Trevor Jones prepares for the party.
The Canadian-Scottish artist is hosting an ultra-exclusive blowout for owners of his hugely successful NFT, The Bitcoin Angel, this weekend in Stirling, Scotland. And as a token of the generosity he’s earned through the digital art market, he’s rented an entire castle and secured musical direction from popular Dutch DJ Don Diabolo Firmly his success.
Originally a traditional painter (or “trad” in modern parlance), Jones’ fascination with art and technology transitioned him into the realm of digital art. By incorporating AR elements, near-field communication tags, and other digital elements into his work, his paintings refine themes related to cryptocurrency.
Jones dropped his Genesis NFT in 2019, but the party at Stirling Castle is for Hodler (crypto slang for “holder”) the open-edition NFT based on his painting The Bitcoin Angel (2021), which broke sales records when it grossed around $3.2 million in just seven minutes earlier this year. Based on Gian Lorenzo Bernini Ecstasy of Saint Teresa (1652) it shows an angel sailing an arrow into the heart of the saint, against a background of a golden bitcoin token.
Ahead of the exclusive event, we caught up with the artist from his home in Scotland about what’s in his personal art collection and how he’s reinventing his exhibition to incorporate NFTs.
What was your first purchase (and how much did you pay for it)?
My first purchase was a large encaustic painting by Emily Ponsonby – a very dark scene of a Haitian street market that she had visited. I think I paid 1400€ for it. I had just graduated from college and although it was a huge amount of money for me at the time, it is absolutely stunning work and as soon as I saw it I knew I had to have it. Another wonderful thing about the painting is that in the summer when the sun is shining, which is not often the case in Scotland, the room heats up and I can smell the beeswax when I’m around.
What was your last purchase?
My most recent purchase was an NFT and physical bundle titled Huitzilopochtli by the very talented Dutch artist Daniel Martin. The physical painting was part of a wonderful collaborative project involving four artists working together in a residency in Mexico. Amusingly, they named the project Peyote ugly. Of course I’m a big fan of arts and technology collaborations huh Peyote ugly was fully loaded, including the AR component for Huitzilopochtliso I can scan the painting and activate the NFT animation that I own.
What works or artists would you like to add to your collection this year?
I’m launching a podcast this week called Art Angels where I interview up and coming artists in the NFT scene and introduce them to three top art collectors who then bid on the artist’s latest work. I’ll try to outbid some of these big collectors and get work from the artists I’ll be interviewing.
What is the most expensive piece of art you own?
Not the most expensive movement I own, but an NFT La Peste Bleue by my good friend the late great Alotta Money (AKA Philippe) is by far the most valuable artwork in my collection. I paid $8,888 for it. It’s an animated piece and exemplifies Alotta’s surreal, nonsensical, subversive style that intrigues, entertains, laughs out loud and scratches my head all at the same time. Alotta was a genius and will be greatly missed by the entire Crypto*Art community.
Where do you buy art most often?
I now buy almost all my art from various NFT platforms such as SuperRare, MakersPlace, NiftyGateway and OpenSea. As I tend to support more traditional artists as they enter this new, digital space, I occasionally receive an original painting or print as a gift or as part of the NFT purchase. However, my wife and I plan to move somewhere a little warmer in the next year or two, so we need a lot more physical art for the larger home, plus digital screens to display our NFTs.
Is there a work that you regret buying?
There are a few, but I’d rather not go into detail.
What work do you have hanging above your sofa? What’s in your bathroom?
We have a wonderful print autumn – summer by one of Scotland’s most popular painters and printmakers, Barbara Rae, plus Daniel’s Huitzilopochtli, and then an exceptional print entitled Equilibrium II by the dark, digital artist Billelis. This artwork also came with the 1/1 NFT that I purchased. There is no art in the bathroom.
What’s the most impractical piece of art you own?
Many might argue that my entire digital NFT collection is impractical as I can’t hang a JPG or MP4 file on the wall to admire, but I disagree. Not only are there more and more companies making NFT screens of all sizes, but I’m also able to showcase all of my digital artwork in custom built virtual reality galleries in the Metaverse. Viewing artworks with a VR headset in the most spectacular gravity defying gallery space is quite an experience.
What work would you have liked to have bought if you had the opportunity?
Definitely a 1/1 NFT artwork by pioneer crypto artist XCOPY.
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