The Journey to Pineapple Punks
Ludo’s lifetime exploration of biotechnological chimeras has extracted for us an archetype begging reflection on what it means to be human in an era where technology is an extension of ourselves.
All throughout, Ludo never made use of human traits in his art.
Ludo had been searching for a single character, something to represent humans for special stories that people were meant to be a part of. The character would have to symbiotically merge with his chimera style without interfering with that archetype grounded in non-human features.
It was a challenge, to say the least, but it became clear he had found it with the first Pineapple Punk design a decade ago.
“The only way I use human traits in my work is with the Pineapple Punk. A visual I first drawn and painted back in 2012.” — Ludo
The Pineapple Punk’s debut was actually as a generative collection before NFTs even existed. The exhibition was called « Super Discount », an equally ironic and humorous extension to the Warhol Soup Can Series, representing the mass production and consumerism that has come to define modern times.
“I wanted to speak about over consummation leading to overproduction. Transformation and death of our planet for our own selfish pleasures. Each canvas was a take on the Warhol Soup Cans series but with my words; Campbell soup cans became Del Monte fruit cans with skulls.” — Ludo
In the Ludo version, it wasn’t tin cans, but their labels that were the object of expression, because while canned goods might be a literal manifestation of our modern ways as in the Warhol edition, their labels are in reference to the deeper product of consumerism — ourselves.
The series was a hit, but perhaps the most significant lasting impression was that left on the artist. The Pineapple Punk was the embodiment of what Ludo had been searching for. He was compelled to share this with the world in his own way, and so it wasn’t long before Ludo moved to his familiar canvas and the Pineapple Punk appeared in city streets around the world.
Through the years, Pineapple Punks have been shown in multiple gallery exhibitions across NY, Los Angeles, Berlin, and Paris. They also were the subject of collaborations with Paris Saint Germain Football Club and Agnes B. A painting of a Punk has been used by David Gilmour of Pink Floyd for his last worldwide tour.
Throughout this journey, Ludo extensively explored variations both in standalone form and in combination with some of his other iconic works.
Today, the culmination of Ludo’s years of exploration brings us the Pineapple Punk’s final form: A digital collection of 7777 unique NFTs, to be launched via the Flower Power DAO, pending the DAO’s approval.
The generative nature of this collection lends a massive creative edge to Ludo, as varied attributes across pieces were never an option in the classical art style the Punks pay tribute to.
…because the Pineapple Punk is a modern vanitas piece, resembling the predominant art form of 16th and 17th century northern Europe. French for vanity, vanitas works usually consist of jewelry, fruit, fabrics, and other objects of pleasure associated with the wealthy; all centered around the human skull. They are a reminder of mortality, the ephemeral nature all our lives share, and the futility of earthly pleasures acquired in the process.
The Punks are a modern twist, carrying this timeless message at the time it’s most often forgotten, and Ludo’s solution for special stories humans belong in. They are a literal vanitas chimera, half pineapple, half human skull, draped in a variety of adornments. A rare combination that complements rather than clashes with the biotechnological chimera archetype.
The opportunity to add variety and identity to the punks is only accentuated by the generative nature of the collection. This includes material accessories for the head, face, neck, and body and unique textures on punk itself.
Collectors will naturally gravitate toward their preferences, making punk choices emblematic of one’s own identity. If true to the vanitas style, they’ll also carry with them a subtle reminder of indulgences their owners may be wise to avoid.
Ludo’s most common use of the punks in other works has been in combination with his rose-arrow chimera in the pirate symbol’s layout. In it is the culmination of the punk’s meaning for cryptoians: The contrarians, the few, that in internalizing the futility of our earthly footprint can fuel the relentless pursuit of a better world. Like the pirates, we choose the hard path, one of decentralization, rejecting the comfort offered by existing power structures in exchange for something more. But today, unlike the pirates, we do so with utmost respect for the biological and the technological. We couldn’t think of a better representation of this persona than the ICP supporting hodler base, because if we stick together in alignment with this message, THE WORLD IS OURS!
***This post serves solely as an introduction to the Pineapple Punks art piece. A DAO proposal detailing potential launch details will be submitted to the Flower Power DAO on Monday, May 16th and will stay open for 1 week. We will announce the proposal ID and the corresponding link for the vote on Discord and Twitter once the proposal is live. It will be recognizable by its “core” tag and proposal ID.
Though official launch details will be a part of the DAO proposal, the tentative plan is to give BTC Flowers an unconditional airdrop, and ETH Flowers that participate in the punk proposal vote a preferential whitelist (votes on other proposals will not be a requirement for the whitelist). Since flowers can only vote once and the whitelist slot does not transfer, those who wish to use their ETH Flowers to gain a whitelist slot lot should obtain them before the Punk Proposal goes live on Monday. However, for those late buyers, you can check the vote history of an ETH Flower on the open market here to ensure it’s a ‘fresh’ flower before buying.***