Buckle up readers, this is not your average crypto art story. We also need to warn you that the content below is meant for mature audiences and features both graphic imagery, language, and a disturbing amount of meat references.
You’ve been warned. Without further ado, we bring to you the wonderfully grotesque and provocative work of artist diewiththemostlikes, aka toadswiback, aka Mark Wilson, and potentially now, Mark Brothko, as a result of his latest body of work.
In an attempt to better understand the organized chaos that is diewiththemostlikes, we spoke with the artist about his journey through art and Web3, the various inspirations behind his works, and gathered more details on his wildly successful beef brothko collection that debuted in its physical form during the festive Art Blocks Marfa Weekend.
Diewiththemostlikes is a self-described “Indiana-based artist and author driven by the same crippling monotony experienced while watching a piss-soaked snow mound melt into the pavement at a strip mall parking lot in Northern Indiana. His work was featured in the first-ever digital art exhibition in Milan, the Decentralized Art Pavilion at Venice Biennale and Times Square for the Armory Show.”
His work, grotesque and vulgar in its nature acts as a starting point that quickly grabs the attention of viewers, from there, the artist can be seen exploring various social arrangements or structures like rampant consumerism. This can be seen in works that dive into broader aspects of human greed and also through the lens of current Web3 shiny objects such as new applications or trends.
Sharing more on the concepts behind his works, diewiththemostlikes said “The vulgarity is only skin level, a lighthouse broadcast for people to further probe the underlying wound.”
He added “There is a hilarity in the brutal, in our indifferent demise. Our eternal fast casual consumption. Without the realization of that comedy within the absurd renderings, they’d likely just be unbearable portraits of decay.”
Art, Web3, and Inspiration
We asked diewiththemostlikes when and why he started making art, to which he shared “I’ve always created, my mom said she felt like it was a necessity to my existence and I wouldn’t dispute that.”
“It’s not so much creation as much as it is expulsion or evacuation.”
He added “There’s an urgency to it all. As to the why, it’s because if I didn’t, I would rot from the inside out. I find comfort in the mad and the absurd, I want my words or brush strokes to provide a truck stop adult book oasis for those who need it.”
Speaking to how he got started in Web3, the artist shared “An internet stranger reached out after I created a fake campaign poster for comedian, Eric Andre. Like many, I had no idea what I was doing and likely still don’t. But I found a home in Hic Et Nunc, an early Tezos platform that was more like a prize station at a county fair than anything else.”
Continuing, he shared “I couldn’t even discern if I was selling anything or not. And it was mostly broken. But it was a home for weirdos and punks and shitkickers alike. And we were creating for the sake of creation. And that’s all that mattered.”
As for the inspiration behind his works, which while disturbing in nature do carry with them an underlying sense of nostalgia, diewiththemostlikes expressed “Creation takes place in the sagging skinfolds of humanity. I love finding a story in the thinning hair of an old man sitting on a park bench or the song of a cicada at night or the stained glass of a broken Mad Dog 20/20 bottle. Inspiration is in the least obvious places imaginable.”
He added that the underlying message that can be found in many of his works is that “Our inevitable failure and inconsequence is hilarious. Someday, there will be a sparse group of indifferent strangers at our funeral, eating a wilting edible arrangements fruit platter. And that’s ok.”
This is where things get juicy, during the recent Art Blocks Marfa Weekend, diewiththemostlikes released a body of work dubbed beef brothkos, something he has been working on for nearly a year and that has absolutely exploded on secondary markets — with the 666 piece collection skyrocketing from a 0.0369 ETH mint price to a 0.875 ETH floor at the time of writing.
So what are beef brothkos and why are they going parabolic, glad you asked, this is what diewiththemostlikes had to say about it:
“It’s been a surreal few days for me, creating for so long and watching things disintegrate into the pie eyes and agape mouths of aimless consumers isn’t super fulfilling. So these last three years have been wild, and especially now. But there’s a relentlessness to it all. And I think people saw that at the live fuckable flea market.” (More on that soon).
He added “Seeing the absurdity of it all within the coils of a pulverized animal. Ultimately it’s impossible to tell what resonated so heavily, but AI legend Pindar Van Arman made an incredible thread dissecting it. Most folks perhaps find comfort in the prospect of meat begets meat. The hilarity of assured slaughter. And the oil-slick reflection of ourselves in a plastic-wrapped butcher’s sack of 60/40 blended ground chuck.”
