Artist interview: Pascal Boyart

Pascal Boyart, aka PBoy, is a Paris-based artist who has long been active in the NFT world. Passionate about drawing since his youth, Pascal was the first mural painter to create street art NFTs from his frescoes in 2019.

His latest project, The Underground Sistine Chapel, is a modern version of Michelangelo’s masterpiece, painted over five months during the 2020 lockdowns. The mural stands in a former gold foundry close to Paris, and he’s now brought the work to the digital realm with a collection of 400 NFTs. Each 1/1 NFT represents one of the 400 characters in the Last Judgment fresco, the painting’s central scene.

What’s your process for creating such a large physical piece?

I started by reading some books about the Sistine Chapel, as well as Michelangelo’s biography. I didn’t want the mural to be a pastiche of the work. I wanted to add my touch and modernize it without distorting the original with the easy jokes we see everywhere else. I then worked on the sketches, changing every character’s anatomy. I started painting in the summer of 2020, and it took five months to finish on my own. The fresco covers 100m2 and contains more than 400 figures. I used acrylic paint and paintbrushes with some ink highlights.

You tweeted that creating the NFTs required the same amount of work as painting the chapel itself. How did you digitize the mural?

Yes, it took five months to paint the chapel and five more to make the NFTs. The trickiest part was taking pictures of the 400 individual characters. I had to return to the scaffold, again and again, to get the shots in the correct daylight, as most of the images came out blurry or with reflections because I used glossy paint.

You’ve been active in the NFT space for a while. What are your thoughts on the recent surge of interest?

It’s great! I never thought it would happen so fast… I’m seeing so many amazing artists being fairly rewarded for their work, which to me represents a true evolution for art. We’re living through a digital renaissance, and we’re only just getting started.

What’s your advice to artists entering the space?

Do what you love and share it with the world as best you can. Think long-term instead of focusing on the quickest route to financial gain, as the trees that stand in the storms are the ones with the sturdiest roots. It will all pay off if you’re in it for the love of art.

What’s next for you?

A load more crazy paintings and NFTs, and a big surprise around the chapel is coming real soon. Keep track of me on Twitter for news!