Freak Jesus talks about wearing his art on his sleeve

A leather jacket that led to the name…

TEXT BRYTEHALL EDITORIAL

IMAGES FREAK JESUS

Portuguese conceptual artist Freak Jesus (aka Nuno Jesus) has a neo-pop art design sensibility and a spirit of a rebel. A former engineer-turned-NFT artist who’s part of The MetaArt Club (TMAC) collective, he has made a name for himself in the NFT space in a little over a year since minting his first artwork. An upcoming project, ‘Samos’, comprises generative NFT art with proceeds directed to a children’s charity. Here, the artist tells Brytehall about his recent discoveries and future ambitions in the space.

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Nuno Jesus (aka Freak Jesus)

You probably get asked this question a lot… why the name Freak Jesus?

Yes, people usually ask me why I chose this name, because it is a slightly different name and the mixture of the two arouses curiosity in people. But in reality, the answer is quite simple. Jesus is my family name, my name is Nuno Jesus, and Freak is a nickname that my friends gave me when I was a teenager due to a leather jacket I was wearing at the time. My friends all know me by Freak, so I decided to combine the two names [which] I think actually are part of me.

I decided to bet everything on this life as an artist. So far it has been incredible, but I want much more.” —Freak Jesus

How and when did you make the career transition from an engineer to becoming an NFT artist?

I made this transition precisely a year ago; my life as an artist has always started as an NFT artist so I’m an original and a thoroughbred, as I say. As the passion for art and the desire to create a career as an artist was very strong, I decided to bet everything on this life as an artist. So far it has been incredible, but I want much more.

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Would it be correct to say that your inspirations are drawn from ’80s pop art? How did you hone this style?

I can say that my style draws from pop art or neo-pop art, but also a lot of expressionism, where I try to mix the two with the raw punk culture that also serves as inspiration. I enjoy creating meaningful art with bold and powerful messages.

What inherent messages would you like your work to convey? The series featuring Jim Morrison, Kurt Cobain and Jimi Hendrix, for example?

I try to use art as a means of communication, where I try to convey my ideas, life experiences, thoughts and feelings, which I have throughout my life. Many of my pieces are autobiographical, sometimes even too much, but I also create some less heavy pieces; sentimentally speaking, I like to show my cheerful and fun side. In this series, I only tried to capture the fun side of the artists but also capture the feeling that each one aroused in me.

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What personal lessons do you hope viewers of your art draw from the ‘sex, drugs, and rock ’n roll’ tropes that are configured within your work?

‘Sex, drugs, and rock ’n roll’ stands for fearless, energy, raw, activism and beauty, and that’s what I try to show in my work and hope that people always understand my message and view of life.

Most people are their sum of their life experiences. In what ways have your life experiences shaped you as an artist?

My art is created based on my life experiences from childhood to the present day, whether positive or negative experiences. I like people to see me as I am and looking at my art, I think they get to know me better. What gives me the most pleasure is when I see that people identify with each piece, because they experienced this feeling that I put in that piece, at a stage in their lives, which makes me create an immediate connection with that person.

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What have you learned as an artist while working with the medium of NFTs? 

I learned that this world of NFTs is constantly growing and evolving, I really believe that we are still at the beginning of something much bigger, I could even say in a new renaissance. Something that I really like is the possibility that you have to be in permanent contact with your collectors, and the friendship relationship you create with them is something wonderful and very strong. And the whole community is very strong too.

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Is there any specific project you are working on at the moment?

I am working on a very exciting project—‘Samos’. It’s an NFT generative project linking charity and art. We’re not just selling NFTs; we want them to mean something, we want to stand for something. So owners/holders of ‘Samos’ can feel proud; they can feel they are a part of something big. Our project will also support a few charities and we will start with a children’s charity. Why children’s charity? Because ‘Samos’ reminds us also about our childhood, it’s free-spirited. The project is scheduled to be released in September, so stay tuned.

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