Oscar Wilde once stated, “Life imitates Art far more than Art imitates Life’’ in his 1889 essay, “The Decay of Lying”. He observed that creative works are, or can be, inspired by true events; based on a true story. Wilde’s philosophical beliefs opposed Plato’s writings and Aristotelian mimesis; they both believed that art was a search for imitating the beauty of reality.
Most of us can agree that reality gets ugly, and in the case of Los Angeles-based conceptual artist and painter Tomer Peretz, even the sight of his own art grew tiresome to gaze at. Overwhelmed with frustration over his technical abilities, Peretz took off his jacket, sprayed, “I’m going to make some bad choices tonight,” on it, and began to paint over several of his 10’ portraits in an impulsive act of self-destructive exasperation.
Similar to his life in general, nothing was ever planned. “I was in a bad mood, and I wanted to release it,” Peretz recalled. “I whitewashed them all — then started writing over my paintings. I didn’t care about sales or the business of art; I didn’t care about the result, or what people would say.” After what was seemingly a disaster in the unmaking, Peretz discovered that in the aftermath of his bad choice, the beginning of something new and artistically inspiring was created.
Gonna Make Some Bad Choices Tonight
Similar to his life in general, nothing was ever planned. "I was in a bad mood, and I wanted to release it," Peretz…
Peretz was certain that he had ruined his paintings, and in fact, he had. Yet when he posted his bad choice online, people that had never bought his art began to message him asking how to purchase his whitewashed works. Puzzled by the response, Peretz created more, and they sold too. The more he manufactured, the more they sold, so he printed 50 generic hoodies, t-shirts, and jackets with the phrase, “Gonna Make Some Bad Choices Tonight.” Peretz invited the public to see what he was working on; everything on display sold out in the first hour. “I didn’t know they would sell. Nothing was set up, so the bartender sold them all,” Peretz remembered. “That’s when I knew I was onto something.”
Already curious about NFTs and eager to make his blockchain debut, Peretz assembled a team with B. Creative to manage the strategy for his launch. “Blockchain technology is just another way to show and sell your art, but what turned me onto NFTs was the people more than anything else,” Peretz said. For his entire career, he had mostly worked alone, and his opportunities to collaborate in the traditional art world were limited. “I’m a people person, and I think I work better in teams than by myself,” he said. “The traditional art world was good to me; I was happy, but now I’m happier.”
Once Peretz connected with the cryptAngeles community who supported his shows and events, he decided to give his first NFT away for free rather than sell it. “As long as I’m alive and as long as I’m in this space, whoever minted my first NFTs will always get something free from me,” Peretz promised. True to his word, every HODLer of his first NFT received a free print as a surprise gift for attending his GMSBCT event at Ouro Gallery on April 29th.
From the age of 14, Peretz knew he was a painter, but it wasn’t until after he left the Israeli military and moved to the United States that his career started to gain traction. Having never had any formal art training, Peretz learned from a variety of visual artists and techniques — mostly from YouTube. Since then, Peretz has worked with different art galleries and is currently represented by Fabbrica Eos in Milan, where his new solo show will launch this fall. Fabbrica Eos itself is venturing into NFTs indirectly, as it also represents one of the first NFT artists in Italy, Fabio Giampietro.
For his next NFT and first NFT sale, Peretz will add to the conversation he started with GMSBCT by continuing to make bad choices. The ongoing conversation between the artist and his collectors is based entirely on fuckups. “It’s like one of those days when you’re getting ready to go out, and deep down inside, you already know you’re going to fuckup–in a bad or a good way,” he said. “You might wake up in the morning and ask yourself, what did I do? What did I say? But then, a week later, you’re like, I needed that night. It was actually fun. It was crazy, but it was fun,” Peretz added.
“My next NFT is different. I’m burning my pain by burning my art. I’m setting my art on fire, and that’s my NFT,” Peretz explained. Instead of burning his art in front of a live audience for spectacle, Peretz has already burned the piece; he captured the event with a 4K video camera, and will NFT each fragmented moment of destruction as 1-of-1 and limited editions. The art itself is his own self-portrait, which has been rendered in 3D. The full-length 3D video will sell as a 1-of-1, with tiered pricing for limited editions and still images, so everyone can afford to own a piece at a lower price point.
While making bad choices, Peretz is also collaborating with other visual artists, like George Lopez and Remo Camero for the George Lopez Foundation to help underprivileged children. Peretz is also currently collaborating with actor and artist Val Kilmer for his Kamp Kilmer project later this month. Since he was diagnosed with throat cancer, Kilmer’s voice and mobility have been severely compromised. Kamp Kilmer is a virtual space where creators can share ideas and collaborate without the limitations of space and time.
Although his visual art illustriously imitates the impulsive life he leads, none of the choices Tomer Peretz makes look all that bad, after all.