On a daily NFT update hunt across Twitter, we have stumbled upon the most comprehensive artwork that was storytelling a clash taking place within the art world realms. ‘NFT Evil‘ by the Mexican artist Moxarra is a satirical take showing a mock news article headline proclaiming “Old Artist Yells at NFTs”. Being an early adopter, Moxarra has been one of the voices reacting to the recent storm surrounding NFTs. Naturally, we went on to investigate and connect with Moxarra to learn more about his current practice. Aptly, half of the NFT Evil proceeds will go to the GreenNFTs initiative, because, though Moxarra’s Twitter pic shows a little Cryptopunk Satan, neither he nor NFTs are actually the devil.
So then, who is he?
Moxarra (a nickname derived from the Spanish name for a tuna fish) Gonzalez is an illustrator from San Luis Potosí, who has been making colourful images, infusing pop culture with traditional Mexican imagery, for nearly a decade now. In true digital-age fashion, Moxarra’s first exposure to anything crypto-related was through a Facebook ad for Dada.nyc, the collaborative platform where artists communicate through drawings on the blockchain. But that was in 2015, and Moxarra, whose real name is Carlos, has been a presence in the crypto-art space with his skulls and pastel neons ever since.
With a background in working for newspapers creating illustrations, Moxarra created small-scale artworks within short time spans. The move to digital seemed natural. After exhibiting on Dada.nyc and gaining Artnome’s Jason Bailey’s attention, the next step was to expand his practice across various curated NFT platforms. In short, let’s hear some of the insights from the artist himself:
AA: It’s been several years now that you’ve worked in the crypto art space. The years 2018-2020 were much more quiet compared to the recent months. How would you describe your experience with different NFT platforms during that period?
MG: During the early adoption years, I only used Dada.nyc, and this is where I learned bout NFTs and Ethereum. Funny thing – after three years, that early collection just recently sold out! Crazy! The whole of 2019, I followed lots of crypto fellas, and around November-December 2019 I started to send my CV to Makersplace and KnownOrigin – the rest is history… But I do miss those gas prices days, hahaha!
AA: Are you a full-time artist?
MG: NFTs is mainly my work, but I also have a day job – it’s kinda messy! I get to work all around, sometimes I miss some stuff, but I get along with most of the things ????♀️
AA: In an interview, you mentioned working for a magazine and being exposed to crime has heavily influenced your work. Do you see your style influenced in light of the recent global events?
MG: All the news I read daily influences my art. As an illustrator/infographist back when I worked on a newspaper, I built a discipline to make new stuff every day, and I even had a period of making daily oil portraits. Unfortunately, that got too messy, and I was selling zero haha. But yeah – global events have to make an impact on what you create on a daily basis.
AA: NFT Evil is an excellent capture of the dialogue at the moment – any comments about how you went about creating the work?
MG: NFTEvil is a critique of all this weird debate about how blockchain is polluting with all the c02 created by the mining of BTC and ETH, etc… funny how the artists are against other artists. They spread the hate, even not knowing what the hell they are talking about. That dissonance is why I decided to mint that piece and to give half of what I earned to green NFTs – It is my little contribution to the ecosystem theme 😀
To date, Green NFTs raised over $40k in donations to go towards the bounty system as a reward for people trying to improve the energy efficiency of the NFT economy. Other eco-friendly projects also allow broader alternatives for artists concerned about the negative externalities of Blockchain platforms. Namely, Damien Hirst recently became the first artist drop on Palm, a new token-powered ecosystem for NFTs that promises to be 99% more energy-efficient than proof of work systems.