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You may not know his name, but you may have seen his job.
Alberto Mielgo has been creating visual art for film, television and advertisements for years. Notable works include an episode of Netflix’s LOVE DEATH AND ROBOTS (for which he and his 70-plus team received several Emmys), music videos for The Gorillaz, and Spider-Man: in the Spider-Verse, where he worked with NFT’s digital-art-turn-high-art phenomenon Beeple.
Given the success of his former colleague and the lofty prices NFTs are routinely fetching, Mielgo could well be the next commercially popular digital artist to use blockchain tech as means of both reaching a wider audience and attracting the attention of the fine art world.
Nerds taking power
Though he said that he would reveal more of his philosophy on the drop as the date of the auction approached, Mielgo expressed that he found NFTs as a production and delivery tool to be a perfect match for his work, as well as a democratising power.
“As a digital artist, I always struggled to find the right format to show my work. And I felt that the ‘art elite,’ which is very much this 2% or like 3% of the human population which have access to the big galleries or art fairs, they never treat digital art as art — they always thought we’re for working on movies and commercials.”
The irony there, he says, is that digital artists largely love movies, commercials, and popular culture — they’re nerds. But now, “the nerds are taking the power.”
“The nerds are thinking about crypto, about these abstract concepts that are so beautiful. I think that only our generation, or people have been working in tech or in the cloud for so long, we really get it. Most of the people they need the physical thing, they need the item, for them it’s almost impossible to think about owning something that isn’t physical. I think we’re gravitating towards that world.”
It’s a change that the art world is struggling to keep up with, he said—after dismissing work like his for so long, they’re caught flat-footed. However, the latest attempt to make room for his job is not coming to his head.
“I think it’s validating for sure, but not myself personally, it’s more the digital art world. I think that Beeple got into the art world, but it’s the people who already liked him who got him there.”
He said he suspects it’s the “crypto-people, the young generations, the new brains, the new thinkers… they are like ‘hey this is OUR art.’”
Ultimately it’s Christie’s knocking on the door of crypto, asking to play in “our” world and not the other way around.
The corporate world could do with some catching-up too, says Mielgo.
He bemoans the current, “bullshit” contractual culture around digital art, requiring artists to sign over their “soul.” It’s a landscape ripe for a revolution: the art world is “behind,” the major studios are “behind,” and NFTs are opening up an alternative, “parallel world.”
He recalled the story of when he and Beeple were working on Spider Man: Intro Spider-Verse, where Beeple would upload fast-paced, explosive, “super-psycadelic” clips with “hardcore electro” music. Mielgo showed the clips to the Sony producers, delightful as their eyes popped and their jaws fell.
“They couldn’t do it,” he said, laughing. “It was as new as ‘Oh my God.'”
It was a whole different world for the producers, “who pull up to the limo studios,” who “do not interact with the real people.”
NFTs was a way to do it all over again, but only on a bigger scale.
“It’s a total smack in their hands, both of these dinosaurs.”
The sale will take place at Makersplace in April 14th.