Mark Wilson — the artist known as diewiththemostlikes — has a truly unique style to his art and a presence that could be described as grotesque, performative, thought-provoking and hilarious all in one packet of rolled-up ground beef.
In a digital art market where supply can be infinite, the Indiana-based artist really stands out from the crowd with his ability to garner attention by often ridiculing the NFT space and eliciting both humor and sadness within his work.
An author of five books, diewiththemostlikes has a passion for not only visual art but also scribing his streams of consciousness. He originally minted his first NFT on March 26, 2021, on Foundation after a random account on X reached out because Wilson had made a joke campaign poster for comedian Eric Andre that went viral.
“This dude reached out and just said, ‘Hey, I have a Foundation invite. Would you want to mint a piece on there?’ I said I don’t know what minting is. I don’t know what Foundation is. I have no clue what any of this shit is,” Diewiththemostlikes explains.
“He said, ‘It could be a good avenue for your digital art,’ so I said, ‘Well, fuck it, man. It’s not like I’m not doing anything with it now. It’s getting two likes on Instagram from fucking porn bots. So, whatever, I’ll mint something, and maybe I can sell something finally as an artist — that would be nice.’”
It was a relatively slow start, but consistency and persistence positioned him well, and he’s often received praise from other well-known artists such as OSF.
Now knocking on the door of digital art stardom, diewiththemostlikes still hasn’t come to grips with the position he finds himself in.
“I still honestly can’t really wrap my head around this shit that’s going on. I just assumed I was gonna die alone doing something I hated. To be part of this kind of movement with all these other really insane artists who are on this crazy trajectory and who are constantly leveling up is really cool. It’s pretty wild,” he says.
Origin of catchy and cumbersome name
How did the name diewiththemostlikes come about? Well, in classic “die” fashion, there’s humor and an underlying meaning.
“I’ve got the most common name to ever exist, Mark Wilson. When I was applying for apartments, people would think it was a scammer name because Mark Wilson is a super common name here in the States. They would do a background check and think I was a fake person.”
“I’m cool with my name… But diewiththemostlikes kind of came in, and it’s funny because it’s actually a really cumbersome name to say. A lot of people during interviews will ask what they even call me. It’s a really long and kind of an unenjoyable name to say, but I suppose that I find comfort in that. Discomfort, if you will, or the inability to kind of determine what I should be called is awesome.”
The name pokes fun at a world where we seek likes on social media for dopamine hits, which Wilson points out is a transactional existence.
“It’s a really interesting distillation of our transactional existence as a whole and kind of how fucking sad and depressing it can be in many ways. But also the beauty of it, obviously, none of us would be here; we wouldn’t be talking here without Twitter. Certainly, my art wouldn’t be doing what it was doing, or I wouldn’t be able to impact anybody without a platform.”
Finding a story in peculiar places
Observing society and its idiosyncrasies is a big inspiration, and his work often carries open or sometimes subliminal messages that make collectors really stop and think.
Of course, always the prankster with a dry sense of humor, diewiththemostlikes is quick to tie a bow around it with some over-the-top window dressing.
“I would say there’s stories in the most peculiar places. There’s a story in every sagging ass of anyone walking around the fucking dregs of this country,” he says. “Within those kinds of nuanced little wrinkles, scabs and wounds is where I thrive and where I love to exist.”
“This lens on life and humanity is often exaggerated… If you look a little deeper on my pieces, they’re definitely documentarian but certainly grotesque at a very surface level.”
Good meat! Sublime satire
The tsunami of crypto X accounts posting “gm” led to a series of meat art.
“Good meat originally arose out of a place of complete ridicule, which is where a lot of my art I feel like comes from. It’s satire; it’s ridicule; it’s hilarity. I was really annoyed with the transactional state of everybody just saying ‘gm,’ with nothing else to say. It was gm with a fucking coffee mug, and that was it. Then you just see gm, gm, gm, gm. It was just like, ‘What the fuck are we all doing here? This is insane, dude,’” says Wilson.
“So, then I kind of came up with good meat as a way to ridicule that, and I was posting art with the pieces originally, and then it kind of transitioned into now. I’m just gonna post meat pictures now because that fits the kind of dull exchange. The dull morning exchange that we all participate in.”
“It’s just like here’s a big heaving pile of rotting meat. Enjoy it or don’t enjoy it. It’s all good. But it’s funny because now people will say good meat back, or they’ll have their own good meat-inspired post, and it’s fucking super cool. I love that meat is infecting the space in some capacity.”
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“I don’t have a ton, honestly, and most of that is just because I don’t have any art background. I would actually say, growing up, most of my influence was actually in the books I was reading. People like Irvine Welsh, Haruki Murakami, Michel Houellebecq, and, of course, Hunter S. Thompson. All those kinds of absurdists are where I love to dwell.”
“I should obviously mention Ralph Steadman, who is a fucking incredible illustrator. When I got into this space, somebody said, ‘Your stuff reminds me of Ralph Steadman,’ and I think that’s incredible.”
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Personal style of art
“I think one word I would use is ‘relentless.’ The style itself it’s funny; I never took an art class in high school and was described as adequate. That’s really the extent of my art history. I didn’t study art. It’s more or less I bludgeoned my way into making these things. It’s been like 20,000 hours on the iPad and in my basement making canvases and acrylic.”
“It’s just bludgeoning stuff out that I feel like has to come out or else it’ll rob me from the inside, so ‘relentless’ and ‘unflinching,’ I guess, are the two words that I would use. There’s almost a psychotic pursuit and an urgency to what I want to tell people.”
Which hot NFT artists should we be paying attention to?
Xer0x — “I feel like he’s massively slept on, like horrifically slept on in many ways. That’s a guy who’s obsessed with his craft, and he makes super deep, very personal pieces that are true artistic achievements.”
Alien Queen — “Alien Queen is the shit, but she’s probably not even up-and-coming anymore.”
James Bloom — “He’s a true blockchain artist. The dude is making these super technical and really fucking rad pieces that evolve and change based on interactions.”
“I have to give a massive shout-out to SuperRare Zach. He’s been so nice and cool, and he onboarded me after this crazy absurdist tweet campaign to get on SuperRare. To get accepted to SuperRare, it was essentially a tweet that I sent that said I just submitted my application video.”
“It is me doing DMT and performing How Stella Got Her Groove Back while dressed like Hellboy or something. It was just like an insane tweet, and he just said, ‘This is nuts. You’re on.’ I’d already been putting in work and stuff, but I would say Zach is awesome.”
Favorite NFT in your wallet
“Oh, man, I would have to say Pindar Van Arman made this dope ass quantum portrait of me that’s super special. It’s really goddamn rad. That’s probably my favorite piece that I own. It’s a dope-ass piece, and he was so nice to do it. He didn’t ask; he just made it.”
What do you listen to when creating art?
“I love music. I mean, the absurd part of me would say that I create to Nickelback and Creed and fucking all those other dumb bands. But really, I listen to a shit ton of doom metal and death metal. Bands like Bongripper, Gate Creeper and Withered. Anything that’s just slow, grimy and brutal is the only way that you can kind of describe it.”
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