In preparation for our NFT gallery project launch with Mark Mallia, we sat down with the man himself and opened the floor to questions from people who 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 works 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 various 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. Other characters are going to be involved eventually, but we’re taking this as a step-by-step thing.
First, we’ll start with the gallery…then we’ll build this story, this narrative. It will sometimes be a bit controversial because it began in 2021 and is in the future of 2065. The whole thing will be cool with the underworld, cyborgs, and AI. The artists are already collaborating, we’ve had a couple of meetings, and I’ve seen their work, and they’re pretty 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 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. Until last year, I did not want to get involved [with technology] anymore. I’d rather work 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 it will go well as many of my followers are already curious about how to invest in it and be a part of it, and they have many 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 say, “we’re the first to buy 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 unique:
“The VIP area is going to be cool. I was asked if we would 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, regarding 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. So never think of what I’m going to do, I go to my studio, or sometimes I will work at home.
I switch into my subconscious when I have blank paper, canvas, or whatever. And trust my subconscious mind when it comes to creating; the more you let go, the more you realize what you are making 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. And 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 will have the piece of art with it. We are still selling art, but the NFT will 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 on 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 on this team. I’m learning from them. I’m just behind what we want to create to make this gallery look unique and versatile. Four different artists display four different types of art.
I’m curious to know what is happening, there are some artists that I’ve googled, and it seems like this can be an infinite situation. In reality, NFT will make an artist immortal. They can keep 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 entirely out of this world. It’s open to 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 is 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 asked myself what I would 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 entirely different from the norm of my art world, giving me another challenge and perspective. When 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 particular 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 have 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 learn more about becoming an ARize Creator, earn Royalties per interaction on your art, view your 3D art in AR, and more! Visit https://arize.io/creators/
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