Misfits of the Metaverse #8, digital painting, 4/8/22.

Doing more of these is partly just an excuse to try out something new, or add something to the brew. There are a few new elements I mixed in that didn’t appear in prior pieces in this series. Can you guess what they are? Have a look at all 8 below.

The piece was entirely unpremeditated except for one device. I wanted to incorporate a hand. That’s it. But I also thought to have the hand in front of the face and casting a shadow on the face and across an eye. I did what I sought to do, and everything else just happened spontaneously.

Very often I will work with absolutely no preconceived idea at all and just see what happens. That keeps me curious and engaged. It’s a bit of a treasure hunt where I don’t know what I will find. But other times I have a firm plan. In this piece specifically I did a bit of both.

The tongues were complete happenstance. I worked with an app that gives you models you can alter and pose in Blender. And I just accidentally moved a guide that pulled out a tongue. That is probably now the focal point, because of the bizarre act where one of the heads appears to be trying to lick the tongue of the other.

Why not run with that? Some people might like a strict interpretation and to know how they are supposed to react to a work of art. I tend to avoid that. I like ambiguity and multiple meanings.

The red eyes of one of the heads was also an accident. Again, I moved a guide to fare and rolled an eye complete around exposing its back side. And that looked kinda’ cool, so I decided to incorporate it as well. I deliberately elongated some of the teeth for a bit of a suggestion of vampirism, which seemed appropriate for the tongues and red eyes.

All the figures in the series are made up of at least two heads (the Mark Zuckerberg one has three), but these two heads are the most distinctly in conflict. There’s also the most anger or violence.

The paint swatch is particularly vigorous:

It winds through the image like a snake.

And ends up behind a patch of paint that shows a repeat of the red eyes.

This is a little unusual because the long swatch of paint floats on top of the painted image, but the second set of eyes are on top of it. I added drips from behind the eyes, which will seem to be related to the snaking paint, perhaps caused by it, and suggest bloody tears.

When you look at the whole image the snake gives it a Medusa vibe. And if you’re wondering about the number 220, well, that was just in the background of the HDRI image I was using as part of my lighting for the model. I could easily have removed it, but I looked up the number online, and it has some interesting (though likely completely bogus) interpretations.

Overall I think the image has a lot of energy, and maybe it’s a bit unsettling. I see it as a very interesting addition to the series, and it’s not something I would have ever predicted I would make.

Now that you have more background on the image, have another look.

In the same way I had something I wanted to try with this image, I have another thing I plan to try out in the next. I’ve done 3 women in a row, so I’m going to follow with a man for #9. And I could stop there, as this series is wildly unpopular, but I want to add something else after #9 that will add a whole other dimension.

I’m more interested in conducting art experiments and exploring new territory than I am in appealing to the tastes of the general public.

Note: I am not currently selling an NFT of this work.

Stay tuned.

And if you like my art or criticism, please consider chipping in so I can keep working until I drop. Through Patreon, you can give $1 (or more) per month to help keep me going (y’know, so I don’t have to put art on the back-burner while I slog away at a full-time job). See how it works here.

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12 replies on “New Art: Misfits of the Metaverse #8

  1. I really like this series you’ve been working on, but I also find it disturbing. These pieces deserve a show just for them. Printed large in a gallery, I can envision it. It would be awesome. Obviously as a photographer I know that having a solo show is very expensive, labor intensive and often results in little financial reward. But it would be a great show!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The shadow from the hand lends a different quality to this one, a sense of external motion – not just internal emotion – that doesn’t appear in the others. It’s interesting, makes you wonder what else is going outside the image.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Wooooooohooooooo!! This is SO cool. Your process information is fascinating, as always. I rarely have a plan in mind so learning that someone else works that way (and getting the details) is a delight. The tongue and theviciously snakey vibe made me think of a creature that devours itself – very powerful! Masterful…♥️ it! 👏👏👏

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Stuart. You seem to like the ones most that have the most ingredients and newest developments thrown in. I’m glad. In general, with each additional development, this series becomes less popular on Twitter and in the NFT community, to the degree that I now get now sales and virtually no likes.


