Dennis McNett-Final Project

Dennis McNett was born in 1972 and grew up in Virginia Beach, Virginia. His blind grandfather was a huge source of encouragement for him when he was growing up. His Grandfather often told him that his drawings were good. The skate graphics of the 80s would further push him into an artistic career. He got his Bachelor of Fine Arts from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA. Dennis McNett moved to Brooklyn, New York in 2001 to attend the Pratt Institute. He received his Master of Fine Arts from the Pratt Institute. He founded Wolfbat Studios in Brooklyn. He created Wolfbat Studios in New York as a place for him to do his artwork. He creates larger than life sculptures and Viking ships. He also does wood carvings which he carves by hand. Dennis McNett gets most of his inspiration from mythology. Nordic mythology is his main source of inspiration. He tries to tell a story through his artwork and Norse mythology is ripe with stories. There are many myths relating to Ragnarök that provide a basis his work. Ragnarök is the Norse end of the world when Loki will return and cause chaos.

Dennis McNett is a famous Instagram artist. However, he does not use Instagram as his main source of revenue. He also shows his work in many galleries around the world. He creates many different forms of art including wood carvings, murals, and collages. He also sells artwork out of his studio in New York. His artwork has filled the window displays at Barney’s in New York City. He has created Viking ship floats that have been featured in Philadelphia. He has brought Nordic Giants to life on West Broadway through huge sculptures. Dennis McNett is supported by Vans so much of his revenue is through his work with them. In 2008 he designed three shoes for Vans and t-shirts to accompany the shoes. Vans started out as a small company in Los Angeles that produced the shoes on site. People would come into the store and buy the shoes and then they would be available for pick up at a later time. Vans became a skateboarding shoe when skateboards began wearing the shoe due to its rubber sole that stuck well. Vans and Dennis McNett have also worked together on various other projects including A Visual Conjuring. This was an exhibit that turned the House of Vans into a giant arena where the famous Norse wolf Fenris, faced off against giants. The show was on October 31st. The House of Vans is an event space in Manhattan. Since Vans is a primarily skateboard shoe, it makes sense that Dennis McNett would design some. He got a lot of his inspiration from the skate graphics of the 80’s. Therefore, it also makes sense that he would design skateboards. He designed several skateboards for Anti-Hero. Anti-Hero Skateboards was founded by Julien Stranger in 1995. Stranger was a professional skateboarder who felt that the skateboarding was perceived as being stale. Anti-Hero produced a line of skateboards called Beauty and the Beast.

            Since Dennis McNett does not make his money through social media, he was not affected by adpocalypse. Adpocalypse was when YouTube advertisers boycotted the site. Many companies pulled their advertisements for content that was offensive. Many creators were punished for other’s mistakes when YouTube took down many channels in order to stop companies from pulling their advertisements. Pepsi stopped all of their advertisements on YouTube after their ad with Kendall Jenner stopping a riot by handing a police officer a Pepsi. Coca Cola, Disney, Hasbro, and many other brands also pulled their advertisements from YouTube during the adpocalypse. Adpocalypse had three waves. The first wave started in March of 2017 with extremist videos. The second wave started in November 2017 with inappropriate kids’ videos. The third wave is still ongoing and began on February 18, 2019 when someone published content exposing a pedophile ring. Therefore, there were many artists who lacked the funding that they rely on. Dennis McNett uses Instagram to introduce people to his work and encourage them to buy it or attend his exhibitions. However, he also has a website that people can visit to also see more of his work. Therefore, he is not reliant on Instagram. However, he does have a large Instagram following with 42,400 followers and 1,807 posts. Having a large social media presence is important in todays climate. So many people rely on social media to see what is new and considered fashionable. More and more Instagram is becoming the site for these things. Art is a big thing that is popular for people on Instagram to be looking at. Therefore, artists who have an Instagram are more likely to be seen.

            Along with his social media presence, Dennis McNett has also been a guest lecturer and artists at many colleges and universities. This is another way that he can get his name out there. His studio has very few employees. There are only three employees at Wolfbat studio and McNett is one of those employees. His artwork is very striking and has been featured at many museums and galleries. He has done numerous individual shows as well as doing many group and collaborative shows. He has done exhibitions at Known Gallery (Los Angeles), Jonathan Levine Gallery (New York City), and Collectors Room (Berlin, Germany).

            Dennis McNett does not widely disrupt traditional sources with his social media and internet presence. He continues to use traditional sources to promote his artwork and make money. He continues to do art shows in physical places. He did more than three physical art shows in 2018 alone. He also continues to use traditional materials in his art. He uses wood blocks to carve his designs. He also uses many other materials in his other pieces. Therefore, while Dennis McNett has a large internet presence and draws people in through the internet, his use does not present a major threat to the traditional sources of artwork and supplies.

Bibliography

“CV — Wolfbat Studios.” Wolfbat Studios. Accessed April 23, 2019. http://wolfbat.com/pagecv.

“Deluxe Distribution.” Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Last modified August 4, 2005. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deluxe_Distribution#Anti_Hero_Skateboards.

“Dennis McNett (@wolfbat) ? Instagram Photos and Videos.” Instagram. Accessed April 23, 2019. https://www.instagram.com/wolfbat/?hl=en.

“Vans Hosts Hallo-Wolfbat: A Visual Conjuring by Artist Dennis McNett at House of Vans.” Vans USA – English. Accessed April 23, 2019. https://www.vans.com/article_detail/hov-presents-hallowolfbat.html.

“YouTube Adpocalypse.” Wikitubia. Accessed April 23, 2019. https://youtube.fandom.com/wiki/YouTube_Adpocalypse.

1 Comment found on this post

    Maddie Shiflett

    I was not familiar with adpocalypse before reading your final project. I think it is interesting that the art community online has been impacted differently by changes to social media platforms and scandals such as that. While McNett is a social media influencer, his content is much different than what comes to mind with the way that term is normally used. It was interesting to read about how an artist uses social media in comparison to influencers that post things like vlogs, beauty videos, etc.

    Reply

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