Sometimes artists can be the unsung heroes of the NFT world, lending their talent to project development while having little to do with the project itself. Ludo has been the opposite on the BTC Flower project, actively engaging the community both on Twitter and in the Discord server. It’s a refreshing change of pace to have a real-life celebrity active in the community.
However, you may not know much about the artist behind what has rapidly become one of the most sought-after projects on the Internet Computer. So we wanted to give everyone the chance to get to know the artist behind BTC Flower.
Thank you, Ludo, for taking the time to answer our questions so we can all get to know you a little better!
Background and Art
What made you decide to get into art as your form of creative expression?
After school, I wanted to be a journalist to tell about people and society, but I quickly realized I was terrible at writing, so drawing was the only way to express myself.
Why did you choose the name Ludo as your art alias?
Simply because my name is Ludovic, and everyone was calling me Ludo.
I learned from your website that you studied art in Milan and work mainly in Paris. Both cities are well-known for producing famous artists. Who are some of your artistic influences?
I don’t feel like a Parisian artist as I’ve also done a lot of residencies to produce my art and lived in New York, London, Berlin, Shanghai, etc. My influences are mostly from different cultures and people. I need to travel to meet people, listen to different sounds, see other cities.
I don’t have significant art influences, but I’m more interested in history, how movements connect, and why they exist.
Your art seems to focus on plants and tech. What made you decide to focus on plants as the organic part of your artwork?
When I started studying design in Milan, I was doing a lot of technical drawings – freelance jobs – to earn some money. It was the usual tedious traditional works like views of a bus motor drawn with a specific perspective. From this period, maybe I escaped by taking the extreme path; drawing organic and natural shapes.
Using nature as my main body of work mixed with human tech allows me to share the message I want to convey, maybe simply respect.
Many countries currently have famous street artists who are also known for canvas painting. The UK has Banksy. The US has Kaws. Do you consider yourself a street artist?
I know many artists like Banksy and Kaws who hate this label of street art. When we go out to paint, it’s for the freedom and to express ourselves with no boundaries. Street art now means very bad Mickey stencils with drips that feel like graffiti.
My gallery in London was directed by the historical Banksy dealer, so we were all a crew of artists who were doing paintings outside, but we never felt like part of a movement.
For me, the street is my laboratory. I can connect with people and give a direct message without any goals. There is no money involved, just pure expression.
My understanding is that you use a specific green color in your artwork. Is that related to your use of plant life in art? And how did you choose the particular green that you work with?
When I was a kid, I drew on my walls images taken from old-school skateboard ads that I would see on Thrasher Mags. And manga, like Akira, of course. These were mainly only black and white. Then I wanted to use one other color, and naturally, I chose Green. It was not because green equals nature, but for me, it was a marker – like the Stabilo pen you use to highlight words or quotes in a book. I then created my own green.
You mentioned in the discord chat that both Lady Gaga and DJ White Shadow have collected your artwork in the past. Do you have any other famous art collectors you are willing to share with us?
I have famous and not famous collectors, but I don’t care. I’m only interested in collectors who will understand my work and connect with it, not because it can be hyped or have a monetary value.
But I have the chance to connect with people I was a fan of or grew up listening to their music.
I remember once receiving an email from someone who wanted to buy a sculpture. I was like, “I know this name…,” and it was a personal request from the CEO of Nike.
Once a museum curator sent me a message because Radiohead was playing in Berlin and wanted me to do something. So I painted a piece on the backstage and a big 10-meter piece for the stage. In the middle of the concert, I was – from far away – listening and watching with tears in my eyes. Seeing this green, my work mixed with a band I grew up with, was an incredible moment.
Another story: I was asked by Bono (U2 frontman) to install a vast 100-meter painting in the middle of Paris. A couple of months later, it was all set. Everything was ready to install with 20 people involved to help. The evening before, we got a call from the mayor of Paris, who wanted to cancel it. Everyone was so sad and upset. Bono even called the French president, but that was all political bull---- and impossible to resolve.
The day after, I’m like, “F--- it. I’ll do it on a smaller scale.” So, with my wife, we illegally put up a piece for Bono and RED (a charity he founded). Everyone from the organization was touched – some were crying – It was a big thing. Bono texted me and sent me a beautiful message. And it was just amazing to do it.
A couple of weeks later, I get a call. We were allowed to do the massive painting in another big French city. Super sick, back from a show in London; I travel there and install the work with a team. Then at night, I go to have some drinks with Bono. We spoke about messages, meanings, art.
I had the chance to do an installation for David Gilmour’s last tour (Pink Floyd) because he was touched and understood my messages.
Collectors are essential when they support my work and, as said before, when we connect.
I’m sure you have a special connection with every artwork you have created. Are there any that stand out as your favorites right now?
I did a long project in China, working for four years. Starting from simple works outside, it became a global project with the government's help. I built a foundation for kids, etc.
My mum called me one day for this particular project and told me she was proud.
Paris is known for its incredible food. Do you have a favorite meal, restaurant, or chef?
I love everything about natural wine.
We all can’t wait to get back to travel. Where is your favorite place to vacation?
Chill waves to surf. That’s all I ask.
Do you have a favorite plant?
I’ve noticed you are very vocal in the Discord server and on Twitter. What is your role in the BTC Flower project beyond being the lead artist?
I created the work, concept, and idea. Then I connected with Andrew; we spoke about it. And he introduced the project to Moritz (our amazing lead dev). We are now four and hopefully will grow to do more.
I’m very interested in connecting with everyone supporting the project on Discord and Twitter.
What made you choose Bitcoin to be the flagship flower in the series?
Bitcoin was the symbol I used back in 2017/2018. I used BTC back in the days, but I wanted to open the dialogue and speak about blockchain, power to the people, and developing against centralization.
Why did you decide to use the Internet Computer as your NFT blockchain?
My friend and team partner Andrew, cloudedlogic, introduced me to the Internet Computer. I was amazed by the developments and possibilities.
Just talking about NFTs and art: I can’t use a blockchain with transaction problems, and asking, for example, $500 gas fees for a $50 piece is not respectful for collectors and means it’s only about money and a quick cash out. That is not the aim of what the team develops.
How did you decide which currencies and banking systems to use on the graves?
A Look Ahead
There is a lot of buzz surrounding double and triple pairings in the collection – that these would be considered the most genetically pure flowers in the collection. Will this have any impact on the garden in the metaverse?
It’s purely aesthetic and about the rarity of the flowers. We worked with a statistician to create the rarity. For this part, I would say it depends on the collector’s tastes, but yes, triple are more complicated to find because the machine created way less.
We already know about one collaboration and two more in the flower series (ETH and ICP). Is there anything else you can tease for us, or will we have to wait for official announcements?
After only a week, we’ve had and are having a lot of discussions with people. I won’t say it officially, but we have a lot in development: a collaboration with a fashion brand for a physical edition of clothes for BTC Flower holders, a physical series of sculptures with AR (augmented reality) integration, of course, opening the DAO (Flower Power DAO), iOS app development, exhibitions, and a big thing – hopefully mid/end of this year – involving the DAO (all collectors) having a place to curate and sponsor others (with rewards).
We are here working!
Let’s talk about IRL art for a moment. Do you have any plans for future installations, or have you been commissioned for any murals you can tell us about?
I have a collaboration with a Japanese brand that was supposed to come out now for fashion week, but because of Covid, it will be delayed.
At the end of the year, I have a show in Zurich, Switzerland, and a museum show (that will travel internationally) this year sponsored by UNESCO and some very, very interesting foundations.
I’m going to ask you to speculate about a couple of things. First of all, what do you think the price of ICP will be in a year? Now, based on that guess, what do you think the floor price of BTC Flower will be?
I'm not too fond of money talk. I honestly have no idea.
I want to have collectors and holders from all around the world, and we all connect, we all exchange, we all grow together. Simple, isn’t it?
It really is, and maybe that is what we all love so much about your art. Thank you again for taking the time to answer our questions and for continuing to share your message with us through your art.
Connect with Ludo
Connect with BTC Flower
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