A new artistic vanguard is taking shape, and DeltaSauce is at the heart of it. The Texan’s meditative works have elevated him as an essential voice in the burgeoning AI art movement. He speaks to Signal about the parallels between woodworking and AI prompts, the meaning behind his art, and why relationships are the foundation of his career. Clovis McEvoy tells the story.
“AI is more akin to sculpting than anything,” DeltaSauce says. And he should know. Before his career at the forefront of digital art, Delta learnt a much more tactile form of creativity at his father’s woodworking shop. “My dad’s a carpenter, and he instilled in me my love of sculpting,” he recalls.
Frequently depicting obsolete objects, empty living spaces, and bare neighbourhoods, his works hold a sense of urban nostalgia and late 20th century longing that is both hard to define and hard to look away from. It’s a style that has resonated with both art lovers and collectors, placing DeltaSauce at the forefront of the rapidly-growing AI art scene.
“AI is a sandbox of infinite possibilities.”
Initially drawn to experiment with AI in late 2021, the artist says it was the sheer scope of creative expression offered by the technology that caught his attention. “AI is a sandbox of infinite possibilities, and you’re asked to just play with your thoughts,” he explains. “If you put work into it, you can come up with anything; it’s a tool that’s basically endless. I found that fascinating.”
Whilst the leap from sculpture to digital arts might seem large, DeltaSauce says his current creative process is intimately related to the lessons he learnt disassembling, refining, and recombining physical materials alongside his father. “In a sense, AI is just sculpting using a computer program,” he muses.
Using text prompts instead of chisels and lathes, the Texan artist generates rough forms which can then be shaped and moulded. “I’m very hands on with my work. I like to move things around, stitch things together, and then throw it back into the AI.”
The results are a world unto themselves: warmly claustrophobic, devoid of human figures, yet intensely human in their emotional echo of times gone by. “We live in a world where there’s so much uncertainty and so much negativity,” he says. “But we all have these memories going back to when life was a little bit better, a little bit brighter and more colourful. I like to touch on those moments because they are invaluable.”
For Delta, it is that emotional narrative which separates AI art from simple image generation. “To me, art is defined by intent and meaning. I think that’s where people get lost within the whole argument surrounding AI art,” he says. “We can all make these beautiful images, but they have to have some sort of meaning, or that beauty will only be skin deep.”
Though he works in a computer-centric medium, interpersonal connection permeates his worldview. From the early friendships he built with fellow creators in the space to the long-term relationships he has formed with his collectors, presenting himself as a “real human being with emotions and ideas” is paramount. “It’s always been about conversations,” he says. “I want to talk to people, not really about my artwork, but about my life and theirs. Those conversations are really how I found my collector base.”
“These relationships end up changing over time,” he continues. “It’s very dynamic, instead of that static feeling of a collector just buying your artwork, taking it home, and putting it on the wall. It adds more value to the work, it adds story and depth.”
A prolific creator, DeltaSauce is not shy about releasing new art — in fact, he’s adamant that artists shouldn’t artificially hold work back when they feel passionate about it. “I really don’t believe you should be kept by this idea of ‘supply and demand’. There are collectors who are basically just investors, and I understand that whole dynamic, but to limit yourself and to limit what you produce and put out into the world. I think that’s very negative.”
“In a sense, AI is just sculpting using a computer program.”
With an impending move from his home city of Dallas, Texas to New York City, DeltaSauce’s career is entering a new phase. For the first time this year he attended this year’s NFT NYC, and he’s also collaborating with art curator, Bernardo, on a new AI take on the infamous Pepe meme. And while he’s not at liberty to disclose any details, he hints at a major new “career-defining” project currently in the works.
As AI technology steps further into the limelight, its uses as an artistic tool will only widen and deepen. For the creators and collectors who surround this nascent medium, what the world has seen so far is only the beginning. “People are realising that this isn’t going away,” DeltaSauce says. “The medium is getting stronger, the models are getting better, the community is getting bigger. For AI art, it’s like a new renaissance.”
“We can all make these beautiful images, but they have to have some sort of meaning.”
Yat Siu has a completely different vision for the metaverse to almost everyone else. And at the helm of an investment portfolio worth $5 billion, his perspective is as important as it is empowering.
The blockchain ecosystem is built on decentralisation, and a new form of brands are getting built on top. Tyler Scharf explores the emergence of decentralised ‘headless’ brands, how traditional brands like adidas and Nike are getting involved, and whether this new model of branding is future or fad.