ANTON GUDIM: THE ARTIST THAT ENRAGED GEN Z BUT TURNED INTO A GLOBAL PHENOMENON!
Anton Gudim is an artist and viral sensation currently doing a drop on Artano. He is most known for his “YES, BUT” conceptual artworks turned into memes that fill the front pages of Reddit and social media platforms along with his other sarcastic, insightful, and funny illustrations about society and human behavior. In this interview, Gudim shared how he balances his professional work as an engineer, and shed light on his artistic side. He expressed his thoughts on NFTs and Cardano! So buckle up and find out more about our beloved artist in this short & sweet interview! You can find his auctioned piece on Artano here!
Interviewer Melita Turkovic
M: Tell us something about yourself and your artistic journey, how did it come to be?
A: 7 years ago I shared my first drawing as part of the Gudim project. Until that time, I had been drawing all my life: in some periods of my life more often, in some less often. I never thought that drawing would become the main way of expressing my ideas and thoughts. At one time I made a big bet on music, and even played in a rock band for several years. But then we all matured, and the idea of becoming a rock star had to die.
M: Since you work as a software engineer, some people would say these two are completely different life paths. What’s your point of view on it?
A: Batman and Superman managed to live a double life, why am I worse? (joking) Since my school years, I have been quite good at mathematics. I changed schools four times, two of which were strong in math, and then entered a technical institute. At some point, I realized that the pursuit of mathematics, with its fascinating tasks, was becoming less in my life — there are more technical terms, routines and restrictions. After the institute, I went to work in my specialty in order not to waste the time spent on education, plus it brought a stable income, and promised career growth. After several job shifts and career advancements, I realized that I did not get full satisfaction from office work. I lacked creativity. At that time, I had night shifts and could afford to draw something out of boredom, and I also lived quite far from work. Long trips gave me the opportunity to think a lot and observe the environment.
Years later, I continued to combine drawing and technical work. Work gives you financial stability, while creativity gives you the opportunity to express yourself.
M: Your art is in many ways thought-provoking, it reflects the absurdity of everyday life and gives somewhat sarcastic remarks about our society. At the same time, you managed to keep it in a light, funny and relatable tone. When I look through some of your artworks I do see the critique, but as I feel it, it doesn’t come from bitterness. I’d like to hear your opinion.
A: It seems to me that my works can be different: sometimes they are really kind and ironic, but sometimes they are more “toothy”. Like any person, I have things in life that are irritating and those that do not cause irritation. For example, I (perhaps due to the fact that I live in a large and densely populated city) am very sensitive to personal space and disrespect from other people. All other topics rather amuse me. For example, when I see similarities in people’s behavior or clothing, I find it amusing. It just seems to me that it is not necessary to copy what is now “in vogue”, but to bring in a little more creativity and just try to be yourself.
M: I want to know more about your “YES BUT” series of artwork. How did you start with it, what was the inspiration?
A: I came up with this format a long time ago (if I’m not mistaken in 2017). Then it was a series of 7 works, where the reverse side of the “beautiful wrapper” was shown in the form of people chasing brands. When people at all costs want to show their involvement in premium brands while not paying attention to their convenience and real financial condition.
Then I returned to this format in 2020, adding several new stories, for example, about the fact that people began to often dye their hair in bright colors, but at the same time get lost among other people dyed in bright colors. This work caused a special rage among generation Z. After that, I realized that I needed to continue. The idea to start a separate project came to me when I was taking a shower: at that moment I absolutely did not know what else I could say in this format, but after delving into my thoughts I came up with several plots. Then more and more. As a result, the format turned out to be quite wide and now it has become not only about appearance and fashion, but also about the reverse side of any actions and events in general. I cannot single out one work that is closest to me, because I lived through almost all of them and carried through myself.
M: Why did you choose Artano as your marketplace and Cardano as a blockchain?
A: Because I see potential in the Artano platform and in Cardano. When I first started diving into this topic, the main NFT currency was ETH, and then there were already a lot of releases in which it was easy to get lost. ADA was new at the time and I was interested in going down that path from the very beginning. I also value the eco-friendly approach on Cardano.
M: I’m curious about your experience with NFTs. I’ve seen you had some of your artworks displayed on Foundation too, so you are not completely new in the NFT world. How do you like working with NFTs as a medium in comparison with your standard ways of expression?
A: Yes, when NFT technology appeared, I became interested in trying my hand. I have long wanted to start understanding cryptocurrencies, and then a great opportunity turned up to combine art and crypto money. Despite the criticism of NFT art that we can sometimes hear, I believe that this is really a new step in art. I consider buying the collections of an artist with a name like buying stock in that artist. If you see the potential in an artist, want to support them, and also believe that their art will develop and rise in price, then the NFT is the best way to make such a deal.
M: I know it’s a little pretentious to ask, but I must! How do you see the future of NFTs from an artist perspective?
A: To be honest, I could not even predict the emergence of such technology as NFT. The world is rapidly changing and becoming more technological from year to year: most likely NFT art will also change, and most likely will become an even more of a mass phenomenon.
You like surprises? Stay tuned because you are in for a big one. Anton Gudim is also dropping a surprise collection April 2nd. More on his discord!