Digital Artist at Auction: Michah Dowbak

Nazia Safi
Published on
Michah Dowbak. Image from Phillips.
Michah Dowbak. Image from Phillips.

Last summer, when Toronto-based digital artist Michah Dowbak heard of crypto art, he was fascinated enough to dive in. Dowbak, who goes by the name Mad Dog Jones in the digital art world, debuted in November of 2020 on Nifty Gateway. His first NFT drops of 100 pieces were sold for a dollar each. His subsequent drops were sold and resold for more.

Ever since Dowbak’s first drop, the artist has garnered worldwide attention. In February of 2021, Dowbak’s Crash + Burn series was in the headlines as he surpassed Beeple’s record USD 3,500,000 NFT. The artist once again caught the limelight as Phillips announced a partnership with Michah Dowbak. With this, Phillips is set to foray into the NFT market this April. The offered multi-generational NFT, titled REPLICATOR, will create new unique NFTs from itself every 28 days. Online bidding starts on April 12th, 2021 and will run through April 23rd, 2021. Before the bidding starts, Auction Daily takes a closer look at the work and style of Michah Dowbak.

Michah Dowbak. Image from Diesel Art Gallery.
Michah Dowbak. Image from Diesel Art Gallery.

Dowbak started his career as a musician collaborating with Thunder Bay artists, including Coleman Hell and La+ch. The work earned him multiple gold and platinum hits. He simultaneously designed album covers and posters for bands. “I’ve always done music and art in tandem,” Dowbak told The Walleye. “A lot of my style I developed by working on album covers for La+ch and Colemen.”

In 2017, Dowbak launched his artistic career on Instagram as ‘Mad Dog Jones.’ His page quickly gained traction, gaining over 200,000 followers in a couple of years. He then stepped back from music to concentrate on his illustration career. Dowbak’s digital art illustrations, rendered in neon-accented colors and fine line work, portray his trademark cyberpunk dystopia. His characters, drawn heavily from Japanese animation and sci-fi movies, are set in an Asian metropolitan aesthetic, particularly inspired by Tokyo. His works start as hand drawings or photographs of cityscapes that are further morphed through illustration, coloring, and collage into a cyberpunk scene.

Michah Dowbak, Citrus. Image from Diesel Art Gallery.
Michah Dowbak, Citrus. Image from Diesel Art Gallery.

Over the past three years, Michah Dowbak has worked with Maroon 5, Diesel, Run The Jewels, Jabbawockeez, Chromeo, Conor McGregor, and Deadmau5. His work was the subject of AFTERL-IFE WORLD, a 2019 exhibit in Tokyo.

Michah Dowbak, Bad Idea. Image from Diesel Art Gallery.
Michah Dowbak, Bad Idea. Image from Diesel Art Gallery.

As the demand for his illustrations grew, Dowbak decided to enter the crypto art market in November of 2020. He launched the first NFT drop on Nifty Gateway when he sold 100 pieces for $1 each.

Michah Dowbak, Ideas r The Currency. Image from Nifty Gateway.
Michah Dowbak, Ideas r The Currency. Image from Nifty Gateway.

For his next drop, Michah Dowbak collaborated with six-time Grammy Award winner musician Deadmau5. The duo released four NFT-backed audiovisual artworks on Nifty Gateway in January of 2021. Titled Hypervision, the collection grossed $66,717.66.

Michah Dowbak, Hypervision, 2021. Image from Nifty Gateway.
Michah Dowbak, Hypervision, 2021. Image from Nifty Gateway.

Dowbak dropped another set of NFTs in February. The Crash + Burn series brought in $3,900,000 in 24 hours. The highest selling piece, Boardwalk, reached $388,888 on February 21st, 2021, making Dowbak the highest-grossing NFT artist to date.

Michah Dowbak, Boardwalk, 2021. Image from Nifty Gateway.
Michah Dowbak, Boardwalk, 2021. Image from Nifty Gateway.

Michah Dowbak’s REPLICATOR, available with Phillips, has some unique features. The NFT includes seven unique generations of artworks. Generation 1, offered by Phillips, features a photocopy machine in an office against a nighttime background. The first generation NFT will produce one unique NFT a month for six months. The following generations will create one less artwork until generation seven, after which no new NFTs will be generated.

Michah Dowbak, Still Image from Generation 1 of REPLICATOR, 2021. Image from Phillips.
Michah Dowbak, Still Image from Generation 1 of REPLICATOR, 2021. Image from Phillips.

REPLICATOR is a first-of-its-kind work to appear at auction, redefining the expectations of a work of art as it draws a compelling relationship between medium and form,” says Edward Dolman, Phillips’ Chief Executive Officer, in a press release. Michah Dowbak agrees. “REPLICATOR is the story of a machine through time,” he says. “It is a reflection on forms of past groundbreaking innovation and serves as a metaphor for modern technology’s continuum.”

Michah Dowbak’s REPLICATOR will drop starting on April 12th, 2021 through April 23rd, 2021. Visit Phillips for more information.

Want to learn about other digital artists? Auction Daily recently explored some unanswered questions about Pak.

Media Source
Writer
James Ardis
James Ardis
Senior Writer and Editor

James Ardis is a writer, editor, and content strategist focused on the auction industry. His company, James Ardis Writing, has partnered with auction houses, galleries, and many clients outside the art world.

More in the auction industry