Towards the start of the year an email landed in my inbox that would prove to have an interesting effect on my life. The email simply read: “WE NEED TO TALK!” The email was from a good friend of mine and extremely talented virtual reality artist by the name of ‘Metageist’.
If you’re wondering, my name is Paradoxx. I’m an artist, filmmaker, and writer from the UK. Paradoxx is not my real name…obviously. It is however the alias I’ve been known by in recent times. In fact, it has been the name and identity that two separate artists have been sharing for some time now. No, before you ask, the other artist isn’t Metageist, but this did all start when I received the email from them.
The last time I received a message like this from Metageist was years before, and that message led me down the rabbit hole which is CryptoCurrency. I became obsessed with this new ‘magic internet money’ and I fully blame Metageist for the days, weeks, months, and years I have spent glued to my phone watching the crypto markets.
So when I saw this new email my initial thoughts were: ‘Oh god, what this time?’. We set up a telephone meeting the following day and a very excited Metageist proceeded to spill the beans on their latest discovery: Crypto Art.
It took me some weeks to fully understand exactly why Metageist was so excited but when the penny finally dropped, I was hooked!
As with anything exciting in peoples’ lives, I wanted to talk about it. Most of my friends were so uninterested it was painful. Except for one, an American artist and long term friend known as ‘Siege187’. I have never actually met Siege in the real world. He lives on the other side of the planet, but this has not stopped us from working together on a plethora of projects over the years. Siege is that guy you go to with crazy ideas, which I have a lot of, and they simply say: Let’s do it!
Over the next few weeks, I spent a lot of time researching to better understand this strange new movement called CryptoArt. This inspired many conversations about what type of art each of us would create if we ever applied for artist status on the SuperRare platform.
Siege and I have a twin-like taste in film and art, and predictably we started suggesting similar art projects. This sparked the longstanding habit of riffing off each other’s ideas and working from one another’s strengths. We were soon joking that It would be very efficient if we could just merge our brains and create a super artist…
Just to be clear, we did not undergo this evil scientist-esque medical procedure to merge our brains together, but we did decide to join forces.
Prior to this time, Siege had no previous experience with the confusing world of crypto and for the most part preferred to avoid social media. On the other hand, I come from a media background and had no problem with the idea of spearheading the social media and PR for the project. It was decided pretty early on that Siege would be a silent partner and preferred to stay completely anonymous and unnamed.
With that decision made, we started the creative process of working on a joint project.
There were a lot of options to choose from based on our collective artistic skills. We experimented with a range of styles and ideas but eventually landed on something we both agreed was ‘super dope’.
I come from a television and film background in the UK and specialize in time-lapse photography and digital art. We noticed that there was a limited range of video art and as far as we could tell, no time-lapse art in the crypto art scene. Consequently we decided to utilize my video fx compositing skills for our creations.
Siege specializes in digital art and classifies himself as ‘almost entirely an outsider artist’ with some formal training. Aside from digital painting he also paints traditionally in both oil and acrylic and on rare occasions creates in other mediums.
The word that kept coming up time and time again in our conversations was ‘cinematic’.
We wanted to create art that evokes the same emotions one feels whilst watching an epic movie. We had the time-lapse which is great by itself, but it needed something more to bring the ‘WOW factor.’ I recalled that at one point Siege had been doodling up some monster art in his spare time for fun. We experimented layering one of his doodles on top of a time-lapse video I had shot years before and very quickly realized we liked the look; and we were onto something special. The idea was developed into the first series released by Paradoxx; the ‘Beholder series’. At the time of writing there are three pieces tokenized on SuperRare.
The creative process begins with traveling to a pre-selected location to shoot the time-lapse photography. I take account of the best framing, lighting, and image interval. Back at the computer I video call Siege and screen share the color grading process. We can spend hours at a time discussing all aspects of design for the creatures in our heads and doodling up mockup ideas using online shared paint pads. Eventually, after numerous drafts a ‘Beholder’ is born: an end result composited from two different art mediums: A mutual collaborative process between two artists.
That first video prototype had a ‘monster’ standing in the middle of a busy town square. It seemed odd that none of the busy passers-by in the scene noticed the hulking creature, some even passing right through it. Between Siege and I, we do have all the answers to the questions surrounding the series: ‘Why are the creatures there?’. ‘Where did they come from?’. ‘Do they pose a threat?’. Sadly we will not be sharing this information – at least not yet.
My training in film taught me to always present clear exposition to the viewer. To tell the story I want to tell. Siege, who has more experience in the conventional art world, has taught me to leave questions unanswered, to create mystery and allow the viewer the chance to explore the art and find their own story. As a writer of fiction and film it goes against all my instincts and I admit it pains me to relinquish that all-powerful control over the narrative. I would however be fascinated to hear other people’s interpretations of the art.
In light of some initial success on the SuperRare platform and the invitation to write this article, we decided that going forward it would be in both of our best interests if Siege187 were to become a named collaborator. Personally I find collaboration exciting, and believe it has endless potential to create amazing projects. With this in mind it is likely that for the foreseeable future the majority of both of our efforts will be in collaborative works released under the Paradoxx name.
You can find the art from the ‘Beholder series’ released by Paradoxx & Siege under the Paradoxx profile on the SuperRare: https://superrare.co/paradoxx
Feel free to follow me on Twitter for Art drop updates and other crypto-related projects I’m working on: @paradoxxartist
For commission work and PR related inquiries please contact me at [email protected]