About The Artist
Bitfandango trained at San Francisco Art Institute & taught sculpture at UCSD in San Diego. Bitcoin literally reignited her creative energy after a diffuicult 10 year gap of not creating Art.
Her work is completely different to anything we’ve seen in the Bitcoin Art / Crypto Art world before. It’s a great pleasure for us to present something so new to the space. Her style is subtle, nuanced & dreamy. She enjoys a bit of mystery & intrigue and confesses to being a little off kilter & left field . . . oddball even. We love it.
Re: her name. Fandango means “something that isn’t fully formed, a flight of fancy”. She felt it applied well to Bitcoin. There’s been nothing like Bitcoin before, “it can empower anyone. Anybody can buy it & grow their money.”
Her images are full of Bitcoin references : ‘Magic Internet Money’ has a green magician’s hat. She sees it as emblematic of her work. “It’s amusing how people react to it, what they see . . . a wizard, Harry Potter”. ‘Sewer Rat’ refers to Andreas Antonopoulos’ classic antifragility article ‘The Sewer Rat & The Bubble Boy”. One of our favourites is ‘Shells’, inspired by the Cowrie Shells of Nick Szabo’s seminal article on monetary history.
Her style is a stark counterpoint to some the more bombastic Propaganda style Bart out there. We can imagine her pieces fitting seamlessly onto many people’s walls.
"I want to make art for Bitcoiners, that Nocoiners will appreciate just as much."
We think she nails it. Nocoiners might miss the joke and its layers but they can’t miss the mood, aesthetic and craftsmanship.
The Interview 1/4
Bitfandango went to the San Francisco Art Institute in the late 90s. She loved it despite the cost and still paying off her student loan. She wouldn’t trade it for the world.
She taught sculpture at UCSD, University of California, San Diego and loved teaching and articulating ideas, “the excitement of bringing people to that light bulb moment when they ‘get it’.”
"I don’t want to say I reached an end game, I still don’t fully understand what the crisis was, but I stopped practising art for nearly 10 years."
It kept her showing up to Art but she struggled for a decade with a creative depression. She feels she needs to be practicing Art in an everyday way, to be happy.
"I lost faith in making Art. It could have all gone horribly wrong for me. I could have been a derelict. Instead . . . I found Bitcoin."
Art Collection 1/3
The Interview 2/4
Bitfandango started her Bitcoin journey in 2017, she can’t quite recall the trigger but she started trading shitcoins “day trading and making some money.”
She got caught up in the high preference, speed of it “that’s what our culture is geared towards” but the real turning point for her came when the market crashed in Jan 2018 and she started digging into Bitcoin. Later that year she went to the @BitcoinIs Conference Bitcoin in LA and heard Saifedean Ammous, Jimmy Song & RoastBeef speak.
"@BitcoinIs_ Conference was just mind blowing. I made some of my first Bitcoiner friends & started going to Meetups"
She met Brekkie @BVBTC at a Meetup, & found him “so enterprising, open and generous.” He was making prints of Salvador Dali’s melting watches, melting Bitcoins. She was deep in the Rabbit Hole at the time.
"Brekkie gave me one of his works and it got me thinking . . . Oh, you can make art about this"
In a way finding Bitcoin & Brekkie giving her that painting was the rediscovery of her muse. She looked at what was being made and spotted a niche. “I didn’t want to make propaganda art, something too shouty or message oriented. I wanted to make things that would seep in or sneak in.
"Certain imagery, icons & symbolism just reaches you, like an archetype, like a subconscious union."
Up until now her works have been unique pieces that she’s sold to friends, fans. She’s found the Bitcoin community super welcoming though. “There’s something so exciting about communing with other bitcoiners. You spend so much time in your head on this – it’s a joy to connect.”
"Once you get into the circular economy of selling for Bitcoin, that’s when it really takes off."
At the recent OC Bitcoin Market, on top of the core @ocbtcn group there were people visiting from out of town, from Philadelphia & Vegas. She sold works there & picked up items from other vendors – metal pins from @BTCPins, a tie-dye t-shirt and Free Ross Ulbricht stickers. She gets a real kick out of the Circular Economy & using Lightning.
