In preparation for the launch of our NFT gallery project with Mark Mallia, we sat down with the man himself and opened the floor to questions from people who really wanted to learn about the artist and the project in great detail.
The project, the first of its kind, sees Mallia and a team of artists handpicked by himself displaying their pieces in a virtual gallery, where people can not only view the pieces but, using ARize’s cutting edge technology, can see what it would look like in their home before purchasing.
They won’t just be purchasing an NFT either. Everyone who invests in a gallery piece will also get the original sent to them to keep!
Mallia spoke on a range of different subjects to do with his art and the gallery, here are some of the best bits. You can see the full AMA on our YouTube channel.
Who are the other artists?
“I’m working with Etienne Farrell, Kevin Busuttil and Claude Camilleri. All these characters. Obviously, there are other characters who are going to be involved eventually, but we’re taking this as a step-by-step thing.
First, we’re going to start off with the gallery…then we’ll go ahead and build this story, this narrative. It’s going to be a bit controversial at times because it started off in 2021 and it’s in the future of 2065, with the underworld, cyborgs and AI, the whole thing is going to be really cool. The artists are already collaborating, we’ve had a couple of meetings and I’ve seen their work and they’re quite strong. We’re taking this very very very professionally.”
On how he is feeling about the project:
“I’m working with my other colleagues, other artists, we all know what we’re doing, we have our separate [tasks] and we are going to make it happen.
There are two galleries, one is the fast selling, one is the VIP, we are trying to choose what pieces go into the VIP”
On the subject of what kind of artist he is:
“When art takes over your brain and controls you, you become a person who is always in a creative mood. This ARize NFT virtual gallery is something completely new to me. I am 57 and this kind of technology, I’m so neolithic, I’m trying to adapt and learn and make this thing happen because it’s another breakthrough. And the fact that this is going to be the first virtual gallery in the world makes it more challenging.”
On how this project is a “game changing” event:
“When I met Thomas [Mahoney] and he told me about this concept, I got curious. To be quite honest, up until last year I did not want to get involved [with technology] anymore. I’d rather be working from my small studio, in quite a quaint cool village… I had this meeting with Aryan, Thomas, and Adam and it was like “oh okay this is quite different, this is quite new for me” and I got intrigued. Now I’m reading more about it and…I’m very excited to be the first artist with my colleagues to open this gallery as something new to the world.
I’m sure that it will go well as a lot of my followers are already curious of how to invest in it and how to be a part of it and they have a lot of questions. I’m telling them “wait until it opens and we’ll start from there. You can see from there.
This is going to be a provenance. The certificate that you bought something from a virtual gallery is already unique, you are like “we’re the first ones who bought something from a virtual gallery”. I spoke to some artists who were hesitant to get into this, but I’m sure it will evolve eventually. Thanks to ARize for giving a lot of artists the opportunity. We are the pioneers of doing something different.”
On what makes the VIP area of the gallery so special:
“The VIP area is going to be really cool. I was asked if we were going to give champagne and I said “no it’s virtual, but you can have it at home!”
The art is going to be more intense; it’s going to be on a larger scale as well and the fact that we are putting extra special into what we are going to do in the VIP area makes it another level.”
Speaking about his creative process:
“To be honest, in regard to this particular project, I’m working hand in hand on seven of them with Etienne, and it’s a different type of art from what I usually do. I never think of what I’m going to do, I just go to my studio, or sometimes I will work at home.
When I have a blank paper or canvas or whatever, I switch into my subconscious. I do trust my subconscious mind when it comes to creating; the more you let go, you will realise what you are creating is evolving naturally. I can’t plan if I have to paint something, I just let my imagination go and have different trips, it’s like a drug. Sometimes they are minimal, sometimes I like them, sometimes I don’t!”
His thought on NFTs and the future of art:
“I got intrigued by this NFT thing because [whoever is] going to buy the NFT is going to have the piece of art with it. We are still selling art, but the NFT is going to enhance the situation. When I first heard I laughed and thought ‘what is this NFT thing’ but talking to my son he said, ‘don’t be daft please, if you don’t know about it, don’t talk about it!’
But one of the reasons I do have Kevin and Claude in the team is because they are already working in this area, and as a team that helps us know where we want to go. I am not the mentor in this team, I’m learning from them. I’m just behind the idea of what we want to create to make this gallery look more special and more versatile. Four different artists displaying four different types of art.
I’m getting curious to know what is happening, there are some artists that I’ve googled and it seems like this thing can be an infinite situation, in reality, NFT is going to make an artist immortal, they can keep on selling and selling and selling until the end of time. This thing has to grow, it’s the only way. I still believe in old school galleries and physical communication, but this is completely out of this world. It’s open for everyone. [This gallery] isn’t about the money or the sales it’s about making this experiment work for future artists.”
On whether VR and AR technology are an inspiration:
“It’s something new. I think in my mind I’m still a kid, you give me a toy and I’ll play with it. I want to know how it goes, like a jigsaw puzzle. When you see the interest in people out there, people ask “when is it going to start?” Many people think it’s going to be a physical space, they thought I’d built this space to have a gallery underground and I have to tell them it’s virtual!
So, I ask myself, what I’m going to create for this challenge. You have to treat each one differently, like dating different women; you have to diversify yourself for different situations! And this NFT is something completely different from the norm of my world of art and it gave me another challenge, another perspective. When I’m creating for this gallery, I’m working at night, in the dark, I need a drink, I need to smoke, and I need to hear a special type of music and adapt to what I am creating.”
There you have it, straight from the man himself! Find out more about the project and be in with a chance to win one of FIVE EXCLUSIVE PASSES to the metaverse gallery by signing up at https://arize.io/mark-mallia-metaverse-gallery/.
You can also find out more on how to become an ARize Creator, earn Royalties per interaction on your art, view your 3D art in AR, and more! Visit https://arize.io/creators/
Founded in 2018, ARize is an industry leader in the 3D and AR industries. With an ethos of putting the power into the hands of the creators, their vision is revolutionising e-commerce, blockchain technologies and metaverse spaces. ARize is on a mission to bring 3D and AR capabilities to everyone, supercharging the visual experience it brings.