Who Is Mad Dog Jones?

Micah Dowbak, aka Mad Dog Jones courtesy of Philips

Discover who is Mad Dog Jones and explore examples of his best NFT artworks to date.

Mad Dog Jones, AKA Micah Dowbak, is a Canadian musician and wildly popular visual NFT artist hailing from Thunder Bay in Ontario, Canada. Mad Dog’s graphic NFT art expresses a unique visual style. Moreover, he also wields smart contract technology to exercise the vast capabilities of the medium to create works of art with features only possible on the blockchain. 

The burgeoning non-fungible token market made him world-famous after his offering, REPLICATOR an ERC-721 token that lives on the Ethereum blockchain, sold for deep into two comma dollar figures worth of ETH to the fine art world in 2021. That made Micah Dowbak, the man behind the Mad Dog moniker, the most lucrative artist in Canadian history.

What made REPLICATOR valuable in the fine art market, and so beloved by fans of cryptocurrency, is how it employs the programmable blockchain technology available to users of Ethereum to create a blockchain masterpiece.

Smart contracts— innovated by the Ethereum Foundation development team (led by Vitalik Buterin and Gavin Wood, with a grant from the Peter Thiel Fellowship program in 2014-15)— allow blockchain developers to program digital tokens into specialized applications. 

Today, NFT artists like Mad Dog Jones can give their works definite features and functions that are only possible with lines of digital code. With REPLICATOR, Mad Dog Jones brilliantly showcased the powerful capabilities of how NFTs combines the best of art and technology.

Born in 1986, Canadian Micah Dowbak was a musician before turning his creative focus to visual art and the NFT revolution to push the boundaries of Ethereum and blockchain art. He combines music with the visual arts and draws on metropolitan cyberpunk themes using nature and vibrant neon colors.

5 NFT examples by Mad Dog Jones

1. Time Is An Illusion

Mad Dog Jones pieces are highly characteristic. His unique visual style bursts with all the exuberant colors of a Lisa Frank folder for your 4th-grade social studies homework (ca.1996), and all the rich detail and styling of a Gustav Doré etching (ca. 19th century). This particular eight-second NFT plays on the concept of time passing by as a Metro train floats in the sky.


The REPLICATOR courtesy of Philips

The made-for-television movie, “Pirates of Silicon Valley” (1999) tells the true story of the advent of the graphic user interface (GUI), invented by a team of engineers at Xerox. Of course, by then Xerox had already become eponymous with fax machines. Bitcoin (the precursor to and inspiration for Ethereum) was so innovative because of its sophisticated technique for producing digital artifacts that cannot be copied.

This piece plays on the concept of artificial scarcity. It is a digital illustration of the interior of a high-rise workroom with a nice view overlooking a city block of skyscrapers. It features a telecopy fax machine. And this delightfully quirky NFT is programmed to generate copies of itself every 28 days with variations on the theme. 

Each new iteration reveals another snapshot of the room as time unfolds, and the copy machine’s adventures making copies, getting into jams, and even malfunctioning, leaving a mess of ink (like Rudyard Kipling).

Dowbak said about this NFT, “REPLICATOR is the story of a machine through time. It is a reflection on forms of past groundbreaking innovation and serves as a metaphor for modern technology’s continuum.”

3. Dead Ramen

Exploring the full range of possibilities of the digital medium, Mad Dog Jones collaborated with electronic music artist deadmau5 in February 2021 to release two NFT art collections that featured Mad Dog’s visual work with 30-second soundtracks. 

This piece exemplifies Mad Dog’s lush visual subject matter, always busy with a riot of elements in a dizzying array, frequently combining living and dead or dying organic elements in the same space with 20th-century electronic equipment.

4. Galactic Garbage Day

Galactic Garbage Day
The charm of this Mad Dog Jones piece is its reminiscence of the optical illusion art

In science-fiction lore, it’s standard Imperial Navy procedure to dump any garbage before going to lightspeed. The charm of this Mad Dog Jones piece is its reminiscence of the optical illusion art that became popular in the fine arts during the 1960s when humanity began to finally reach for the sky. 

Though one viewer may perceive a truck in a tightly packed cityscape, another may see an interior view of a space station, a viewport in the background, and a crowded foreground of terrestrial souvenirs to remind the residents of the home.

5. No Save Point

In this NFT, Mad Dog Jones collaborates with Tim Saccenti. The intensity and violence of the foreground subjects, two men brandishing firearms in a richly detailed urban environment, appear to draw comments from the artists in that the wheels of their car are spinning. 

That suggests to viewers that violence doesn’t move humanity forward. A CCTV camera, inconspicuously placed above the foreground and slightly to the right, watches stoically.