Mad Dog Jones, whose real name is Michah Dowbak, is an illustrator and digital artist from Ontario, Canada. His work often examines decaying technology and planned obsolescence.
Across his career, Jones has partnered with the F1 team Mercedes-AMG Petronas to create a series of NFTs for the Miami Grand Prix and created artwork for musicians including Run The Jewels and Deadmau5.
In April 2021, Jones became the most expensive living Canadian artist when his NFT REPLICATOR sold for $4.1 million. It was the first time his work had appeared at auction and bidding on the newly minted NFT started at just $100.
As the name suggests, REPLICATOR — a digital image of a photocopier — was designed to self-replicate, producing a new set of artworks every 28 days for seven generations. Each generation is smaller than the last, and like a real photocopier, REPLICATOR could jam, curbing output. According to the accompanying auction house’s catalogue, if the winning bidder of REPLICATOR later decided to sell the NFT, all future generations of work would be the property of the new owner.
Dowbak began sharing his digital art on Instagram in 2017. Three years later, his first NFT project consisted of 100 works that sold on the platform Nifty Gateway for just $1 each.
A follow up project, called Crash + Burn, required collectors to trade in five of his $1 pieces in order to be able to purchase a work. Jones then destroyed the older works. This created scarcity and pushed up his prices, in turn rewarding early collectors who held onto their NFTs.
In March 2021 Jones’ work was included in the world’s first museum show of crypto art at the UCCA Center for Contemporary Art in Beijing. Other artists in the show ‘Virtual Niche — Have you ever seen memes in the mirror?’ included Beeple and FEWOCiOUS.
In July 2021, Jones’ NFT A Bag of Oranges sold for $212,500 at Christie’s. The following November, one of Jones’s physical artworks — a digital print — appeared at auction in Hong Kong. The work, which was exhibited at Diesel gallery in Tokyo in 2019, sold for HK$630,000, more than five times its low estimate.