Crypto Artist Becomes the Canvas

This is a special edition of Alpacawhal interview series A Couple Minutes on Crypto Art, where we talk with brilliant and emerging crypto artists.

Fresh ideas in the crypto art space seem to always feature some of the most interesting creative extremes. Today we are taking a look at one such project, the absolutely dank and fresh Bishop’s Tattoo Lots.

In this project, crypto artist Bishop has literally opened up individual regions of his skin to NFT tokenization. He is currently accepting bids for sectioned parts of his own skin that the winning bidder can have anything within reason (and a limited ruleset) tattooed on.

TIP: You can check his Rarible sale page to find out if any of the lots are left for sale.

We were able to meet with Bishop and get the rundown on his groundbreaking crypto art series in addition to featuring some of his other work as well.

Alpacawhal: Hey, thanks so much for chatting with us. You are super popular at the moment as the art you are making is novel and breaking new ground. It has many doing the forehead smack, the a-ha moment. Like why didn't I think of that?!

It's awesome that you are committed to following through on what could otherwise be interpreted as a publicity stunt. Can you tell us more about who you are and where you are on your artistic journey?

Bishop: Me? I’m just a half-assed web developer in South Carolina, USA. I’m a family man, wife and two kids. I’ve always had an affinity for art, and desire for the talent. I try to make the best art I can, but have always kept it to myself.

I found Rarible through the creators of Based Money and decided to drop some NFTs based on ... based. They sold and it was thrilling that people liked my art. So I put out a few more non-based ones. They didn’t sell (still) so I figured I really needed to do something original to be noticed.

At the same time, @bluekirbyfi offered 0.01YFI to whoever would tattoo his avatar on them and honestly, the avatar is dope, so I agreed. The attention that brought inspired me to start The Lots. I didn’t even expect they’d sell, but here we are, with 4 of them sold already.

Bishop. "BRAN ARMSKRONK," [detail] 2020 (Rarible)

In the detail of a superbly hypnotic animation of Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong, one finds solace and comforting chuckles around the subtle Pepe-like nose bridge that has appeared on this crypto powerhouse's face. This is a clean and simple piece in an edition of 10 that is hyper-relevant to the culuture and scene, and seems to imbue significance reverence for the OG crypto art scene.

The work nicely calls out one of the off-ramp gatekeepers, that reporter to tax authorities and multi-millionaire class fellow, Mr. Corp. It's a bold and necessary addition to the dialogue and will no doubt make a splash for years to come and so long as Coinbase is relevant.

Alpacawhal: You mentoin Based Money– what is that exactly, and who are the creators of that project? What kind of involvement did you have with the project? Does this mean that you sort of discovered crypto art in your spare time?

Bishop: Based Money is a community driven rebase token, similar to Ampl but with a fair distribution launch, and an ecosystem being built around it. It’s heralded as “game theory for degenerates” a trading game.

It’s a cypherpunk project, created by anonymous devs who call themselves Ghouls, and their whole media aesthetic has been vaporwave style art. It drew in a lot of artists and we got together to make promotional materials. Being a community project its success lies in community involvement.

So yeah, I discovered crypto art while meming for one of my favorite projects basically.

Alpacawhal: Nice, so how are you finding it so far? The community, people and excitement everywhere. Are you making decent sales so far? What about the metaverse(s) and VR? Are you into those yet or planning to get involved in those, and if so which metaverse has the most appeal to you?

Bishop: The community is great. I love it, I love the art and the people. I’ve sold quite a bit but it’s fallen off these last couple of days. I figure due to gas fees and RARI problems. I haven’t gotten into the NFT games too much, but I have visited Talos’s gallery (under construction) in Decentraland

BEFORE...

Here are "The Lots" by Bishop before ink...

Here are several of The Lots, which Bishop has put up for sale. We will take a look a bit later on as the interview progresses at what was tattooed in each of the six lots above.

Alpacawhal: OK– so we must talk about The Lots. First, what gave you the inspiration or idea to essentially tokenize parcels of your skin as crypto art non-fungible tokens?

Bishop: I don't know man, I guess blue Kirby gave me the idea really... He said on Twitter he’d pay someone to tattoo his avatar so I took it, then decided to tokenize the art after talking to others about the idea.

Alpacawhal: It's definitely a fun idea, regarding The Lots. What are the conditions? Could people just buy an NFT and say "BAM, Dickbutt for you!" or nah?

Bishop: Nope, I reserved the right to turn down ideas on any grounds but that specific one is actually mentioned in the description– none of that. The only other condition I’ve realized since has been, a severe lack of creativity... someone wanted me to just get a logo.

That person has since commissioned an artist to create a work befitting of the project while still promoting what he intended.

Alpacawhal: Aha! We figured the infamous GOLDENPALACE.COM moment would arrive and someone would propose a boring logo. So was that the only one turned down so far? Were there any others?

Bishop: That’s the only one so far.

AFTER!

Here are "The Lots" by Bishop with ink!

NOTE: This is a work in progress and new tattoos will be added as Bishop gets them!

Alpacawhal: Word, so regarding the tattoo studio, are you getting these all done at the same place? Do you mind us asking who is doing the ink work?

Bishop: Not at all, they are all being done by Brent of Blu Gorilla in Goose Creek, South Carolina, USA. Check him out at Eat Sleep Tatoo Repeat or on Instagram @eatsleeptattoorepeat.

Alpacawhal: Awesome, we are huge fans of the Charleston area so it's nice to see some crypto artists representing the dirty south. So what's your next big thing once you run out of lots to tattoo?

Bishop: That’s the secret ;) but I already have a plan to top it.

Keep an eye out 10/10/2020.

Bishop. "Vestibular," [detail] 2020 (Rarible)

Alpacawhal: Cool, we love a good surprise, so we'll see what happens in October. In the meantime, we plan to keep this interview going as you continue to develop the lots so we can showcase the developments and we appreciate you allowing us to feature your work. As a parting shot, what is your estimate for how long it will take before crypto art goes mainstream (i.e. everyday Facebook users are buying and collecting it, for example)?

Bishop: I can’t say for sure how long, but it’s blowing up now, I think crypto still has some road left ahead of it before the mainstream. But NFT art may serve to shorten that road, if the community comes together in the right ways.


We hope you enjoyed A Couple Minutes on Crypto Art with Bishop; if so, make sure to share this with a friend and donate to Alpacawhal.

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