[0:55 – 2:41] Dalek was introduced to NFTs by his friend, @lurklovesyou, who told him about @hicetnunc2000 on @tezos. Lurk told him that it was easy, no gas, cheap to mint, and easy to put work out. Lurk set up a clubhouse Dalek joined with @mumbot and @_sampierson and other artists. Dalek liked the community aspect.
[3:01 – 9:29] Dalek got into anime and comic book culture going to high school in Japan. He was into punk rock and early hip hop such as RunDMC, @KurtisBlow1, @DJFlash4eva, SugarHill Gang. He moved to Chicago and got into graffiti in the early 90s. TD who ran Undercover Magazine and Kaws were big influences on Dalek. He moved to California and met and was mentored by Chris Cycle and Mike Giant, Greg Carroll. This was the era of Twist, Amaze, REVOK, @Saber. Kris Markovich convinced him to move to San Diego where he met @OBEYGIANT, the founder of Obey, who introduced him to printmaking and stickers, and taught him to use Illustrator. Dalek did group shows with @new_image_art curated by Rich Jacobs and included Mark Gonzales, @TempletonEd, Chris Johansen, and Barry McGee. He says he still didn’t know how to be a professional artist. He moved to New York to take a step toward becoming a professional studio artist. When he saw @takashipom’s paintings the first time, he knew that’s what he wanted to do. He reached out to Murakami and started working for him.
[11:45 – 13:54] Dalek says artists were interested in certain aspects of Japanese pop culture. Some artists like KAWS, Stash and Futura would go to Japan, but Dalek was more focused on being in New York and learning. He was spending time with Brian McGinnis, and @steveESPOpowers, and anyone he could. His experience with Marakami wasn’t so much about what he was painting, he was way more interested in the technical aspects.
[14:19 – 18:58] Dalek discusses his relationship with his Space Monkey and how it went from being fun to getting repetitive and hitting a wall. He started deconstructing it, and went down a path of geometric explorations. This opened him to learning new skills. After a 10 year break, he started again with Space Monkey in 2017. He says at first it was flat, but Andrew Hosner with @ThinkspaceArt wanted to do a show. Soon after the show something clicked. He has transitioned back into Space Monkey and feels he finally found the formula that made it interesting. He acknowledges it’s what people know him for.
[19:29 – 22:13] Dalek says Space Monkey and Murakami’s DOB are independent of each other. He says a commonality is the riff on Mickey Mouse. He mentions other artists who have riffed on Mickey Mouse such as Slick, @ronenglishart, @Mattgondek, Warhol, Basquiat. Dalek has had some people say Space Monkey reminds them of @TheSimpsons’ Itchy and Scratchy, which Dalek points out is also a riff off classic cartoons. He talks about Murakami’s Boston Museum show and the explosive color clouds in paintings and how it reminds him of an anime riff on classic Japanese painting styles.
[22:14 – 27:46] Dalek responds to Kizu’s question on how the NFT community is a non-stop global conversation and it’s hard to keep up. Dalek says @discord’s accessibility and threads are built so people can easily be caught up. He discusses the community aspect and how everyone contributes and furthers the space. It’s about creating a safe place where people can go to share projects and things they are excited about. Discord provides connection. There is engagement and more personal relationships than on Twitter and Instagram. Dalek runs his own Discord, is a community manager for a discord called Chains, and is being set up as a mod for @ValiantComics discord.
[28:09 – 33:09] Dalek says traditional art collectors may take time to transition to NFTs. He talks about the gamification and tokenization of art. Some people in the Philippines make more money playing Axey games than they could in a traditional job. It’s life changing in that people can earn passive income with it. Some of Dalek’s followers who have bought prints don’t understand the technology but he tries to educate them because it’s not going anywhere. He hints at the growth in the community as @coinbase and @cryptocom build their own systems, they already have a flood of people who aren’t into NFTs yet, and points out how many people are even in the crypto space. He says soon you won’t need crypto to buy NFTs because it will be more mainstream.
[33:10 – 38:40] Kizo discusses how @cryptopunks went from being given away for free to a huge community and views this as opposing the stance of OG graffiti artists. Dalek says most countercultures are about having a voice, creating your own culture when mainstream culture doesn’t provide what you want. Dalek points out every street artist he knows is on Instagram. Social media and NFTs have provided the opportunity for artists to interact with people how they want, to control their own message, and put themselves out there. There are artists from other countries on @opensea who otherwise wouldn’t have had an opportunity. Dalek believes the greatest aspect of NFT’s is they allow more people to express themselves and to directly benefit from it.
Dalek says if there was one artist he couldn’t live without, it is Jack Kirby. He says Jack Kirby will forever be the true king. He’s not a fine artist, but you just can’t match the quality and the level of work and the cultural impact of his creations.