art or ideas?
I have all the geometric styles I do.. there are 3 or 4 approaches there that I work on.. I just don’t have enough time to pursue all avenues at once. Learning to do more toys, sculptural stuff, just figuring it out as I go.. Sometimes it’s good to switch gears so I don’t burn out on one thing.
What is your proudest achievement as an artist and can you explain this to us?
I truly don’t take those moments.. I feel very blessed to be able to make art for a living.. I love that it excites me every day and that I’m always learning. So my proudest achievement is that I’m still doing it!! Let’s hope that’s still true 20 years from now!!!
Do you have plans for future NFT collectible or art drops in the future? Can you hint?
Yep.. I might have blown it earlier.. I am working on a 2nd collection for OpenSea which will launch on august 30th at 6pm eastern time. I’ll also be dropping a 50th piece on HEN when I hit 5000 Twitter followers which will probably be in the next day or so, something that I can hardly believe in and of itself. I’m going to keep trying to put together solid collections.. I have some fun collabs with various artists coming out as well.. but no details on that yet.
Where do you see yourself in the NFT space after a year’s time?
Hopefully still in it ; ) like anything.. I hope to get better as an artist.. I hope that people love what I do and that I am able to continue growing in the space. I believe it’s just the beginning for NFTs so I’m in no rush.. Really just want to put out good work and do the best I can by my collectors. I’d love to get some longer animations under my belt, some 3D renders of some of my toys. I think that could be fun, bring out my other character which has only lived as toys (ICEBOTS) and hopefully some fun collaborations. Although nothing might ever top the denzuul/dalek mashups on HEN. having a blast with that one!!
Rvre Visuvls or better known as Kenzie is an artist and long-time illustrator from New Zealand, he creates mystical 2D and animated designs that have an underlying sense of holiness and symbolism entrenched within them. Every piece of his artwork tells its own unique story, one which the reader can interpret themselves, creating their own perceptions. With a passion for putting pen to paper, his drawings have taken him to another level in the NFT world, just recently establishing his genesis three-part collection on Foundation. The collection is named ‘And The Gods Made Love’ and therefore incorporating the notion of spirituality as portrayed in his designs. The collection includes three individual designs including: ‘No Heart No Peace. Know Heart, Know Peace’, ‘The Fruit Of The Spirit’ and ‘Divine Decension’ with each design expressing its own message and connotations, further reinforcing a sense of spirituality and transcendence.
When I first spoke to Kenzie, what struck me the most was his desire to learn more about the scene, and his willingness to support others which he gave without expecting anything in return. For this reason, he deserves his very own shoutout this week! His artwork is magnificent and I am certain that his title as an emerging artist will develop to a renowned NFT artist in the near future! Make sure to check out his new collection drop on Foundation and his Twitter page at @RVREexe!
Kenzie answered a number of my questions below as I looked to dig deeper into his inspirations, background, and plans!
When did you first start illustrating and how long have you been working as an artist?
I’ve been illustrating since I was a child, probably around the time I first picked up a comic book and started watching old Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon cartoons. I was always moved by the visuals from crazy shows like Courage The Cowardly Dog and The Ren & Stimpy Show. Naturally, illustration became a fond past-time of mine. I’ve since been following that love, went to design school and thankfully I’m now in the creative industry. Still in my early years, but I’m super happy and lucky to be carving a career out of my passion. I was pretty useless at math, science, finance, and kinda everything else under the academic banner in school, so I kinda had no choice really.
Can you tell us more about your genesis 3 piece collection that is dropping on Monday?
The central theme of the collection is love and it depicts the creation and existence of undying love within us all. Being a Jimi Hendrix fan, I titled it “…And The Gods Made Love”. Two of these pieces are amongst the first I made in this style and aided me in pioneering my visual identity. These pieces communicate the themes of my work and my visual art style the best. I think it’s a solid entry point into the NFT world.
Your work connotes a sense of divinity and holiness, can you tell us more about the symbolism behind your work and the message behind it?
I like to think everyone has their own way of interpreting my art. I grew up in a very strong Catholic and spiritual household. I’ve been exposed to that kind of symbolism since I was born, the rich beauty and vast history embedded in both the visual symbolism and literature is nothing short of amazing. Growing up more through adolescence and into adulthood, I realise that the beauty wasn’t exclusive to Catholicism. I believe across all cultures and religions throughout the history of the globe there is an inherent beauty we all share, love. As well as many external influences, the symbolism comes from many introspective places and I want viewers to come to their own conclusions - it means exactly what you think it means.
How did you find your art style and what inspired you?
My art definitely is most inspired by my love for literature, heavy music and old horror films. A lot of old gothic architecture and architecture from temples of past civilisations. Not just their physical properties, but the sense of wonder and awe I try to mimic and express visually in my works too. That unique “pulling” feeling that instantly grasps you when you look over the edge from the peak of a mountain at the vastness of nature, looking at a monolithic ancient skyscraper from humans that came before us, or the transcendent introspective feeling you get after finishing an amazing book, there’s something otherworldly about it all.
How have you found transitioning into the NFT community? Do you have anything to mention that you wish you knew about before starting?
Honestly it’s been so awesome. Being constantly surrounded not just by the intense talent, but the amount of support and camaraderie is unreal. I got pushed into the scene by my talented good friend @josephzhouart after meeting him through Instagram. I quite like going into it having almost no knowledge at all about the NFT world, it makes me a little bit braver to make mistakes and learn that way hahah.
Where do you hope to see yourself in a years time? How will you succeed in achieving your goals?
No precise target, just up. I just want to keep enjoying the dance while I’m still here, wherever that may take me.
Hey there, we meet again! You reached the end, so I must say, you really are a true supporter and a dedicated NFT enthusiast! If you want to feature on my third episode of Artist Spotlight next week, head over to my Twitter to find out how, and let me know why you think you are a suitable candidate! My interviews are open to all artists, small and large so don’t hesitate when thinking about participating.
Sending each and every one of you peace and love- have a great week!