Twisted Vacancy

Twisted Vacancy (Crypto Artist ) is a Digital Artist in Indonesia, he is known for sharing his thoughts through illustration & motion graphic with complex objects and surrealistic approach.[1]

Early Life

Twisted Vacancy born was born in Indonesia. There’s no information on his parents or whether he has any siblings or not.[2]

At a young age, he was diagnosed with D.I.D., Dissociative identity disorder (previously known as multiple personality disorder) and he began creating art as therapy and a way of escape for him. He talked about his disorder in an interview, he stated that,

“D.I.D is mental disorder characterized by at least two (or more) distinctive personality state. the beautiful things about it is it’s also some sort of defense mechanism that the human brain has. it’s been my 10th year i guess and for the early years it was total chaos, the symptoms are really clear; the time skip, sudden behavior change, etc like I’m just different person, having grasp of reality is the hardest thing to do, and I’m always confused most of the time. and how does it affect my art is just like I mentioned before, i perceive and process things in bizarre circumstances, I feel objects that popped up in my head, and I speak through colours to represent every feeling in those thinking patterns. Life is already weird enough, I’ve been through drastic ups and downs few times that I believe even without this thing inside, it still quite challenging. But I don’t romanticize things, things happened, and all you need to do is walk the extra miles. I always want to die as much as i want to live, and it’s always happening in my mind, but don’t get me wrong, this is not sad story. It’s part of me, it is revolving inside me, and it’s me, so i must accept it in every way, get used to it, working twice harder to get everything straight. saying to myself everyday “hold it just for one more day boy” and Voila, i got 10 years extra life since day 1. because i also realize that even living with this disadvantage is not a reason to stop. like i said before “life is already weird enough” and we’re all equally ill somehow. ”

He wasn’t always talented at drawing, he stated in an interview that he learned how to draw from a friend of his.

”Actually she’s a friend of mine. She’s one of the famous illustrators in the country. I actually started working in her company before. Back then I can’t really draw. During lunch break, I asked her ‘sorry, can you teach me how to draw?’ ….Basically that’s how I learnt how to draw during lunch break.”

He also said the reason why he got into art, he said,

“As a person, i always have complicated thoughts going on my head, roller coaster ride of intense feelings or even contradictive perception towards particular thing that happened simultaneously. It’s more than enough to give me an anxiety attack at any moment in a day. Well, from all those things its quite hard to cope with daily life due to many factors; how to maintain focus, controlling emotions, keep everything real and the worst : juggling between prejudices. Yup, in reality people tend to value someone based on his functionality. in my case if I’m not functioning properly due to invisible battles inside, then I’m totally done. Medicines helps but it doesn’t feel right, it makes you control things better but degenerating yourself as human somehow. I can’t explain it why but it feels that way to me. So that’s where i get into art. To me art is like sanctuary for all my complicated feelings that i can’t speak about. I draw, write, make songs, using any media that i can find to calm myself when I need it. And It’s true that art is an aesthetic form of expressions of one’s mind, there’s so much anger, hatred, happiness, sadness and confusion that you can put into an art, it speaks with variation of bias that articulate even the strangest things that happened in one’s mind. and the best part about art is, no matter how dark the art you produce, people still have higher tolerance to accept and appreciate it. well it means they accept you, your feelings and your restlessness at some point. so yea, art help me to live a life.”

Personal Life

Twisted Vacancy also goes by the name M. He currently resides in Jakarta, Indonesia. There’s no information on whether he is in a relationship or not.

His inspirations comes from,

“I always loved poster art, I also got my early artistic inspirations from many LowBrow art. other than that I really loves Japanese artists such as Tadanori Yokoo, Hirohiko Araki, Yusuke Nakamura and Kazuma Kaneko.”[3]


He has a high school diploma from a high school in Indonesia.

