foodmasku • Artist Spotlight

Foodmasku makes meals into face masks and then eats them.

What got you in to Crypto art?

My instagram, @foodmasku, was getting really big and my friends started to notice that my photos and videos were popping up in Tik Tok, Clubhouse PFP, and even on Tinder profiles without my knowledge! So I wanted to mint my work on the blockchain to cement my identity with my art. It was a way to claim ownership of my body of work.

Where do you get your inspiration?

These days it's hard not to get inspired! So I force myself to spend two or three hours a week disconnected and not be distracted by all the amazing things people come up with on social media. Those hours often light my fire.

What do you think of traditional artwork?

I love the traditional arts! I spent a year as a Fulbright Scholar at the Institut Seni Indonesia Surakarta, one of Central Java's premier art schools, and was able to study music, dance and traditional crafts. I was even able to perform live in some amazing venues. I love the traditional arts! But I am older now and I don't have tens of thousands of hours to perfect myself in a new craft. So I have to lean on what I'm already trained in: interactive media and performance art.

Do you think your art is fulfilling a purpose?

I first started making the food masks while sewing fabric masks for a Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) collective in New York City. It was April 2020 and the mood was really somber. I was on a video chat with some other artists and someone got on the call wearing a digital pickle face filter. So I put on a piece of kale on my face as a mask and we all started laughing. It was the first time I heard laughter in a month! So I started doing it every day and people started bringing their kids on the call to see me. After World War II, abstract expressionism developed as a response to the monstrosities of violence. Artists like Mark Rothko, Helen Frankenthaler, Piet Mondrian, and Wassily Kandinsky brought beauty and the sublime into a shattered Earth, I want to bring joy back after a year marred with sadness and grief. I do think my art has already fulfilled that, and I hope to continue doing so.

How did you start out as an artist?

My first job! I was an intern at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, slide library. Images were not easy to find on the world wide web back then, so you had to go to a library and borrow slides for things like lectures and presentations. I was the one who prepared the slides and archived them. I learned so much about art history just by osmosis. And I met tons of crazy art students at the school of Museum of Fine Arts (now part of Tufts) and Mass College of Art - I was a really impressionable 15 year old kid. So I started doing crazy things with them like cementing myself into public sculptures. I also learned a lot about photography from making slides for the library. So my first day job led me to my current art career!

Who or what inspires your work?

The artists I currently admire the most are Melati Suryodarmo and Jessika Kenney. We worked together for Melati's show at the Asia Society in November 2019. Jessika Kenney provided the vocal training and composition for Midsommar - all the crazy breathing and screaming were thanks to her! She really rocked it during our show. It was my last live performance before the pandemic began. Melati also gave a lecture before our show and discussed the pieces that made her Indonesia's most important contemporary performance artist. She explained how she had to learn how to fall and not hurt herself when she danced on butter. How she had to spend hours learning archery for one of her shows in Jogjakarta, shooting arrows into the exhibit walls, and her experience as Marina Abramovic's protegee. I love and admire those two artists so much and I can't wait to work with them again!

Which other artist(s) do you admire?

I spend a lot of time watching YouTube, Instagram and Tik Tok videos of amateur cooks and hobby make-up artists. They are foodmasku's number one inspiration and this is partly a tribute to them.

Final question, what’s next for you as an artist?

I've met so many amazing people while minting NFTs and I want to collaborate with more folks in the space. If only there were more hours in the day!

We would like to thank foodmasku for giving up their time to collaborate on this with us.