The artwork of Pat Pixels is immediate. With one glance you get a feel for what it’s about: Candy-colored artwork capturing scenes from Thai streets and other Asian cultures in all their 8-bit glory. It’s the art equivalent of snack food. But if you stop scrolling for a second and spend some time looking at it, details reveal themselves including real graffiti scrawled on well-known street corners and much of his separate pieces come together like a large jigsaw puzzle.
Pat is a fine artist who works full time as a graphic artist who seized on the wave of NFT art that captured global attention spans to delve into the pixel art that’s fascinated him since his childhood love of video games. The opportunity to reach an audience and make some extra cash in a style that suited the genre well was something he couldn’t pass up, and the dancing Nang Rum spirit in her golden headdress became his first and main character.
While Pat draws on many different cultures, capturing his hometown in pixel form is the most distinct portion of his work. Plastic stools are stacked next to Thai vinyl advertisements, stray cats lounge on Bangkok’s unique phone booths, and street vendor carts bubble with the warmth of comfort food. The graffiti in his digital work is often his own tags or his crew mates’ from T-West, as he’s an accomplished writer who reluctantly reveals his alias as Deio. (He also works with Y?, who we covered previously.) Sometimes the graff that appears in his pixel world is stained on the real world objects that he uses as source material since he enjoys taking photos and using Google Street View as inspiration for his pixel art.
Many of Pat’s pieces are displayed as stand-alone objects like mini-temples, Thai-brand soft drinks and noodles, and gamer setups and USB drives. He takes all these pieces and piles them into dense epics for viewers to hunt for like a game from Highlights magazine. Doge meme flyers, lost slippers, spray paint tags reading things like “crypto,” and Songkran water guns are hidden throughout. He adds another level of detail to his work in the form of animation, so a fruit cart that was otherwise stationary now drips in the heat and a phone booth is lit by a flickering street lamp. He hopes that these painstaking details will capture viewers’ undivided attention and draw them deeper and deeper into his work.