Through surrealist, dystopian imagery, Gianni Lee challenges viewers’ perception of reality. In the physical realm, Lee works primarily with acrylic and spray paint on canvas and wood, opting for bold color palettes and harsh brush strokes; Lee’s NFTs comment on the transition from Web2 to Web3, a meta-critique that blurs the line between form and content and reflects his interest in the distortion of time and space.
Aside from creating visual art, the multi-talented Lee is also an accomplished music producer, international DJ, and fashion designer who has garnered the attention of outlets like Interview Magazine, Hypebeast, and the L.A. Times. He has collaborated with several well-known brands including Cîroc, Hennessy, Nike, Levi’s, and Gucci to create content at the intersection of music, art, and fashion. Lee uses his platform IRL and in the metaverse to address social, cultural, and political issues in America and abroad, telling his stories through the many-eyed monsters of his futuristic universe, which simultaneously beckon and caution us.
What is the first creative project you remember?
My first creative project was when I was in high school. I was working with the AND1 team on a national industrial design project with other high schoolers. As one of the winners, I was commissioned to paint a bench for the flagship AND1 store.
Describe your aesthetic in three words.
Futuristic. Minimal. Progressive.
What was the most fulfilling collaboration you’ve worked on?
The most fulfilling collaboration I’ve worked on was with Levi’s. They gave me the means and ability to create my own collection, and the cashflow to shoot an entire campaign and implement a marketing strategy. It felt amazing to have that much freedom to bring my ideas into the physical realm.
What’s one creative project that taught you something fundamental about yourself?
My current NFT project “Persephone,” required me to not only learn the crypto industry but also understand and adapt to the culture behind it, from communication with potential collaborators to opening my art up to collaboration with talented animators. NFTs made me acquire the fundamental tools to communicate with a multitude of creatives and tech workers in various fields and disciplines.
Do you think creativity is something you’re born with, or something you’re taught?
Creativity is something you can be born with, but I also believe you can learn it. You can learn it by being around other creatives, opening your mind to new ideas and concepts, etc. We have the ability to create life, so I also believe we have the ability to create other things as well, it just depends on where we put our time and energy.
What’s the last dream you had?
I had a dream that I owned a Korean BBQ restaurant. Pretty standard dream, nothing crazy, what made it cool is that I was still an artist even in the dream. What artist do you know that owns a Korean BBQ joint?
One hundred years from now, what do you hope people write about your work?
I hope they write that my work made them want to pick up a sketchpad and pencil.
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