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'When you come to the end of the road and there’s nothing left to do but sit down and sing the blues"


17" x 17" Limited Edition print of 10 on Hahnemuhle German Etching archival paper. Unframed


To celebrate Mikey Wilson's 'Blues' series we're issuing a Limited Edition print of 10, 17" x 17" archival prints on Hahnemuhle German Etching paper. Signed and numbered by the artist. There's an ever-present feeling of longing in Wilson's work, brilliantly captured in this series, with a nod to one of the greats of the American Folk art canon, Horace Pippin.


Artist Statement


I was initially hesitant when the big rush of AI generated art first started to get minted and sold after Midjourney became publicly available. At first I wasn’t sure about how to appreciate it from a collector’s standpoint, but I kept seeing artists using it in original ways so I decided to give it a try myself. I was hooked instantly! I was already producing hand (finger) drawn paintings using Procreate on my phone. While I love the paintings I was making, it was extremely frustrating that my drawing skills prevented me from fully realizing the concepts in my mind. I kept coming back to a myth I first heard about as a teenager when I was exploring the inspirations of my favorite guitar gods. Every path led back to one man, Robert Johnson.


The gist of the story is that Robert was an ok, yet unimpressive guitarist who met the Devil at the crossroads to make a deal at midnight. In exchange for his soul, he would be given the ability to play the guitar better than any man alive. I couldn’t help but relate this to my situation with Midjourney. Luckily I didn’t have to sell my soul (just $30/month), but I would now have the power to create images that previously were out of my skill level. A integral part of the Web3 scene for me is the access to artists from across the globe. An amazing artist I met from Ukraine, Rat Cloak, turned me onto an amazing artist from my neck of the woods in Pennsylvania, Horace Pippin. Pippin was an incredible self taught folk artist from West Chester who produced works in the first half of the 1900’s, please take a moment to check him out. I fell in love with his palettes and style instantly. Up until this point, I had been mostly using the blend function in Midjourney to take my work and ‘sample’ other artists and images to create altogether new images, but I wanted to start exploring the text to image prompts and I didn’t want to make anything like the generic AI stuff that was being cranked out.


With AI, we are limited only by our imagination, how to choose what to create? I had two immediate thoughts. To pay homage to my local hero, I decided that I needed to include Horace Pippin as a main ingredient in the prompt. I also needed to include the Robert Johnson myth, especially with its relevance to what was happening with AI art and the debate over its use by non-artists. After playing around with the wording, I started producing some jaw dropping iterations and I spent hours and hours down the rabbit hole. The first piece in what would become ‘the Blues’ subseries (from my ‘Tributes’ collection) was “End of the Road Blues”.


This is a perfect example of how AI is a collaborative tool. It misinterpreted the term “crossroads” and literally chopped a cross-section in the road. The result was just so incredible to me that I had to adjust my initial concept and go with this unintended new one, plus I was feeling a bit down from the bear market and it kind of felt like end times for a bit. I couldn’t stop staring at the image and when I really love something, usually other people do too

End of the Road Blues, 2023 by Mikey Wilson

Excluding Sales Tax
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