Alec Monopoly, the king of street art launches his NFT collection: his exclusive interview for Forbes

While the world of art has been undergoing its transformation for more than a year through the Web3.0 universe and the world of NFTs, we had the opportunity to interview Alec Monopoly, a personality especially known in the world of street art, who opens his art gallery in dubai launches its first NFT collection. The opportunity to better understand the dynamics of working in this environment, how this essential star became friends with crypto whales and celebrities, and why he decided to launch his NFT collection.

Hi Alec, can you tell us about yourself? How did you become the recognized artist you are today?

AM: My name is Alec Monopoly, I’m from New York City and I’m a street artist. I started painting streets in 2008. It was then the financial crisis of subprime mortgages on Wall Street and I became known by staging Mister Monopoly, the famous character from the game of the same name. It is what made my reputation and also what gave me my nickname in the world of street art. At the time, everyone in New York was focused on this financial crisis and my art was a reflection of how society felt at the time.

What made your career take off in the United States and internationally?

AM: I was arrested by the NYPD, which was echoed in the national media and then in art galleries internationally. Since then, I have not stopped creating around the character of Mister Monopoly, and now I am recognized by the international art world. My works are exhibited in particular at the Museum of Modern Art in Bangkok and now I am opening my own gallery in Dubai.


I got into NFT very early on, in 2019, when the NFT trend and phenomenon we know today did not yet exist. The NFT from that time was just one of my designs that was sold for charity.


The beginning of the story ofalec monopoly Thus, it begins in 2008, a striking parallel to the beginning of crypto history that has its roots at the same time: the subprime financial crisis. In the same way that Satoshi Nakamoto recounts in his white paper on Bitcoin the cataclysm that caused this crisis and the loss of confidence that it caused in financial institutions, Alec highlights these facts in his works of art in the middle of the streets of New York . And the comparison does not end there, because Alec has remained an anonymous character for a long time, in the shadow of his works.

Can you explain your anonymity and why you changed your mind?

AM: I was anonymous for a long time, like Banksy, I had a scarf to hide my face. I was anonymous to hide my face and avoid detection by the police when I started walking the streets of New York. Today I decided to reveal my face, because I am recognized in the art world and I tell myself that there is no reason to remain anonymous anymore. However, it got me into some trouble with the authorities.

Career started in 2008 and in anonymity, we cannot resist the temptation to ask you if you are the person who hides behind the pseudonym “Satoshi Nakamoto”.

AM: I would have liked to be Satoshi Nakamoto, but no, it’s not me! In fact, he hadn’t even made the connection before our exchange.

How did you get interested in the crypto universe and NFTs?

AM: My art and the themes that I highlight in my works around finances and the character of Mister Monopoly are very significant for crypto investors who are recognized in my work. In fact, there are even many “cwhales ryptowho collect my paintings. Once again, there are many similarities between the world of street art and the world of cryptocurrencies. Anonymity research is a good example.

I saw that you had already done some NFT projects. Can you tell us about the first NFT jobs you were able to do?

AM: I got into NFT very early on, in 2019, when the NFT trend and phenomenon that we know today did not yet exist. The NFT from that time was just one of my designs that was sold for charity. Then, in 2020, I did a collaboration with the artist Ozuna. We staged his bear character and the Mister Monopoly character for a collection that was a real success, quickly Exhausted . Now, I will be officially announcing the launch of a generative art NFT series soon. Owners of my NFTs made with Ozuna will be entitled to exclusive access and advantages for the drop.

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Are you an NFT collector?

AM: Yeah totally, I’m a huge collector of NFTs and appreciate them as works of art in their own right. One of my first NFTs was from the collection of Gary V, a well-known entrepreneur in the United States who launched his Veefriends collection. I also have a Meebits that I have been using as my profile picture for some time. I like the fact that we are looking for NFTs that are representative of our personality and our own characteristics. I even bought an NFT that looked like my girlfriend! (laughs)

You have become essential for many celebrities. Do your friends follow NFT like you?

AM: Yes, many of my friends are also on NFT. For my birthday, Logan Paul gave me a World Of Woman. Today there is a real correlation between NFTs and the evolution of the art world, it’s quite fascinating to experience.

I could see that you launched your own NFT platform “Artrail” with your brother. Can you tell us about this project? Will your NFT series be based on this platform?

AM: Artrail is a project that I run to have my own NFT platform and allow my friends to do drops on a trusted platform. However, this project itself is smaller than the series that I will be announcing soon. I still have to study the different possibilities to find the platform that is able to provide the highest security and withstand the spike in traffic when NFTs go on sale. For me it is very important that all these elements are taken into account so that the experience is as smooth and safe as possible. Usually when I start a new project, a new collaboration, websites have a hard time keeping up. So I want to make sure everything goes smoothly with the NFT series.


The NFTs will originally be 2D, then we can convert them to 3D NFTs for use in the metaverse.


Can you now tell us more about your NFT series?

AM: The next series is a generative art project I’ve been working on for a year. It will revolve around a new character that I have been developing for five years. He’s a completely original character I created called “Lil Richie.” He somehow represents the nephew of Mister Monopoly.

What message do you want to convey with this collection?

AM: I want everyone to be able to recognize themselves in the characters in the collection thanks to the different features that I have integrated. Also, there will be a male character with Lil Richie, but I also integrated a female character who will look a bit like a new version of Jessica Rabbit.

How did you have to adapt your way of working to create the NFTs?

AM: Indeed, the work of NFTs requires adaptation. Authoring is now done on iPad with an Apple Pencil. Even if the tools change, the artistic base and ideology remain the same. I created all the elements of the series myself and surrounded myself with a team that makes it possible to create generative art.

Nowadays, NFTs are a great way to build a community. How do you want to maintain your community with this series?

AM: Unlike a lot of projects that don’t deliver on their promises, I really want my community to get involved, to create a real utility for Headlinesof my pieces that will be exclusive works of art in their own right. They will also allow immediate access to exclusive events, the first of which will be at Art Basel Miami in December.

Will your NFTs be available in the metaverse?

AM: Yes, the NFTs will initially be 2D, then we can convert them to 3D NFTs for use in the metaverse. My teams and I are currently working on developing a complete experience in this new universe. The Matrix movie was the main inspiration for this project, and I want to pass that on to collectors.

Alec, what is the message you want to convey to your fans who read us and who are eagerly awaiting the launch of the series?

AM: My artwork has always been dearly loved and inaccessible to most of my fans, and this NFT series will allow everyone to collect one of my pieces and make some of my work their own.

In conclusion, Alec Monopoly is an artist known for more than 10 years for his works and the universe he has created. Himself an NFT collector and member of the crypto universe, he now combines his two passions to create what promises to be one of the year’s biggest NFT series to follow on your blog. social media.

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