The Cryptonomist had the chance to go to the Castle Party 2023, an event around NFTs organized by the famous artist Trevor Jones.
So we sat down with him, speaking about his career, his events and his plans for the future.
Why did you decide to organize the Castle Party 2023 in Paris?
The idea of Castle Party came about in 2021 after the Bitcoin Angel drop. One of my big collectors jokingly said “you should have a castle party” and I had a laugh. But the next day I thought it was actually not a bad idea. It can be a way of celebrating and giving back to the community and to the collectors so I got a huge team of 2 people and we decided to start looking for a castle and that was in 2021. We decided to start looking around the UK, and we spoiled a castle in Scotland. It was an amazing place and a fantastic event with 350 people from all over the world.
But the problem was that it was just 1 night, because it was open to the public so people would leave at 5 in the afternoon and we had just a couple of hours to set up, have a big party and leave by midnight. So we decided to have another castle party in another country and find something where we could do 3-5 nights, so as to have more time.
Plus you could have drinks and enjoy the night of fun. So we started looking around the whole Europe and it was hard to find a place not open to the public. So we decided to book this one to have 400 people, to have an intimate party.
Will you donate the proceeds of this party?
A friend of mine passed away a year ago. He was a big influence on me and for the space. It was one of my first collaborations with NFTs and he died of cancer in March of last year. It was very hard for everyone because he was such an amazing individual.
So last year we decided to raise money and these 30 amazing artists here will sell their art for charity: 50% will go to the artists and 50% for charity. I think we’ve already raised like 350k so far and there are still five days to party.
How is your collaboration with MakersPlace, which are also sponsors of this event?
I did some drops there. I am very scares with my drops.It depends on what I’m trying to do and what makes more sense so sometimes I drop on Nifty Gateway, sometimes on Opensea or whatever but I have a soft spot for MakersPlace because my first big drop was the Genesis in 2020 and it was 540 ETH that we did in that one drop.
How is it going with your ETHBoy project?
We reached up the 4th and I think the 31st of June should have been the 5th chapter but I put it on hold. I do a screenshot every day of the little ETH boy going up and down in this world, so I am still collecting all the information but just because it’s a bear market and the last 2 chapters are not sold.
It’s a tough market. It takes me like 3 weeks or so to work on each piece and I had the Castle Party to organize, so I am gonna wait till the market goes up again and then I will refocus my energy on the rest of the chapters.
What do you like the most about the NFT space?
The people. The good people because of course the space is filled with scammers and bad actors or greedy people, but putting that aside there are amazing people, artists, collectors, and this whole experience is made to meet people and make friends and build real relationships. Online, on Twitter is fine but actually sitting down having a beer with a friend and building that relationship is the best thing.
How did you enter the NFT space and what’s your background before entering in the NFT industry?
I went to art college as a mature student and I graduated in 2008 when I was 38 years old and I was interested in bringing together art and technology. I started painting QR codes, I was using augmented reality in 2013 so before everybody knew about AR I was already creating AR paintings.
But basically commercial art galleries didn’t understand what I was doing so I was organizing my own exhibitions, I had my own art gallery and I had my own wine and I was inviting my friends, trying to build my own community around my art and tech. It took good 6 years of always losing a lot of money building on the possibility that art and tech eventually would come together. The plan was that eventually commercial galleries would pick it up with the idea “I love what you are doing”.
I had a very successful show in 2016 called “the art of politics propaganda” , an augmented reality piece and it was the first time I was making money as an artist so I was looking forward to finding a way to invest. I looked into Bitcoin at the end of 2016, and then I bought Bitcoin in 2017.
I’ve lost some money, but I was infatuated with this technology, the kind of anti-government and anti-establishment. I felt like I could create a whole body of painting telling a story about this space and I was looking online and I couldn’t find anybody in the world doing it.
There were people spraying bitcoin but not traditional fine art or oil painting with a story in. I think at that point CryptoPunks were just dropped. So I worked all the way through 2018 and I had my gallery launch. This time everything was sold online to anonymous people paying in Bitcoin or Ethereum. It blew my mind. Then in 2019 SuperRare, Knoworigin and MakersPlace launched so more artists came into the space.
What are your plans for the future?
I like to be busy. I have a big drop coming on Nitfy Gateway the 18th which is John McAfee’s birthday. He was a genius, instigator. In 2018 he invited me to his place to do an art residency and I declined because it seemed crazy with his lifestyle, drugs, and prostitutes. I am married, you know. But I wished I did because it would be great to have met him. We chatted on Twitter but that was it. It will be physical and digital, it will be like 65 prints and they come with NFTs.
Then I am doing a drop on Makers Place in October, then I got my bronze sculptures and I am finally getting close to having them ready to go and then I will figure out what the process is as NFT or just physical or both.
I am working on a lot of things, I am finding what makes sense. I am not the kind of artist that just creates work and drops it every week or every 2 weeks. I like big projects. I worked on pieces for like 2 years and I am just waiting for everything to line up. I think patience is something important in space. Now the crypto market is terrible, ahah.