*Disclaimer: This article contains censored adult language, adult content, and a lot of references to meat.*
“The only way I can adequately explain this is by writing it as though it is a LinkedIn biography, which is also identical to this coupled with endorsements for giving up, sagging skin and the logins to a shared premium pornography subscription. diewiththemostlikes is a f*ckable energy drink floating in a neglected retention pond outside of a strip mall in a hometown you’ll never leave. Create nothing. Consume everything.” -Mark Wilson about his art
Die With The Most Likes aka Toadswiback aka Mark Wilson is a debaucherous juggernaut emerging within the crypto art scene. When first encountering his work, the immediate reaction is to dismiss it as another edgelord capitalizing on shock, but as one unpacks the sentiments and ethos behind the dripping visuals, there is an unfathomable depth of self reflection and criticism/celebration of peak Mid-American consumerist culture stuffed in an irreverent cult of raw meat.
Since his first mint on the Tezos blockchain in March 2021, he has drilled his way into growing success through stream of consciousness writings and artwork that is stylistically Chris Simpsons Artist meets Mike Judge. His work has been exhibited internationally, featured on KnownOrigin and SuperRare and his latest brainchild is a collaboration with the Museum of Crypto Art to create a digital art exhibition. I’m grateful for Toad, another super fan of Garfield, for agreeing to an interview with me.
How did you get started as an artist?
I’ve never had a say in the matter as far as I can remember, I find creation as a necessity and a mechanism to wade precariously in and out of the waters of agreeable madness. Creations absent of intention fuel our entire artistic movement. Constructed as mirrors for observers to snort their preferred distortion and reflect on the unbearable drip and inevitable nose bleed. I don’t have a lot of inspirations because there were recreational vehicle museums instead of art museums where I grew up, though there were beauty in those too. I’ve found more inspiration in the artists in the last year than I have in an entire lifetime up until that point.
What does ground beef mean to you?
Meat rules everything around me. I find having your existence distilled into a plastic sack of bleeding, tangled linguine noodles to be a really comical prospect. Having some butcher with failing organs realize you’re about to expire and slap a discount price tag on everything you’ve ever made. Then to be eventually mixed with an old bay seasoning packet and some egg noodles and consumed via suppository from a scalding, microwaved plastic tray. Providing barely enough sustenance for another brutal day of insect toil. I love ground beef. Legalize ground beef.
(Note: As a Midwest native myself, this is Midwest speak for “Can you tell me about your experience as a Midwesterner and how it influences your art?”)
I was born in a corn souffle from a thawing snow mound in a strip mall to the sound of dying dreams and freshly paved asphalt. I wouldn’t trade it for the world. There’s an earnestness here, as though we’re all from the same piece of sh*t hometown and held together by cream of mushroom soup. We share a lot of the same suffering and a lot of the same happiness. People are mostly kind. Getting drunk on Steel Reserves and juggling devil’s sticks in an abandoned Arby’s parking lot is where I peaked creatively, it’s been downhill since then.
While you have a lot of fans (me included) I know a lot of people would find your style and subject matter crude, uncomfortable and honestly disgusting. How would you explain your art to critics like that?
I think the canned answer here would be there is beauty in disgust or some bullsh*t like that’s been said a thousand times, but really, I find the prospect of creating characterless desk ornaments used to soothe the itchy holes of sh*t covered a**es spiritually reprehensible. I scratch wounds and they bleed. That blood is lubricant for our collective descent into unsalvageable madness. If deviation from a lifetime of force fed prescription pills and perpetual consumption of lifeless exploding shapes in candy crush human suffering saga isn’t for you, I would respectfully say do some DMT and watch season four of the Grammy nominated reality television show Pawn Stars.
What is your favorite story from your crypto art journey so far?
I spent six months making fake SuperRare applications, tweeting things like “Just submitted my SuperRare application video, it’s me butt funneling a Heineken 0.0 and huffing a huge bag of jankem and recording a stop motion sequel to Passion of the Christ but starring Minions,” the one that finally got me in was claiming I was on a month long DMT trip re-recording The Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood where me and a Larry the Cable Guy deep fake were playing every part. Massive thank you to Zack for recognizing that film absolutely needs to be made, still looking for funding.
Not only are you a visual artist, but also a prolific writer. I know the output you maintain is something other artists are inspired by in general along with the lack of filters. How did you get to that point and any advice to other artists who are also fighting their demons to keep creating?
Ah f*ck yeah thank you for that, I would definitely suggest reading. It’s simple to say, but it completely changes the way you process things. Also again creation for the sake of creation. Not everything needs to be minted or sold. Most images. Most text. Most experiences are just that. A digital distillation of a rapidly deteriorating meat sack. Embrace urgency. Embrace madness. Shovel thoughts and feelings and emotions into a furnace and burn them into the already pollutant bloated clouds. Take no advice including this.
Where do you see the future of crypto art going?
I see all of us refusing our prescribed existence of misery and insect toil. Perhaps not dying alone doing something we hate. Maybe still dying alone, but at least not doing something we hate and a beautiful sparsely attended funeral with a cantaloupe forward edible arrangement that represents our legacy.
3 artists you love in crypto art and why?
Ceren Su: I find their work beautiful and disturbing and hilarious in its absurdity. It’s impossible to discern any emotion your feeling when looking at the pieces shifting, fulfilling some unknown purpose, simply a suffocating feeling that your sanity is shifting in unison.
Esra Eslen: Brutal on every level. Their disregard for humanity as a whole is a theme I’m obviously fond of. Documenting some hilarious and unceremonious descent as a species. Fulfilling our true destiny of dying meat sacks pummeled into patties and grilled at a summer BBQ.
Jesse Draxler: is the physical approximation of the abyss.
Links to explore diewiththemostlikes work further:
*The author of this article is a collector of the artist’s work at time of publication.*