BLESSED ON THE BLOCKCHAIN
“I make artwork to better understand myself and the world around me.”
Amu, whose real name is Amritpal Dhaliwal, was born in Punjab, India in 1999, and immigrated to the United States at the age of seven. To integrate, and to apprehend a Western culture very different from what he knew so far, was not easy for the child he was at the time, especially since English is not his mother tongue. It is therefore through art and pop culture that he finds the keys to questioning the world around him. He declared: “My work is a form of liberation, it’s the only effective way I know to communicate my deepest emotions, my feelings, my questions about the world and about my identity, for me, these pieces are literally shards of my being straight out of my mind.” His work seeks to answer questions about everyday life, society and emotions. He uses his work to reflect on himself, his identity and his relationships with others. Through every piece he makes he learns something new about himself and it helps him to fulfill his childhood curiosity about everything. His work spans across mediums like printmaking and digital art.
It was only in November 2020 that Amu began sharing his art on Twitter. And this came only after much persuasion from his close friends.
“I love designing things; I love graphic design; I love making art. I never ever considered that I could be an artist, let alone make a living from art. It is such a foreign concept to me growing up and in my background.”
He took on a 30-day challenge on Twitter to share one artwork per day – and had less than 100 followers. After the 30-day challenge, his follower count jumped to over 3,000 people, and he had a supportive community of like-minded people surrounding him and his art.
Turning towards web3 started with a small thought. “It started a snowball effect: I started to think that since people like my art, maybe they would like to buy my art.”
Fast-forward 12 months and Amu minted his first NFT. When his first NFT sold, he was in disbelief. “I never intended my art to have a price on it. It isn’t why I make art. I do this because it makes me feel fulfilled. It makes me happy. I struggle to price my artwork because it puts a monetary value on my feelings and life experiences. I’m blessed that people see the monetary value in my art and what I am doing – and to connect so with it that they were willing to pay for it.”
Coming from rural India, and seeing my art on display in Times Square, at NFT.NYC, and being shared on social media still makes me jump. My art is an exploration of my deepest emotions through the use of color, texture, and composition. That other people love it is a thrill and something that gets me all the time. I’m blessed.”