By Virginia Valenzuela, Arts Editor
Frederic Duquette is one of the most successful and well-known artists to step into the NFT space, and he has created some of the most exciting 3D artworks and collections available. From intricate and futuristic one-of-ones to crystalline collectables to an entire virtual universe, Duquette’s work has pushed the boundaries of what is possible with digital art.
Some of you may have guessed by now that Duquette is the artist known as FVCKRENDER. Based in Vancouver, he has premiered digital work on Nifty Gateway, Open Sea, and SuperRare, collaborated with fashion brands Dior and Supreme, and he’s even made visuals for Lil Nas X.
But before all the fame, the fortune, and the fvck, Duquette was just a skater boy who never finished high school.
Duquette applied to art school in Montreal at the age of 20 to study 3D design and animation, “and they didn’t care [for my application] at all,” he told SuperRare, “which made sense because I didn’t finish high school.” So he began creating artworks on his own, and once Instagram launched and, at the time, became the ideal platform for artists to display and market their work, his career really took off.
“I was fortunate enough before NFTs to have so many amazing clients. I was able to build a community on my Instagram where I reached about maybe 300,000 followers? Which really helped me get in contact with different artists. And most of the time the artists contacted me on Instagram, saying, ‘I need visuals for my shows or for a music video, or anything.’ So I was just sending them to my manager or my agent to help me filter everything out.”
Then at age 25, Duquette revisited 3D art and animation. The NFT market, which just happened to be booming, was a natural next step.
Fvckrender’s artwork is super detailed. His subjects are life-like and yet alien, often inspired by the tension between nature and technology. The human subjects, which he uses sparingly, appear glossy, chalky, or ephemeral. Sometimes we see only faces; sometimes we see only hands. The natural subjects, like flowers, dragons, scorpions, and gems, tiptoe around reality, and are oftentimes injected with a dose of the unexpected: a strange texture or an out-of-place color scheme.
Some of his artworks, including “GEODE” and “THORNED” look and feel like they could be 3D snapshots of a dystopian future without humanity, a future where only relics of the past remain. In pieces like “VIVID_DREAMS” and “SUBMERGED” we see subterranean, statuesque human beings who are unable to open their eyes. We asked him, where does humanity live, or how does humanity function, in the world he has created?
“To me it’s more like a sense of reconciliation–that’s not exactly the word–but yeah, I think the work is more about being attached to something, rather than pondering what humanity will be like in the next generation, if that makes sense.”
Which is an interesting concept, considering so much of Fvckrender’s work extends beyond the modern world of NFTs and into the future of the metaverse.
In addition to frequent drops of digital art in both NFT galleries and on Instagram, Fvckrender has launched FVCK_CRYSTAL, a series of 4169 3D collectables that allow the buyer to attend events, participate in raffles, and explore specific areas of the FVCKRENDERVERSE.
What the fvck is the FVCKRENDERVERSE, you ask?
It’s a computer-generated virtual experience that goes far beyond the 2-dimensional axes that are characteristic of the internet and social media. Yes, you can see the depth in the piece as it moves before your eyes, but you still see it flatly, usually in a grid on a screen. The FVCKRENDERVERSE is immersive and multidimensional. Not only are users able to view the artworks as if they were walking through their favorite section of the Met or the Louvre, but they are also able to participate in scavenger hunts that reward them for looking at the art, and the world, more closely.
Like so many artistic projects, the idea for FVCK_CRYSTALS spawned from an act of rebellion.
“Honestly I felt like a lot of people in the NFT space were always asking for utility in my art, and I found it annoying at first. I’m not a game designer, or whatever, and it was kind of starting to bother me that people needed to feel like my art had utility. So I decided to separate them. [I sort of put] my art on one side, and [put] my focus onto the collectables. So if you’re a collectable junkie, you can go collect FVCK_CRYSTALS now, and if you’re an art junkie, you’ll go collect my art on SuperRare or OpenSea or wherever. So, it was mainly to disassociate my art from utility and it was a way to allow people to enjoy both at different times.”
Some collectors might not care whether an artwork has utility, but for others who are interested in spending more time in virtual or augmented reality, this project sets the stage for many more to come.
For someone who didn’t vibe with school and who taught himself both how to market himself on social media and how to make 3D creations, Frederic Duquette, aka Fvckrender, is a force to be reckoned with. His vision, creativity, and drive have pushed his art into new dimensions, and indeed, into new worlds. What unexpected turn will his career take next? You’ll have to step into the FVCKRENDERVERSE to find out.