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the origin of ANSI art—I was part of it.

what is ANSI art? learn more here: http://sixteencolors.net/about/index.html

before the internet, there were BBS's (bulletin board services) and IRC (internet relay chat).

people would have to log in with their old modems to view artwork, play games, email, and download warez and porn.

part of advertising these warez BBS sites was through artwork. there were a bunch of digital art groups with created ANSI and RIP art to promote these different "sites".

i was one of the artists, and i went by two aliases: 1) malebolgia (the demon character from spawn), and 2) 69.

so why the abbreviated sigs? when you created artwork, you had to put a 3 letter sig infront of your file name to indicate that it's your art. i have no clue, till this day why i picked 69...

i think i was too young to even understand the concept. (by the way, i was only like 14 or 15 when i was creating this art with my best friend, vinny kumar. till this day we still work together and have a company doing creative work.)

recently, a group of nerds on the west coast created a public gallery and website for people to review this portion of history. my artwork was actually included in this movement, which is a huge compliment.

at the time, vinny and i created a separate indi group called "flatline", to compete against the long tail, ACiD.

i actually joined ACiD at the time, and vinny and I recruited their members from the back door. there's a long story to the whole thing, but the short of it is that the artwork still exists... and our nerdiness has been celebrated.

see more of my artwork in RIP and ANSI:


visit the online gallery:


B. Phillip Smith said...

There is a "Retired ANSI artists" group on facebook, you know. :)

The guy who made sixteencolors.net, Doug Moore (Lord Scarlet), actually lives in the DC area. I tried to meet up with him once but it didn't work out for whatever reason. Think he went to William and Mary.
You should look him up.

From what I understand, the gallery show in San Fran was just showing the work of Lord Jazz and Somms, and was organized separately from sixteen colors, although Doug did make it out there.

-God among Lice ;)

jeffwongdesign said...

oh wow. i didn't know that...

yah, the gallery itself features a couple people like lord jazz... but if you go on their website and do a search for "malebolgia" or "flatline", you'll find a ton of our my work on there... it's mostly RIP... but i did some asci too. heheh.

what was your screen name? i want to do a search on you!! ^__^

B. Phillip Smith said...

I was just pointing out there was an actual physical gallery show in San Francisco last month at a place called 20 GOTO 10. http://www.ansigallery.org/

I did some reminiscing of your work over at sixteencolors.net... it was all very familiar since I had looked at it a bunch when I first got into drawing RIPs. So weird that I was basically learning how to draw them from looking at your drawings. You could totally play back the drawing at a low speed to see each stroke in the order it was drawn.. very cool. Wish you could do that at sixteencolors. As it is the RIP screenshots don't really do them justice.. it's not rendering out some of the lines correctly so a lot of logos and stuff look like shit.

My nick was God among Lice. If you just search for "god among lice" you'll get all the files with greets mixed in with my work, but if you go to the artists section and click my name, you'll get just the stuff I did. I ran Fire for a while, so you could also look at Fire packs.

Later on I was in HRG, which had some great artsy hirez stuff. Most of the members were russian... they actually put on a physical show at a museum gallery in Russia with some of my work in it... Had huge mult-page asciis and ansis printed out, too.

jeffwongdesign said...

oh wow. i didn't know that!! very cool. i'll have to try contacting them again. RaDMaN calls me from time to time... it's kinda weird. hah!

maybe we should start a site that shows animated RIP... that would be cool. too bad we don't have enough time. eugh. one day... one day. heheh.

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