CAN review – Ann Ahoy is an artist with an identifiable and consistent visual aesthetic that includes strong yet elegant line work, bold shapes and colours. Yet, in ‘Wilde Welten’ above, we can also see subtler textural elements, such as dots or spray-paint effects, in her work that add detail and act as an interstitial area between certain areas of solid colour. The most effective use of it is perhaps in the aura surrounding the two female characters and a dark night sky replete with stars. It’s unsure whether these characters are two distinctly different people, or simply different aspects of one individual. Perhaps the most important thing to note is that they are two women looking to a point in the distance together.
Ann’s next artwork ‘Bye Bye Bye’, has a stark message for an unseen lover from last night. The lone studded platform shoe, crumpled cigarette butt and the discarded eyelashes are brilliantly rendered and speak of a longing to get back to normality after the previous night’s adventure. The dying smoke of the cigarette butt literally spelling out the desire for solitude. The subtle shading of the smoke/text balloons soften the blow for the unseen lover. These are not necessarily harsh words, simply a wish for inner peace without the distraction of another person.
The final piece ‘Faith 2.0’ depicts a roused scorpion shattering the screen of a smartphone. Shards of flying glass, the scorpion sting and three red daggers suggest that there are clear dangers within the electronic social communities that many of us engage in today. Despite this, the solidity of the hand underneath these chaotic and dangerous elements remains upturned, cradling the smartphone delicately between thumb and fingertips. It’s a wonderful allegory for social media, and how despite the dangers and setbacks, we continue to put our faith in such networks to connect with other people.
CAN – Ann is an artist who has the ability to make serious statements, while never allowing it to overwhelm the visual aesthetic of her work which remains colourful, bold, and full of hidden meaning. Please take the opportunity to explore the various social media and website links at the bottom of this article to fully appreciate this innovative artist.
What is your background as an artist in general?
I’ve been making art for as long as I can remember. Since the moment they handed me a wax pencil and paper in Kindergarten, I never stopped doodling. Very much to the dislike of my teachers later in school… I ended up studying Visual Arts with a specialty in illustration in Berlin and Melbourne and I really took my time with it as I enjoyed now being encouraged to create non stop. After graduating I moved to Mexico where I completed my training as a tattoo artist. I’ve been working as a freelance illustrator and tattooist ever since.
What is your overall process in generating art?
I usually work on 5-6 pieces simultaneously. Custom Tattoo Designs for clients, personal illustration works, collaborations. I guess my process is pretty chaotic. I draw what I feel the most drawn to that day. But I love working this way and being able to make my own decisions and priorities. I enjoy that freedom.
How would you describe your art in your own words?
Eclectic. In my tattoo designs I enjoy to work monochrome – lines, dots and heavy contrasts define those works. They have a decorative quality to them because my canvas is a person and they’re gonna carry my art forever. It’s a big responsibility and I want them to be as happy with the Design as I am. My illustrations are more personal, I never know what the end result is gonna be when I start a new piece – I let my unconsciousness surprise me. Usually they revolve around topics like womanhood, identity and transformation. They are atmospheric illustrations with bold colors and solid shapes.
Favourite artists / influences?
Early influence was the surrealist and dada movement, I remember our art teacher showing us works of Dalí, Magritte and Max Ernst and I was immediately drawn to them. That’s when traditional art suddenly became interesting for me and I thought “So that’s what art also can be!” I was hooked. I like the twist and the storytelling character in those works, it adds another layer to them. Later influences along the way have been street art, graphic novels, cartoons (mostly from the 90s Nickelodeon area) and tattoo culture.
How did you discover the new blockchain world of Crypto Art and NFTs in general?
I live together with 3 other Crypto artists who are very excited about blockchain technology, art and cryptocurrencies in general. When tattooing became more and more difficult during the epidemic, I decided to give it a try. Fell down the rabbit hole and never left. I’m lucky to have my close friends in this with me, we talk about it all the time – Crypto Twitter is better than Netflix!
Has the digital nature of cryptoart NFTs changed how you approach your art practice?
The approach not so much, maybe the process. My output has at least doubled because I am mostly focused on digital illustration now. Other things have taken the back seat, like tattooing, making screen prints and setting up an online shop. But it’s in the works.
What if anything, has surprised you about this new area of art practice?
The whole community around it. I did not expect such a warm welcome. The internet can be a scary place and the amount of helpful, down to earth artists taking me in was a nice change. I love the fact that we can cut out the middlemen, everything is direct contact now and so is the networking. It’s very personal, I haven’t had this kind of dialogue with other artists since art school.
How would you like the field of cryptoart and nfts to evolve over time?
I want to see the community around it grow bigger and hopefully stay as welcoming, supportive and an open place for artists to discuss their works. For me that’s where the magic happens. And I hope that NFTs will keep making art as a source of income accessible for a variety of many more artists to come. There’s still a lot of new possibilities to explore in the space of Cryptoart. We’re only at the beginning and I’m excited to see the full potential of NFTs unfold.
How can access and information to this new field of art practice be encouraged?
Help other artists get started and spread the word. Especially the technology side can be intimidating at the beginning, that’s where dialogue with the community comes in. Sharing is caring!
You can view more of Ann’s work in the links below: