NessGraphics

High-tech technoscepticism.

American artist Alex Ness, aka NessGraphics, (he/him) was born in 1995. He currently lives and works in New York.

Collaborations

NessGraphics is the mastermind behind some of contemporary culture’s most iconic visuals. Examples include Diplo’s 2019 Coachella Set, Lil Nas X’s 2020 Grammys performance and Megan the Stallion’s Good News (2020).

Recommends

In 2022 Ness curated an all-NFT show in Boston, USA. He used the show to offer 10 artists, himself included, who more often work on client briefs the chance to exhibit the work they create for themselves – “In the commercial world, nothing you create is yours.”

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Collaborations with this artist

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Practice overview

Alex Ness, aka NessGraphics, creates cyberpunk dystopian futures. His images, videos and light projections are incredibly detailed. Saturated green-tinted colour palettes lend them an intentionally unsettling atmosphere. A broad range of socio-political themes surface throughout, from climate change and artificial intelligence to police brutality and nationalism. Ness draws inspiration from social media, gaming and science-fiction. Elon Musk’s Neuralink project is also a muse. While the works exist primarily online and on-chain, they also critique technology. His apocalyptic imaginings ask the question – “What would a society look like if everything was based on technology?” Judging by the results, quite bleak.

Ness begins by sketching his compositions with 3D objects in digital space – overlapping, rearranging and rotating until satisfied. From there, he works meticulously to fill in lighting, colour and texture. Easter eggs are embedded within many scenes. These are hidden motifs such as names, objects or logos which are often suggested by fans. Social media platforms provide the means for communication, Discord in particular. For example, a fan who asked to see a Nokia 3410 in an artwork later spotted it in H4CK3R v.02 (2021). While seemingly arbitrary, these instances point to the democratic tenets of the artist’s practice. Paradoxically, Ness' fatalistic visions of unchecked tech thrive on the internet.

“I think AI is cool, but we shouldn't be too worried as artists yet.” NessGraphics

Journals about this artist