He stated that,

“Sadly my last formal education is high school, and the reason is simple; I can’t afford college that time. but thanks to the internet I got plenty of books to read and gain some knowledge so I can work for several years as business developer for startups in tech and creative industry.”[4]


He started his career working as a business developer for startups in tech and creative industry. Eventually he went on to become a freelance artist, he has been an artist for more than six years.

He said that his artist name came about from due to his disorder and what he experiences as a form of conversation in his head.

He stated in an interview his process of his creation, he said

“I rarely sketch everything since i don’t really concept illustrations I’ve created so far. for the start I just perceive things, capture feelings I got and start to put everything on the run. I let my mind go astray on the process and catch as many things I can in my illustrations. then I apply colours to represent the feelings that I got when I think about the objects. every object in my illustrations sometimes feels illogical, have no meaning or correlation to each other for other people, but it’s there from how I process things of my mind, there’s bizarre thinking pattern on the process that lead me to those objects ad I’m appreciating that.”[5][6]

According to Twisted Vacancy or M, Twisted Vacancy is an online persona he is building on the blockchain ecosystem. He is the brain behind the persona.

“At first, Twisted Vacancy [existed] when NFT first branched out to the creative industry. Some say that an artwork can live on blockchain forever. Blockchain can store data forever.”

His works are heavily influenced by the 1980’s Japanese artists and 1990’s culture, he represents many perspectives on life, pop-culture, and esotericism through allegories of South East Asian culture. Talking about his works, he said,

“There’s a path I want to pave, vision I want to bridge from people to their other side of perspectives about particular thing. also, to experience how to see things with different personality state. How art can distort one’s reality is a good point to start and through complexity of objects I try to trigger memories as much as I can since we’re all came from different places and experiences. the contrast between colours and theme hopefully can articulate those memories into new thinking pattern that lead one’s mind to different kind of personality state.”

The next step for Twisted Vacancy is expanding to 3D work. Hiring an Illustrator or Designer is in his agenda when being asked about the possibility of extending the team.

“Our goal is to not just be a 2D artist. We want to be artists who could live on the internet.”

He has showcased his works on Traditional Art Market as well on Crypto Art scene. While still working closely with Brands and actively involved in projects for Creative & Licensing Industry.

Twisted Vacancy, NFTs and CryptoArt

Twisted Vacancy’s artwork is sold on various platforms, such as , Known Origins, , Nifty Gateway and . One of the bids on the artwork came for more than $46,000. He has also recently dropped merchandises like T-shirts and hoodies.
He has tokenized 12 single-edition artworks. So far 11 of them have sold to collectors for an average price of more than 4.5 ETH (around $765), with 5 of them selling for more than $1,000 USD.

After the 2010 computer he’s been animating his works on recently met its end, Twisted announced he’s selling his latest piece “Circus of The Cyber Hell” to raise the funds he needs to get a new machine.

He’s set the list price at 7.21 ETH which will go straight to buying a new machine so he can keep making artworks for the many collectors lining up to own a Twisted.

The highest current bid on “Circus of The Cyber Hell” is at 4 ETH from collector Whaleshark.

Stolen Art Scandal

In March 2021, The Finery Report published an article reporting that Twisted Vacancy had been plagiarizing the work of an Indonesian illustrator, Kendra Ahimsa (who goes by the name Ardneks).

According to The Finery Report’s investigation, Twisted Vacancy is not one artist but a team of 28 software engineers that outsources all of the elements of their images from the internet. The original artist, Ardnek, posted on Instagram, sharing the experience of watching his work and identity being taken away from him, comparing it to losing a child. He stressed that money was not the issue but rather the lack of integrity and respect.[7]

Any quick comparison will show you that Twisted Vacancy undoubtedly plagiarized and stole the artistic style of Ardneks. From the 18th-century Japanese woodblock print-inspired illustrations to the use of Japanese iconography and symbolism, the similarities are far from “coincidental.” The copy and paste commands were clearly employed.

