Mashines First Hyper Revelation Part 2

by Rubén Palma
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Mashine, is an artist known for her witty and irreverent airbrush creations that poke fun at societal absurdities and pop culture. Her sharp commentary on current events and celebrities has gained her a large online following, with many of her pieces going viral on social media. I recently caught up with her for a deeper chat, as a lot has changed since our last quick interview in 2022.

The last time I talked with Mashi, was for a “10 Quick Ones” piece, back in 2022, way before her growing popularity. A lot has happened since then, and I figured it was about time I sat down with her once again. This time for a more in depth conversation. 

Hi Mashi, it’s a pleasure to sit down with you again. The last time we did this was all the way back in October of 2022. Let’s start it off with the question I always ask: How does a regular day look like for you in Switzerland?

7:00 AM: Breakfast is served in the tranquility of my private salon. I check email, Twitter, and Instagram.
8:00 AM: With my personal assistant , I select a fashionable gown for the occasion.
12:00 PM: Lunch on the terrace, I engage in lively tweeting.
1:00 PM: Spa and hot stone massages
2:00 PM: Another spa treatment, this time a facial, to refresh and revitalize.
4:00 PM: I either visit the opera house or spend quality time with cherished horses in the stables.
6:00 PM: Airbrushing.
7:00 PM: I join friends for a game of croquet, followed by drinks on the boat.
8:00 PM: A lavish banquet , accompanied by the finest caviar wines and champagne.

Gotya! I’m curious, growing up, what kind of kid were you, what did you enjoy doing and how did you spend your time?

I was born in Nikolaev, a city in southern Ukraine, during the grungiest period of the post-Soviet nineties when punks would beat the shit out of rappers and you could buy horse tranquilizers at the pharmacy without a prescription.

My mom was a chemistry teacher, and my dad was an engineer. They were busy all day with their own stuff; I never had their control or authority, so I pretty much did whatever I wanted.

In the morning, I would leave for school, but then I would wait for my parents to leave for work so I could return home, eat cornflakes , watch cartoons, and sew panties for my dolls. I used to show up late and fake my parents’ signatures in my school attendance records until I got caught and transferred to a new school where the story repeated.

I went to about 5 or 6 different schools, and to be honest, I hated them all.  I’d find any excuse to skip class. I didn’t like the school uniform, school food, and I found it especially humiliating to sing the anthem before lessons, no cap , just like in North Korea. 

I never did homework in my life. Languages and biology came to me intuitively too well, and for math, I would copy from some nerdy guy who had a crush on me,  five minutes before class. One time, my classmate gave me a lock pick and taught me how to open any lock, so we had access to buildings and rooftops in my city. On the roof, we played basketball, using old pigeon corpses as a ball and an open windows as a basket.

In elementary school, I got really into weapons. I had a collection of knives. I used to walk home through a dark park full of junkies. I carried a flashlight and always had a small folding knife in my pocket. But then the knife collection disappeared; I think my mom found out and threw it away.

My grandfather was an artist who crafted wooden sculptures and copper engravings. He died before I was born. Around the age of 10, I discovered my grandfather’s old Zenit camera and began capturing photos of everything around me.  However, my mom didn’t support my new hobby, so many of these photographs never made it to development.

Instead, I attended piano classes like a real lady. I also found my grandfather’s oil paints untouched for decades, along with tubes of neon green and pink acrylic paint. I used to draw on every surface in my room, except for the walls adorned with posters of Fred Durst. I had dreams of marrying Fred Durst when I grew up, living on a ranch, and breeding goats with him. I liked goat milk and Limp Bizkit.

How did you get introduced to the airbrush? And when did you start taking becoming an artist serious?

I’ve been drawing for as long as I can remember; art has always been an integral part of me, from doodling caricatures of my classmates to studying art history at university.Shoutout to my Professor of Art History, Viviana Gravano.

However, I was balls deep into NFTs and digital art in 2021, but I wanted to learn something new too. So, I saw this insta account ITSNOTGALLERY, that posted a lot of mind-blowing airbrush artworks. I purchased the simplest airbrush kit, and I loved it. 

While we’re on the subject. What is it about the airbrush that makes you prefer it over a regular paint brush?

The most fascinating thing about airbrush is that, unlike digital art or oil painting, I can’t foresee the end result.I can’t make it perfect, and I don’t know what I’m doing until it’s finished. There is no undo button, and a mistake cannot be corrected. Technically, I don’t know when the painting is finished; I just tell myself, “Okay, stop now, or you’ll ruin it.” And the best part is, the more serious and realistic I try to make someone look, the more cringe and funny the portrait turns out. 

