Ron English is an iconic pop surrealist with a street art edge. Whatever term you prefer—rebel, agitator, deviant, disruptor—the Texas-raised New Yorker embodies them all, so it’s only natural that he entered the NFT art space with a bang.
On March 28, English debuted the 10-piece Essential Collection on Nifty Gateway. The digital drop included classic characters from his visual library, including Mona Lisa Grin, Froot Looped and Uncle Scam, and it quickly sold out.
“I centered the drop around my characters,” English remarks. “I made sure to hold back MC Supersized and a couple other of the most famous characters to assure interest for the upcoming drops.”
“I got to work on original music and art with Slash!” English says, who dropped the NFT July 9. “The NFT world is the perfect space for collaborations. A perfect space to blend art, music and motion.”
English jokingly (maybe) refers to his entry into the NFT space as the “canary in the gold mine,” a reference to caged birds brought into mine tunnels to warn workers of potentially lethal gases. The full effects of tokenized art on the traditional art scene have yet to be determined, but English seems to view this breakthrough as a fountain of new opportunities.
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“Artists have always embraced new technologies and have used them to advance new artforms,” he explains. “The graffiti movement would not have happened without the invention of the spray can. The global street art revolution would not have happened without improvements in spray can technology and advancements in paint. The introduction of oil paint and the stretchable canvas made way for the Renaissance. Artists are currently scrambling to see what they can create in this new space.”
As for what he’ll do next, English fully embraces the musical opportunities that NFTs provide.
“I have been approached by some of the world’s greatest musicians to work on pieces,” he says. “With Slash, I insisted we create music to make the pieces something special. Our results dropped jaws and opened doors. Of course, I will do stuff with my band the Rabbbits. What a great space to create in.”
English is currently releasing NFTs on Nifty Gateway and VeVe. His creations are selling out fast, so if you want to collect his digital works, don’t sleep on the drop dates.
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