Twisted Vacancy spoke up on the matter, he said

“Our workflow is actually we work using asset banks. Everything is outlined. There are contributors. There is no fixed contributor or role in our organisation structure because it is a decentralised system,” said M.

The artwork they produce is a collection of assets they store in their asset banks produced with collages technique.

“It’s similar to collages, but technically, collages have plenty of elements that cannot be duplicated by others. We use outline, not shading because it’s easier to create artwork. As for colour, we have our own process too. There is never a Twisted Vacancy colour [scheme]. It is the master swatch from our files. We have several different tones of red colour, different tones of blue.”

Interestingly, none of the team members behind Twisted Vacancy comes from art backgrounds.

“Basically [we are] tech guys who understand software. [They] Can design because [they] can use Photoshop, not because they are illustrators or artists,” said M.

About the stolen art, he said,

“I don’t see how it’s similar. The hair is different, the blue is different. How to explain that our identity will not be mistaken for Ardneks’, this is Twisted Vacancy,” said M.”

As for the plagiarism allegation, M said that he doesn’t understand how an artwork is similar or different from one another.

“While I look at some designers that I found - they have different bodies of work, but they give similar vibes,” said M. Some of the artists he mentioned are Toma Vagner and Yuko Shimizu. “This is tricky.”

When it comes to the Copyright Law, M said, “We play with slashing, remixing. When we first developed it, we had dug enough about the Copyright Law itself. That is why we never use an entire artwork as reference for the bank. We put it in the bank, we spread and we break around 10% of the elements. There is an art of appropriation behind collages. Okay, you split 30% but try to compose differently. It falls into the art of appropriation itself.”

The statement is somewhat similar to his statement to Kendra. “He told me that it is not against the Copyright Law as it allows 10%-20% of similarity,” said Kendra.

According to intellectual property lawyer Dani Saraswati, even though Twisted Vacancy doesn’t directly infringe the Copyright Law since he reproduced Kendra’s artwork, taking Kendra’s signature style and created new artwork. However, the new artwork is against Kendra’s moral rights as an artist. Article 5 of the Copyright Law stipulates that the moral right of an artwork will always be attached with the creator permanently.

“We are still evolving. When the issue was addressed, we took care of it seriously. We don’t want to hurt people. When it happened, we took [the assets] down,” said M. “We never use Ardneks’ work. We reproduce with different narratives.”

Prolific collector 888 announced on Twitter that he would burn his Twisted Vacancy pieces if the plagiarism charges are verified by Nifty Gateway and has already removed them from his collection; other collectors have already begun getting rid of their Twisted Vacancy pieces and an interview that Twisted Vacancy did with crypto artist Josephine Bellini has been taken down on YouTube.[8]


Ask Your Grandparents, A Story About War That Shaped and Defined Us by Twisted Vacancy
Speaking about his artwork “ask your grandparents a story about the war which defined us” he gave his intention of the artwork and the other thoughts that you write on the art?

“This thought actually came across my mind in the making process. We live in civilized society and we parade it around to the world proudly. For me it’s really hilarious thing since the fact are even from the early human civilization day there’s always a story about war that bring extinction, changes or lead us to better state and advancement. Every civilization age has its own threshold and “War Game” it is like the big reset button for it. War shaped and defined us that way, Our existence, intriguing egocentrism inside us and it also revolves pretty much around us even now. just little example is maybe one of us try to develop a business right now and implementing principle from Sun Tzu’s Art Of War on the process. War is an Art, dichotomy of war itself is actually serves as fundamentals in our daily life, and that’s how you can see the good side of it. There’s a lot of perspectives and factors around the topic, but I guess it pretty much sums it up. and now you can go ask your grandparents a story about a war they remind the most, and see how it shaped them, how they passed it to your parents as the way they raise them, and how it can correlate with you right now.[9]

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Twisted Vacancy

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Edited On

August 21, 2022


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