Kolectiv Artist Series September 2022 — Archangel
Archangel is an abstract artist with strong affinity to hyper surrealism and occultism. He has been making digital artworks for 2 years with special focus on sculpting occult characters , mostly specializing in gothic and dark themes. He tries to simulate emotions in the form of dark and derelict artworks. It’s been a unique experience to dwell into the realms of these dark corridors, which most people will ignore, but in essence life and death have always been two sides of the same coin, which makes death and darkness equally beautiful in his opinion. He loves the fantasy and romanticism behind darkness and the inevitable, and thus depict them in his Visual arts and Poems.
Tom: So what were you doing before you became an NFT artist, and how did you got into it? Is there a story?
Archangel: I joined the NFT space in early January of 2021, after getting to know about it from the amazing stuff put on by Beeple through Nifty Gateway. Before that I used to do small freelance gigs like making occult book covers and album art. I essentially started art in mid 2020 after the lockdown happened and my initial goal was to be skilled enough to join a game studio, but NFTs worked out pretty well and it helped me follow a dream of independence and work as a full time artist.
Tom: Yeah, I can imagine Beeple’s breakthrough being an eye-opener for many artists and designers out there. It’s funny because I do have a personal friend who is a designer himself, but despite encouragement he continued to ignore the NFT scene and the potential it can bring to individual artists. He continued working for his gaming animation company until now and never gave it a try. Who knows what could’ve been.
What are your thoughts on cases like these? Do you know anyone in a similar scenario?
Archangel: The stigmata against NFTs has been quite disheartening to see , usually people saying its just a ponzi money laundering scheme that rips off artists , but being here from before the new boom that happened in March 2021, I can safely say that it has paved the way for so many amazing artists to be able to make amazing art full time and it has opened up that new realm of experimenting that costs a lot of time , that could may not have been possible for a lot of us.
I do know a lot of super hard working and talented artists who layed off nfts due to the fear of being witchhunted by the general public, which is kind of sad cause in my opinion , the NFT space is one of the most amazing communities, with so much support from all the people and so many amazing collectors who value your art for what they are worth and more.
Hopefully this stigmata ends soon, just as the time people eventually adopted the internet.
Tom: Well I can say it’s not just in the art scene, it’s getting heavy backlash in gaming as well. In my opinion it’s not completely unwarranted though, with tons of opportunists and scammers hanging around this new wild west. We’ll just leave it at that.
So, where are you from and currently located? How is the local art scene over there, NFT and non-NFT wise?
Archangel: I am from India, and Im currently in Bangalore. The art scene here is amazing, with a lot of young artists coming into the NFT scene as well as the traditional scene. Art is slowly being accepted as a form of living in India and its been amazing to see people making art right from the age of 13–14 to 90s.
India has been always a hub for art and cultural dynamics, so NFTs are essentially being adopted quite fast as well for a means for artists like us to follow this dream of creating.
Tom: Personally I think NFTs has also ‘globalized’ artists. No longer artists need a something like a posh, physical gallery in downtown NYC or Paris for exposure of their work. Everyone is on the same equal footing and is judged by the quality of work, instead of the opportunities brought by geolocation or financial abilities. Am I right?
Archangel: Hell yeah! One could work from a small cafe way up in the mountains, enjoying life and putting out amazing art, even being anonymous and being known all around the world for the work. Its an amazing opportunity.
Tom: Let’s talk about some of your works. ‘Tribunal’ from the Kolectiv Nightmares collection is an amazing piece. Mind to share more of your thoughts and creative process behind this particular artwork?
Archangel: So Tribunal was a piece based on Arthurian legends, especially the character of Percival.
This piece depicts him as regal undead — mutated warrior, who fell from the high graces of the Round table of the Knights of Arthurian England after being punished for the betrayal towards his king, Arthur Pendragon.
This piece also shows a bit of his assassin side with the hooded cape, as he was later known as the Ironside Assassin.
Tom: Why the six arms?
Worth: ’cause it’s 🔥🔥🔥 af.
Worth: maybe don’t include that part in the interview, ignore me
Archangel: Each arm signifies a trait of the betrayal — Cowardice, Envy, Darkness, Greed, Fear, Perpetual Downfall.
Tom: I love it.
Archangel: Now that I see it , I should’ve made it more clear and actually showed the traits. Missed opportunity!
Tom: While we’re at it, let’s showcase to the world a never-seen-before artwork from yourself. An Archangel NFT for the Kolectiv Tarot: Major Arcana drop! We’ll not spoil the title of this card for now though and leave it as a little teaser.
There’s a lot of new elements in the piece, e.g. the long hair, smaller skulls, and the wings on the face, aren’t seen in many of your other works. Care to elaborate more on that?
Archangel: So this piece was based on Baphomet, an occult god of judgement and balance in essence.
He is like the prime deity of occultistic themes, usually seen as a god with the head of a goat.
Some of the elements like the wings on his face are my take on making Baphomet unique to my art style, including the flowing locks of hair.
The smaller skull floating between his hands show him as the perpetuator of death and the living, and their respective realms.
And of course the smaller skeletal characters worshiping him seems apt for the power and position he holds.
Tom: Can’t wait for this to be dropped! Your style is very definitive. I don’t think anyone in the space doesn’t recognize these immediately as Archangel’s art immediately.
By the way, many of us collectors always wonder what an independent artists’ workplace look like. Mind to share a photo of it? Also, what software and hardware do you utilize for all your creations?
Archangel: My workbench has a desktop and a laptop, the hardware specs are Nvidia RTX 3070 and 3080s, Ryzen 9 5900HX, 64 gigs of ram and a whole lot of hard drives to store up the art.
I work on Blender 3D , which is a free open source 3D pipeline software.
Tom: Thanks for sharing! Before we conclude this interview, this will be your chance to introduce any current projects and plans that you’re working on. Please share them with us!
Archangel: Currently I am working on some commissions that will soon be visible through a lot of rock festivals (though most of them are signed under NDA, so I can’t go into the details). As well as creating my 1/1 art pieces, some of which will soon be dropping on SuperRare in the coming months :D
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.