I’m curious. These past couple of years we’ve seen major increase in the popularity of the airbrush. Especially on social media like instagram. What’s your take on that?

This method of applying paint has existed for a long time but has become popular just now. The majority of insta airbrushed artworks look alike; artists tend to copy each other. It’s neither good nor bad, just a fact.

I’m sure that airbrushing will also become tiresome for everyone soon, especially considering how incredibly complex it is to use. Something new will eventually replace this trend, another technique, and everyone will abandon their airbrushes and move on to the next hyped tool. I think many people view the airbrush as a magical gun that does the painting for you, like if you just hold it in your hand, and it somehow does the work. I feel a kind of responsibility for those people who bought an airbrush just because of me, and there are many such cases.

They DM me saying, «Ayo, Masha, I also bought an airbrush of this or that brand and now I’m going to start painting bangers,” but they never actually showcase any of their work. They encounter the first clogging obstacle and give up on it. 

In the past 12 months you’ve had several of your paintings gone viral and with that a lot of new found recognition. What’s that experience like and how do you feel about it?

It’s true that a few of my works were reposted by popular pages, and I gained over 30k followers in a short period. But that’s still very little; I need 300k just to feel something.

With that in mind. With your rising popularity, What has been the biggest change?

I am getting DMs from celebs wanting a portrait or an album cover.

A lot of artists dream of being where you are, with all the attention your work is getting, yet you have decided to stay almost anonymous. Why is that?

I wouldn’t call myself anonymous; There are plenty of my photos; I just don’t overshare my personal life that’s it.

Tell me about your haters, cause I know you’ve got some. What kind of hate do you receive? And how do you deal with it?

Haters are always your fans who refuse to admit it , if you think about it.

How do you deal with creative blocks?

I am not familiar with that feeling, but I’ve heard about it a lot. I think it’s more related to laziness.

Can you describe your studio practice for me? And are there any necessities you have to have with you or present in the studio?

Sure, here is my studio setup:
•A petting zoo with exotic animals like •Miniature goats, baby kangaroos, and friendly reptiles.
•Cocktails served in glow-in-the-dark glasses
•An abandoned aircraft hangar or a underground bunker as a studio
•Beluga caviar
•A tarot card reader
A surprise flash mob of professional dancers to join me during airbrushing.

Alright, so besides painting you’re also into NFTs, with your own collections on Foundation, objkt and Zora. How and when did you get introduced to NFTs?

At the beginning of 2021, everyone suddenly started talking about NFTs, and I became interested in trying it out. Then I got sucked into crypto Twitter. 99 % of my collectors I met right there, and it’s a whole completely parallel reality,  not much intersecting with the world of contemporary art galleries.

With that in mind. What are your overall thoughts about the current NFT space, and where do you see NFTs compared to physical art in lets say 5 years?

I sell my paintings not just for euros or dollars, but for magical virtual internet money called Etherium. NFT is just a technology, simply another way to monetize my art.

In a paralel universe who would you be? and what would you be doing?

I would never trade what I have for any parallel reality. But maybe there’s another universe where we are business partners with Fred Durst on our goat farm.

Can you tell me a story about a time when a connection with someone had a big impact on you?

Yes, there was indeed one individual who profoundly influenced my life. This person was more than just a friend; they were my protector, teacher, and also an artist. I owe much of who I am and where I am today to them. Until we both got drunk and fell in love with the same guy at a club… Basically Euphoria 2 season…

What qualities do you find most important in the people you choose to spend time with?

Ah, let me think. Spending 20$k on the first date to impress me (real story)

What motivates you? 

greed , money & power

The US presidential election is coming up. It looks like it’s gonna be a round 2 of Trump vs. Biden. Let’s say you lived there, who would you vote for and why?

Two old men are looking at the stars at night. One says, “You know, I feel like we’re as old as these stars.” The other smiles and says, “But we’re still shining, aren’t we?”

Idk, there are plenty of young guys in US who could be perfect candidates. And now let’s choose between these 2 grandpas with dementia.

(Trump)

Alright Mashine. I always ask these two questions at the end of an interview. The first is. What’s your favorite movie(s) and why?

Who the hell cares about my favorite movie. ;D Like, who the heck watches movies these days? Not sure would this question would expose my personality. Why wouldn’t you ask me about using Memes or AI in my art. Joking , it’s White Chicks.

The second is. What song(s) are you currently listening to the most right now? 

Ok, bye! thanks for having me (painting nails emoji)

( it’s xavlegbmaofffassssitimiwoamndutroabcwapwaeiippohfffx – Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis )

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