Interview with the artist 1donknows, creator of the NFT “Chaos under the pure light” presented on the cover of Artprice’s 2023 Art Market Report


1DONTKNOWS (1996) sees his work as a fusion between classicism and surrealism. The collage technique – invented by Picasso and Braque at the start of the 20th century – finds a new dimension with digital creation tools, and a new anachronistic form of «art pompier»: 1dontknows mixes biblical figures, drapery and crypto symbols, taking us on a cosmic journey aboard what looks like the most classic painting there is.

The artist responds in his own way to Artprice’s questions about the freedom that digital creation gives him and the homage he pays to classical painting through his collages. He opens up about his personal life and his emergence on the international NFT scene, notably thanks to a sale at Sotheby’s in Hong Kong in March 2023.

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1. Your works, without really being humorous, seem to take pleasure in enlarging, shrinking, tattooing, and cutting out the many serious figures of classic masterpieces. In what state of mind do you produce these edits?

1dontknows: When I start making a new piece of art, I always ensure that my mind is clear about everything in real life. I open up my favorite playlist of songs and sit down for a while to make sure I’m ready. I always create art in a state of calm, enjoying the music in my ears.

2. Do you feel deference for those famous paintings used as material for your collages? Or do you seek on the contrary to dust them off?

1dontknows: Yes, I respected all of the paintings that I borrowed from the great artists of the past to make my collages. They have inspired me not only in creating my art, but also in learning its history.

3. Your work enjoys a profusion of details and characters that can make one think of Mannerism: the frescoes by Michelangelo, the paintings of El Greco, and in a certain way even the strange portraits invented by Arcimboldo. Have you studied or been impressed by the works of this period in particular?

1dontknows: Firstly, thank you so much for acknowledging that my art evokes these masterpieces by these great artists, it means a lot to me. In terms of my education, I never formally studied these works before I started making art, nor did I graduate with a major in art. I pursued more independent study through resources like the internet and books, focusing on art in a broad sense rather than specific artists or periods. Nevertheless, they have all profoundly inspired me, with Michelangelo standing out as a particular favorite.

Instagram 1dontknowsSix works by 1dontknows shared on his Instagram account

4. Having grown up and still living in Thailand, what connection do you have with Asian art, which seems less present in your work?

1dontknows: To be honest, my plan is to go abroad and live in some place in Europe or the US. Right now, I’m trying to network with more people and galleries in my country to work not only Web3 or NFTs but it more traditional art venues. If everything goes according to plan, I won’t be living here in the future. Perhaps you’ll find me in Paris, focusing on Asian art. Although it’s challenging to incorporate into my work, I’m willing to explore new ideas.

5. Your digital name is a bit confusing. It recalls the one chosen by Odysseus, “Nobody”, to fool the Cyclops Polyphemus. Could there be any such intention behind the name “1dontknows”?

1dontknows: People always ask me about this even my Mom. Actually, it’s not something difficult to understand. Going back to 2021, I was working as a graphic designer at a company in my town. I got to know collage accidentally through the internet and thought it would be fun to try for myself. At that time, my knowledge of art was zero.

I made like 4-6 pieces of art posted them on my Facebook just for fun. However, the next day I woke up and saw I got around 700 likes and almost 300 shares which was a lot for me as a regular graphic designer. Before this my art did not look like the present style. It was something like 80-90s vibes in collage style. So I figured that I have to create an art account right away before the FOMO is gone. I wasn’t sure what username to pick, so ‘idontknow’ popped into my head instantly, and I changed the ‘I’ to ‘1’ for uniqueness. That’s the story behind my AKA.

6. Digital art can be shown almost instantly in all four corners of the world, but on the other hand it risks being replaced more quickly than a physical painting or a sculpture. What sustainability do you see in your digital creations and your NFTs?

1dontknows: I can’t see the future of course, some might say NFTs are a passing trend and will soon be forgotten. But in my opinion we are now living in a world of endless innovation… I think everything has its place, new technologies like NFTs complement rather than replace traditional art forms. And from what I see nowadays, traditional artists also get into NFT more and more.

7. Are there digital artists that you would strongly invite our readers to discover?

1dontknows: There are a lot of digital artists that I love. If I could pick 5 artists I would pick; Dolce Paganne, OTHERWORLD (XX-XXI), Paul Reid, SillDa, Molly McCutcheon and many more. They all are truly amazing artists in my opinion and inspired me in some way.

8. Finally, what’s on for you? Do you have upcoming projects or a new series of works in mind? Also, what is the best way to follow you?

1dontknows: I also plan to make a new collection which has been stuck in my head for months. I think the time has come to start it. You can now follow me through my handle 1dontknows on Instagram or X for updates on new art or announcements. I’ll also be sharing announcements primarily related to NFTs under the same handle. And feel free to check out my website where you will also find the portfolio of my work. Thank you so much for the opportunity to speak about my work and share my thoughts with the world.


All public auction results for 1dontknows on Artprice

NFT by 1dontknows on SuperRare

The Art Market Report in 2023 by Artprice