EXCLUSIVE: FEWOCiOUS on Growing Pains, Performance Art and His Second Christie’s Auction
Ahead of his groundbreaking return to Christie’s, renowned 19-year old NFT artist FEWOCiOUS sits down with us to take it all in.
Eighteen months ago, Victor Langlois – better known as FEWOCiOUS – made history. Then 18 years old, this young transgender artist achieved what few can only dream of; a headline auction at the world-renowned Christie’s auction house.
Becoming Christie’s youngest ever featured artist, his NFT collection; Hello, i’m Victor (FEWOCiOUS) and This Is My Life – created in honour of Pride Month – saw unprecedented demand that crashed the Christie’s website, with the collection selling for a record-breaking $2,160,000 USD.
This Friday, Fewo is back; one year older, one year more experienced and, in his words, one year better. His auction, titled; Year 6, Age 19 – Growing Pains, includes a 1/1 NFT video, 19 archival artworks as 1/1 NFTs, two custom characters from his upcoming FewoWorld drop, and a physical performance art piece, being created right now as part of his week-long residence at Christie’s New York.
Forming part of the wider Post-War and Contemporary Art Day Sale, in a signifier of the continued importance and cultural prominence of NFT art, Fewo’s work will be featured alongside a star-studded list of noteworthy artists, including Andy Warhol, Joan Mitchell and Alex Katz.
In an exclusive for NFT Insider, FEWOCiOUS sat down with us to reflect on the past year, his return to Christie’s, and his boundless love of art.
John: Fewo! How does it feel to be back at Christie’s for your second auction, 18 months after your first?
FEWOCiOUS: Good, I’m really excited!
I’m painting. I don’t know, I feel like so much has happened since the last one. I’ve had lots of reflection, I feel like my painting has gotten better. I feel like my art has just improved a lot. I think that’ll be cool, beyond just like personal thought reflection of my brain developing because I’m 19 years old. My brain’s developing, my art’s developing. And I’ve had a whole year to get better at shading and lighting and composition in my own way.
It feels really good though, that’s my answer. It feels really epic and I’m happy. I have my own room this time. Last time I took over the stairs, now I have my own room. Then I’m going to take over the building! [laughs]
How did the idea come about to make your art inside Christie’s itself, and – now it’s underway – how are you finding the experience? What’s it like having people come and watch you make your art?
Uhm, I really like painting. I love painting. I feel like every question people ask me is like “what does painting mean to you?” – and I always say “Dang, it means so much”, but that’s lame. I feel like words could never describe how much I love painting or what I have to do to paint. I’d rather just show someone. Video is fine, but it’s just way cooler for someone to come and see me paint and see what making art is like.
Here at Christie’s right now, a lot of my favourite artists who are here in this sale aren’t alive and I don’t know what they did to make their pieces and I want to know! I’m a nerd and I like art and I want to know everything there is to know about their art. And I don’t know, it’s what I do. This is what my painting is like. This is me at 19 years old.
And as far as the people part, people come by, and I thought I’d be really nervous or shy but I weirdly feel very comfortable. Just super comfortable. I grew up with my family taking my door off my room and always looking in to see what I’m doing, so I’m weirdly used to people watching me and my art. But this is a little new because I’m not used to people saying such nice things about it, while it’s happening, in real time. So that’s pretty cool. That’s new for me.
The title of your auction is “Growing Pains”. How has this past year been for you, and what emotions and experiences have gone into this piece?
This year’s been really good!
Growing Pains doesn’t have to be a bad thing. It’s like when I was growing up and my knees would hurt and I’d say “Mama my knees hurt” and she’d be like “ya but you’re getting taller so what, do you not want your knees to hurt?” And I’d be really happy that I was getting taller. So it felt like Growing Pains is like good. Like I had to have this to grow.
A lot of emotions have gone into this piece. I mean happy, excited, it’s just me right now.
The winning bidder will receive the NFT, the physical painting, and – amongst other things – two custom characters from your upcoming FEWOS drop. How excited are you to release FEWOS, and what can we expect?
Oh, I’m so excited for Fewos and for FewoWorld!
I grew up drawing all these characters and worlds and knowing I wanted to make fashion and movies and stories and it just seemed so impossible. It seemed way too big to even wrap my brain around. But I still kept sketching and drawing all the things I wanted to make. But now, I feel like FewoWorld is my chance to actually put it all out in the universe, to make it all real.
The World’s already there, it’s just a massive world to build and I just have to articulate it. Also, everything is just going to look cool, and I’m excited for people to see all of that.
The past 18 months have been nothing short of extraordinary for FEWOCiOUS. From his landmark Mr. MiSUNDERSTOOD auction at Sotherby’s, the Fewo x Madhappy collection in support of Born This Way, and no less than 5 Canvas exhibitions at leading blockchain events, FEWOCiOUS has become one of the world’s most significant living artists, flying the flag for trans rights, digital art and Web3.
At a time of great upheaval in the industry, FEWOCiOUS’ star continues to shine, basking the art world in a shimmering, vibrant light that stretches beyond the boundaries of Web3 and into the public domain.
From prying eyes to public praise, the story of FEWOCiOUS continues to be written with every stroke of his brush. As his prolific ascent continues, the world is now his oyster – and for countless communities across the globe, he’s not just a generational talent; he’s an inspiration, a torch-bearer, and a role-model for us all.
FEWOCiOUS’s “Year 6, Age 19 – Growing Pains” auction will take place at Christie’s this Friday, November 18. Potential bidders must contact Christie’s in advance to register their interest. You can watch Fewo create the physical painting via the official livestream, or keep up-to-date with his work by visiting his website, following his Twitter and Instagram, or by joining the FewoWorld Discord.
Cover photo by Michael Oxendine.