      1. I guess you haven’t resonated with the right crowd yet. All it would take is one good “influencer”. Unfortunately they seem to be in short supply…That said, the most recent iteration is fascinating. It is, indeed, quite cryptic without your guided tour.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Ha, ha, ha. I think they could. I mean, even I could be one of them. In the end I think my work was just too esoteric and challenging to be popular at all, no matter how good it was, and you need to be popular to be successful in NFT art. I’d need to find a way to make my work more accessible, and accessibly good. Well, that and Twitter applied algorithmic constraints to my visibility. Still, finding a way to be more accessible, or palatable, or rewarding to the average person might be my only hope. This series has been roundly rejected. People seem better able to handle my monsters, because they can at least connect it to an established “genre” of sci-fi. And then I can sneak in the human condition, as long as I’m dealing with conscious, intelligent, entities.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. This is a picture I’d love to look at IRL – as a print, presumably. A computer screen doesn’t let you simultaneously enjoy the “whole” and the “parts” in the same way, and this one has a lot of cool parts! I can’t get over how nice your motion lines/blurs look, and I particularly love how the red-eyed one’s teeth “echo”. It’s like… comprehensible cubism.

    It keeps the series’ “emotional turmoil” vibe going, but while the others strike me as “sad”/”vulnerable”, I think this one is decidedly “fun” (albeit angry)! No doubt the tongue plays into that, but the normal-eyed one’s expression is just so… dastardly as well. I like the directness going on here, the 3rd dimension is quite prominent and there’s -relatively- more stylistic congruence and -relatively- little “plausible deniability” regarding whether something is abstract/emotional/symbolic or representational. I think the background, especially stands out from the rest of the series in this regard. On the whole, I think it’s a cool “contrast” for the series, in a way. If the Misfits keep being rewarding for you to create, I’d love to see how the series continues.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks. That’s true about seeing the whole and the parts as one, in detail. I think a very large monitor might have the same effect, but maybe not. Yes, there is a special beauty to prints. Y’know, I’ve only seen one of my works in a decent sized print, and that was over 15 years ago. And most of my digital art I made very large and detailed specifically so it could be printed out large-scale and exhibited on a wall. Will I ever see this series as prints on a wall somewhere? Maybe not. Will anyone? Ever? Maybe not.

      I’m glad you like the final piece. When I shared it online in the NFT community, I think it got something like 3 likes. Note that I’ve seen AI art get tens of thousands. Well, I have a theory. Real art takes a moment to digest, like a poem. You can’t speed read poetry and get it, and in the same way, if you are flicking through images in social media, you can’t possibly savor an image that requires you get over the initial hurdle of incomprehension. Therefore, already familiar work that poses no challenge and can be assimilated in a split second will prevail.

      I love your observations, because even if they are different from mine, you are getting in there and noticing things. I’m grateful to have someone like you, who is visually literate – a rarity these days – looking at my art. I don’t make it just for myself. In fact, it’s a kind of process of discovery. And humans when they discover something, they want to share it. If you are looking in a tide pool and you find an octopus or something, the first reaction is usually to shout to someone else, “Come over here. You gotta’ see this!”

      I don’ t intend to continue this series. I started it in order to prove I could complete a full series of 6 images, while being shut down by the NFT community. You aren’t supposed to add more pieces if the prior ones didn’t sell. So, my plan was to make six while being resilient enough, and faithful enough in my own vision, to persist in the face of a rejection. I had a few unexpected sales of editions, but far too few to justify continuing. I pushed it to 9 pieces, just to be extra resilient. I decide what art is meaningful, and what I will create, NOT buyers or the marketplace for NFTs.

      I’m not sure what I will do next. I could go in any number of directions. But I’ve compiled hundreds of images I created exploring AI, and I may try to use those as fodder for some new works.

      Stay tuned, friend. It’ll most likely be worth your while if you’ve enjoyed my art so far.

      Liked by 1 person

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