The Pepeful Eight

by barabeke

I don’t normally touch memes with my NFT art, but Pepe the frog captured my attention. What makes its use so widespread and cross-cultural?

This is the answer I gave to myself: Pepe represents the forgotten, the ugly ones (if looked through the lens of media), those who don’t fit and act as they don’t care. Pepe could be interpreted as a quiet rebellion coming from the existential ghetto in which those who don’t buy the media narrative are confined.

I like this frog, so I decided to kiss it. My transfigurations of Pepe didn’t make it more beautiful. For sure they made it more hard to recognize, more trippy, and sometimes more spooky. And yet, all you see is entirely made of Pepe, multiplied thousands of times, savagely deformed and blended on itself, until a new image holding a microcosm of suggestive details emerged.

For me it was like summoning spirits from inside of Pepe. I see in every image, even the most simple, almost infinite possibilities. While I digitally explore these possibilities, I have moments of recognition that guide my choices, hundreds of them for each artwork. Sometimes the visions I chase can be overwhelming for me, to the point that I need to take a break.

I am satisfied with my “Pepeful Eight”. I feel they, all together, evoke the spirit of Pepe (or better of those who use it, in their many facets). By diving inside the full 4K version of my Pepes you can find countless of stories in the multitude of glitches, which I carefully cultivate in my process.

As in all my recent artworks, a “sacred mystery” hides in each of these Pepes, which you can collect as NFTart on OpenSea, singularly or as a bundle.

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