Renowned wall painter Greg Mike discussed the inspiration for his iconic art wall at the Bitcoin 2021 event.
If you were one of the thousands of Bitcoiners attending Bitcoin 2021 in Miami, the huge on-site art mural was hard to miss, showing a mix of familiar and newly inspired cartoon characters adorned with Bitcoin iconography.
The mural was painted for four days by American street artist Greg Mike and his Atlanta-based team, who have been creating ambitious mixtures of classic American cartoons, Mike’s own imaginary characters and cultural symbolism worldwide for years. But even for such experienced artists, the mega-wall (which Mike estimated was about 30 meters wide and 6 meters high) at Bitcoin 2021 was a unique challenge – one that required two scissor lifts, a team of extra help, and more than 200 cans of spray paint .
Mike said it would normally take his team a week to complete such an ambitious project. You ran the Bitcoin 2021 mural in four days.
But in Mike’s experience of completing a similar (albeit much smaller) wall project for the Bitcoin 2019 conference, deciding on the mix of images and Bitcoin references for the wall in 2021 seems less of a daunting challenge than executing it.
“[At Bitcoin 2019]”I went into some of the speaker rooms and only heard a few of them speak, and that piqued my interest in delving deeper into the culture and community and learning more about it,” Mike told Bitcoin Magazine. “When I got to this one, I definitely had some visual tricks up my sleeve to get people excited and make pieces.”
The resulting wall showed a colorful, energetic hodgepodge of icons that came from Mike’s own psyche as well as the deep channels of Bitcoin internet culture. There’s Scrooge McDuck holding a physical bitcoin, Lenny from The Simpsons with laser eyes, and Mike’s Larry Loudmouth with diamond hands. It captured the festive festival atmosphere of the event, probably perpetuated it.
Scrooge McDuck, Lenny from “The Simpsons” and Larry Loudmouth all adorned themselves with Bitcoin memes for the mural.
“I have my original characters, and then my original characters hang out with all of these iconic characters,” Mike explained. “It’s cool to mix them up together and let them hang out together at a big party or event. And that’s something like that on this wall. “
Bitcoin memes aside, it’s hard to articulate how well the mural embraces the spirit of the event and the ethos of Bitcoin in general. After all, Bitcoin is a software project with no inherent visual component. But Bitcoin 2021 was wild and strange; there was no shortage of original characters to roam; it was loud, colorful and ambitious. Mike’s mural has captured that personal spirit as art is always uniquely positioned, and features an image that Bitcoin may not be inherent in, but certainly sprung from its deepest roots.
“It’s like art thinking very outside the box, trying to find your own path and track and do things that are different,” said Mike. “So, I definitely feel like there are some parallels to explore, you know, if you’re into Bitcoin and that mindset.”
The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.