Curious as to what inspired the collection, with the apparent Mark Rothko inspiration aside, we began to explore the process behind the works.
The artist shared “I’ve been painting physical Beef Brothkos for the last year or so, and thought about how hilarious the prospect was of Rothko seeing me in my basement in Indiana making ground beef renderings of his shit.”
He added “There’s something so incomprehensibly dumb and funny about it. And then I wrote the prose to accompany the collection, and it kind of all took on a life of its own.”
“Then wading through thousands of outputs created by a machine, gone on malt liquor energy drinks, was a sanity-shattering plummet in itself. It was an ungodly amount of work, and I think there’s humor in that too, but the outputs each inherit their own depravity and that’s really goddamn special,” diewiththemostlikes explained.
Taking a closer look at the works, we thought that perhaps they might be inspired by Rothko’s Four Seasons murals, which feature a similar palette and are also said to be violent or even representative of “terrorist art” in nature, as described by Rothko himself who said the collection reflected a savage aesthetic revenge, in which he relished at the chance to bite the hands of those who had made him rich.
To our surprise, these underlying factors were purely coincidental, with diewiththemostlikes sharing “I’ve only seen one Rothko before and it was as a print at a Kohls in Defiance Ohio next to Joey Fatone’s new luxury crockpot line. Though having now just Googled these sandwiched between tabs for Brazzers and JG Wentworth, they do appear to be ground beef adjacent.”
He added “We didn’t have art museums in my hometown, so the pieces were as much inspired by the RV Hall of Fame we had in town than actual Rothkos. But I suppose there is beauty in that too. I wonder if he ever did chew those fingers. And find bone. Our transactional insect jaws crave only up and down motion, regardless of taste or need. In chewing there is unfeeling. In chewing there is peace. The collection is more a powder-filled mirror than anything else. Waiting for a hole to fill.”
The Fuckable Flea Market
Acting as the stage for the release of physical beef brothko works, diewiththemostlikes, with an assist from Transient Labs, put together a “fully fuckable flea market” at glitch Marfa where visitors bartered with each other using wonderfully absurd and borderline disturbing items.
Diewiththemostlikes explained “The fully fuckable flea market was madness distilled. Folks came from all over the country to trade mushrooms for a friend tech fleshlight, or a nude drawing of salt bae for a hat that said discount meat, or a half-smoked cigarette for a grilled cheese sandwich containing a commemorative coin. It was concurrently everything and nothing. I’m so damn proud of that fuckable flea market.”
Inspired by the “Nobel Peace Prize-winning History Channel show Pawn Stars starring Rick, Chumlee, and Big Hoss,” diewiththemostlikes expressed that one of his favorite trades, in addition to those in the post above, was the failed dream of a generation for a gas station sex pill.
Speaking on the Marfa weekend in general, he expressed “It was all ‘blurry’ like that Puddle Of Mudd song, but meeting some of the greatest artists, collectors and anything in between in the space was wild.”
“It’s been a psychotic three or four days. Moving with the same speed as a jenkem 4LOKO gravity bong. But none of this shit woulda been possible without Chris Ostoich who is an absolute madman and worked with me to get this model spitting out the right beef and Transient Labs for the goddamn brutal site and glitch Marfa for hosting the fuckable flea market. There would be no meat without these three,” shared diewiththemostlikes in a nod to his collaborators.
With a love for meat, energy drinks, a good premium Brazzers account, and the obscene — we had to ask the simple or maybe not-so-simple question of why?
Diewiththemostlikes shared “There is beauty in our strip mall existence. In nameless dread. Soundtracking your day in a job you despise to the sound of a screaming orgasm. Or a collapsing aorta. Or the emptiness of an unscented Vaseline jar and a microwavable dinner.”
“There is always meat too. And the butcher’s hands. And the lever that goes around to make us into things we don’t recognize. And America’s Got Talent. And the Masked Singer too.”
Sharing some cryptic alpha with our readers, the artists said “There is some indigestion brewing for Basel in Miami with Transient Labs that will likely be fully fuckable again. But regrettably can only recognize a shimmer of light through a rarely used glory hole at this point.”
To bring the conversation to a close, we asked if diewiththemostlikes had a statement he’d like to share with our readers, to which he simply replied: