We managed to grab some time with London based contemporary artist Philip Colbert ahead of the opening of his LOBSTEROPOLIS CITY in Decentraland this Wednesday 30th June.
Did you always envision your Lobster world becoming a digital reality?
Since I first came across virtual reality, I was very much inspired by the idea of making art within that space. For the last few years, I’ve been showing Lobster Land as a virtual reality. But ultimately my bigger ambition was to create a digital reality that people could experience simultaneously from all over the world. Until now, the platforms have been limited but with the growth of digital art this year it’s put a lot of momentum into the metaverse.
Do you get involved in the tech side of the operation?
I have an amazing team who help me with the coding and the uploading to Decentraland, and the Vegas city team have been a huge help with the programming. The digital side of my work has been very much a labour of love – I have been building this infrastructure for some time.
How did the collaboration with DEVO come about?
I’ve been obsessed with DEVO as a band since I was a teenager. For me, they were one of the most important art bands, ironic and witty and with amazing branding – a bit like the Sex Pistols but more pop. They were always an important conceptual landmark for me as a pop culture phenomenon. Last year I’d been wanting to connect with the ideas and icons of my past. I contacted Mark and Gerald from the band about doing something, and with the rise of the NFT at the beginning of the year I wanted to create a digital work of DEVO and the Lobster world coming together.
Could anyone else except Simon de Pury auction your work?
Simon was my first choice as an auctioneer – I’ve collaborated with him on a few things in the past. He’s open-minded and experimental, always keen to push the boundaries of things, which is something I respect.
Lots has been written on the ecological impact of minting on Ethereum. Have you done anything to offset this?
This is obviously an important conversation around digital art, but arguably about the art world in general. There’s no question it has to become more environmentally sustainable. I’m very passionate about engaging with more environmental ways of minting.
Why was it decided to feature past works as well as new?
As part of Decentraland I’ve designed a whole Lobster Land Museum and even created a series of fantasy antiquities for the space. As a curated selection of works, it made sense to have my first NFT, Cryptofixtion, in there too.
Philip Colbert launches Lobsteropolis City and the Lobster Land Museum in Decentraland, curated by Simon de Pury Museum Opening Wednesday 30th June, with live DJ set from Devo To access, click HERE
Curated by globally renowned art auctioneer and dealer Simon de Pury at the Lobster Land Museum, the exhibition includes a series of NFT works available exclusively with NFT platform SuperRare. These include Colbert’s iconic past works Cryptofixtion and Lobster Fountain, alongside new unseen NFT works.
About the Artist
Born in Scotland and living and working in London. Colbert is often referred to as the “godson of Andy Warhol”. Colbert has created a global following for his cartoon lobster persona and his masterful hyper pop history paintings. His work powerfully explores the patterns of contemporary digital culture and its relationship to a deeper art historical dialogue.
“I became an artist when I became a Lobster”says Colbert.
Graduating with an MA in Philosophy from St.Andrews University, Colbert’s work has received international acclaim in museums and galleries worldwide for his energetic new approach to painting and pop theory. Following on from early Pop painters such as Richard Hamilton, Roy Litchenstien and James Rosenquist. Colbert’s paintings cross high art themes from old master paintings and contemporary art theory with everyday symbols of mass contemporary culture, all narrated through the eyes of Colbert’s cartoon Lobster alter ego. He has been championed as a contemporary pop master by art world figures such as Charles Saatchi & Simon De Pury.
Colbert’s seminal NEW PAINTINGS & HUNT PAINTINGS show’s at Saatchi Gallery in 2017 & 2018 showed his transition into epic Large scale works on canvas, and has lead to a series of Museum shows worldwide.