Kolectiv Artist Series November 2022 — Skeenee (with a giveaway!)
Let’s be very clear: Skeenee is punk. He embodies everything you know or don’t know about Crypto Art. Skeenee doesn’t have limits, and neither does his art. Pure experimentation and constant curiosity characterize his body of work. Skulls, birds, studies of human figures, animals: all are coming to life through the simple and confident trait of Skeenee’s drawings. But Skeenee is also a master in giving the illusion of life. The artist animates his drawings, his nudes are pixelated. He mixes, fuses, and impregnates the quintessential traditional look with the most advanced technologies. A part of his works looks like studies, preliminary sketches of artworks. And yet, the feeling is not that of unfinished or drafts; instead, of completeness and wholeness. So what are we looking at?
The answer is something new. Something that pushes the boundaries, where art doesn’t have to be on one side and technology on the other anymore. But especially where any means, ideas, tools, or attitude that can contribute to allowing art — and therefore humanity — to evolve is spontaneously and playfully used. Skeenee doesn’t differentiate techniques, styles, or canons; he doesn’t put himself and his art in boxes. The only label he knows is: to expand beyond the limits. His approach to art also reflects his involvement and role within the crypto art community, always fresh and constructive. Always trying to look through a new lens at society, social games, humanity, life. I don’t know who coined the term “self-governance,” but in my mind, if there is someone among us who is the incarnation of it, that is Skeenee. Skeenee, beyond the “self-sovereign.” Say hello to the “self-king.”
— Written by Eleonora Brizi
Tom: You’ve been a tattoo artist for quite some time! I can suddenly imagine a lot of your work, especially older ones, on a tattoo. Makes a lot of sense. This might come off weird, but let’s hear the differences from one form of art to another — how does each form make you feel?
Skeenee: I think they are very different but I like them both a lot for different reasons.
I love Tattoo because it demands a high level of skills to do right. In my opinion it´s the ultimate canvas/challenge for an artist. There very little room for mistakes and every mistake is nerve wracking since it´s the only canvas that can punch you in the face if you fuck up too much lol
And I love cryptoart because of its total lack of rules and limitations. I briefly created and exposed my pieces within the traditional art sphere and quickly grew tired of its rules and limitations. It always seemed senseless to me to limit Art. There is no limitations to cryptoart. It´s quite the opposite, the medium pushes us to innovate, to break boundaries and create something new mixing any techniques and media. I just love the freedom it gave us! That´s why i am a bit saddened by the current state of our scene. The majority of what is produced these days is so fucking predictable.
Tom: Haha! That’s true. The experience of drawing on skin with needles vs digital pen on a screen is definitely worlds apart. Personally I do believe the predictable products that you described, a lot of them did not came from ‘real’ artists so to speak. Probably someone just looking for a quick cash grab in the bull market. Don’t you think so?
Skeenee: I entirely think so. There is a strong community of artists and builders producing amazing work every day. They are the foundation of our scene but are unfortunately being overshadowed by value extractors (influencers, VCs,…)
Tom: One thing that I always wanted to ask. What’s up with your name? Are you really that skinny?
Skeenee: lol… I used to be but now i am older and getting “fatter”. People often ask me this question and there unfortunately is not cool story behind it:P It´s the name I used when I was doing graffiti as a teenager, it has a nice flow and is fun to write. I then used it as gamertag for a long time, then it became my artist name. When I was doing traditional Art, they actually tried to make me change it coz it was not serious enough. I kinda knew then it was not my scene.
Tom: If I were an artist, I would do the same as an ex-gamer myself. I get it, sometimes they take themselves too seriously but hey, to each their own! Let’s move on. You were already a Kolectiv artist, with works in our previous drops like ‘Mothman Skeleton’ and ‘King of Skulls’. We’re really proud to have you onboard for the Tarot collection that we recently dropped. How did you feel the first time when we reached out to you about the idea of the collection?
Skeenee: Thanks a lot for having me on your platform. Tbh I always liked Tarot cards and was always been tempted to use them as influence/seed for some of my Art. So it felt natural to create one.
I had fun producing it and it seems people are enjoying it as well so I am happy:)
Tom: How was the whole experience for you so far?
Skeenee: I am always swamped with projects and requests and have a rather chaotic organization (bloody artists!) so I as usual last minute sent my pick to Worth and everything was pretty taken so I grabbed what was left. My initial choice would have been Death (how obvious) but it was taken by my mate Jason Duckmanton who by the way did an incredible work, I absolutely love his work. Looking back at it, I am super happy I got the Fool card as it forced me to come up with something fresh and funny. I think my Death card would have been more predictable.
Tom: Ah yes… ‘The Fool’. We really liked how it tells the whole NFT craze story earlier this year in a single piece of art. From the moon rockets, the pepe memes, HODL, the pile of discarded Pudgy Penguins, Cool Cats, and other PFP projects. What’s the thought process behind it?
Skeenee: I dunno man I just work on instinct lol. I just started sketching stuff, ideas started flowing naturally and this came out of it. It´s my blessing and my curse. I have tons of ideas all the time, sometimes it becomes overwhelming. The main character is “Skullito”, it´s a style of character/animation I developed earlier this year when I was bored with the scene and is now at the core of my Art. Since Alottamoney´s passing I am trying to give more depth to my Art and stopped doing shit just because it´s pretty. I am trying to follow his moto and create stuff that make people laugh or think. I think this is a step in that direction.
Tom: Awesome! We’d like to make this feature a little different from the previous ones this time, to celebrate your participation as an artist in our Tarot collection. We will be doing a giveaway in our Discord exclusively for all holders of ‘The Fool’. Please let our community know what you’re giving away!
Skeenee: Sure I will be giving away some of my 2019 Makersplace pieces from my Ink Skulls and Skeletons series. It´s the series that got me spotted and recuited by Makersplace, the series that got me into cryptoart, and the first pieces I ever minted. There are a few editions left and I am about to burn the remaining unsold to make it more scarce.
Tom: Thank you! Before we end the interview, are there any projects that you’re currently working on and would like the community to know?
Skeenee: Ehehe I always working on a lot of stuff:P A bunch of collabs with some of my fellow OGs I can´t reveal too much about. An async blueprint. And a few SR piece involving my Skullitos. Soo many ideas and so little time:P
And who knows maybe more Kolectiv pieces:)
The Kolectiv Artist Series is a series of monthly interviews that we pick the brains of our favourite artists. Each interview is done live, on-the-spot with minimal to no edits to preserve the artists’ exact words.