"I’m currently setting up a @raspiblitz and hoping to integrate @btcpayserver soon."
She’s been learning more about NFTs lately, admitting its “it’s problematic for Bitcoiners” but she’s starting to believe its a more than that just a way for artists to make revenue. “I think it’s going to be very big.” She’s still a little conflicted though & refers to Michael Saylor’s recent description of Ethereum as a utility application vs Bitcoin as money.
"Bitcoin is is a profound thing that will change the world."
Art Collection 2/3
She’s continued with the abstraction of her prior work, but moved away from oils to experiment with mixed media. She’s never made prints or delved in to photography before preferring the unique magic of single works.
"I look at my my older work & I can really see connections conceptually & humour wise."
In terms of technique, she considers herself less a realistic renderer or a draughtsman. Her works are based around prints, imagery she’s found on the internet, ideally generic, stock looking images with an ‘emptiness’ about them. She’ll often do a lot of searching to find the right image.
"It’s all about the image."
She tones them down, or brings them up in Photoshop, “whatever I need to do, to have something to respond to”. The resultant images are printed onto metallic coated paper and she then adds layers of drawing over them. The final work is mostly drawing overlying the print.
She works in spurts, sometimes not sleeping for a couple of nights, getting a bit manic and pumping out work. Between this she’ll take a couple of weeks to explore entirely different ideas, without expectations. She’s also back to creating non-Bitcoin Art “something I never thought would happen.”
BRIDGING ART & BITCOIN
The first piece she sold was ‘GUI’ of fungi & mycelium, inspired by @Brandonquittem. ‘Time Preference’ has a replendent mature tree in it, “I thought it was pushing the envelope a little here”. We love it – it’s a beautiful analogy.
‘Dream Citadel’ is a particularly iconic image of hers with a levitating castle & earth underneath it. It was the last from a previous body of work, a collage of three images with heavy Photoshop. It’s drawn in the style that she used to paint in and she’s keen to explore the concept of the Citadel more, “its so complicated. It’s fascinating, problematic. I’d like to make a whole body of citadels that go psychedelic.”
"I really wanted to make art for Bitcoiners that non-Bitcoiners might appreciate, just as much. I never really thought about it too carefully but deep down, I probably wanted to bridge those worlds."
She’s selling to Bitcoiners and Art people. We’re in total agreement how important this is in terms of growing mainstream adoption and bringing new people into the fold.
At home, she’s sent a number of friends down the Rabbit Hole, including her wife.
"My wife’s on board. We invest together and she loves to see me happy making art & hanging out with Bitcoiners."
Like many they feels it’s such a strange time right now. “Trump has been such a divisive force, such a presence in everyone’s daily life”. They’ve both found the populism that’s been bubbling up, very unsettling.
On the flip side, she’s feeling many more people are developing an interest in Bitcoin though.
"I think Bitcoin’s really starting to permeate the mainstream imagination. You can feel it."
Art Collection 3/3
BRIDGING ART & BITCOIN
"At the moment, I’m just thinking about the moment."
She plans to focus on the Citadel concept, do a series of works around that. She wants to scale up too and start making prints. At the time of writing, much of her work on bitfandango.org is listed as ‘sold’. We discussed how a number of Bitcoin Artists are offering 21 prints of their original works. It’s something she’s keen explore, keep an eye on the wesbite for upcoming print releases.
"I need to start new drawings, stay in that practice. It’s a magical feeling."
She’s grateful for the opportunities to explore the things that excite her. Whether that’s Bitcoin podcasts or disappearing down some rabbit hole. “I’m very fortunate that my time isn’t too structured.”
She was booked to exhibit her Bitcoin Art at Bitcoin 2020 in San Francisco this year, but of course that was cancelled. “That’s initially what got the fire under my ass on this 😉 ”
She’s exhibiting her Art at LA’s “Bitcoin 2021 Conference” in late April. They’ve moved to a bigger venue in LA now, with 21 artists on show next year.
“@TheBitcoinConf 2021 will be epic – a raging party!”
Be there if you can. Say hi and check out more of her work at bitfandango.org or on Twitter/Instagram as @bitfandango