Joelle McTigue

Artist exploring power dynamics and influences of identity in public spaces.
Work in the Rubell Family & NFT.NYC Collections. 

Initially inspired by Eames’ Power of Ten film, Joelle McTigue’s practice evolved after learning about Ottoman traveler Evliya Çelebi (1611–1682) and Seyâhatnâme, an Arab literary tradition that intertwines legends and folklore in travelogues. Evliya’s writing pushed McTigue to contemplate how history is as accurate as anything touched by humans.

History is neither finite nor tangible, aside from quantifiable markers, a writer crafts a narrative based on select resources with an endgame. Chosen morsels pass through the viewpoint of the communicator leading to fractures and reflections within records.

McTigue’s art examines how power dynamics and influences of identity flatten, amplify, and distort history. As an interdisciplinary artist, she manipulates work that leaves documentative remnants to encourage discourse on the subject. The most thrilling aspect of the process for her is finding the fractures and threads of power and identity at various junctures. The texts accompanying the artwork are the viewpoint of an outsider whose accuracy is fallible.

The Mediterranean Botanicals Collection: Bay of Kotor

Genesis Drop Minted on Nifty’s

The Mediterranean Botanicals Collection: Bay of Kotor collection are manually-manipulated botanical photographs taken by McTigue within Montenegro’s Bay of Kotor. The work emulates stained glass to celebrate these roots of identity and nature through the contemporary window of technology.

Shown in 2022: NFTBerlin, Miami NFT Con, and Utopian Dystopia Kochi

2022: Featured Artist on Niftys.com

Bay of Kotor, Montenegro.
Photograph: Joelle McTigue, 2016.

Bay of Kotor, Montenegro.

Over centuries, mariners returned to the Mediterranean with seeds and plantlings. In The Mediterranean Botanicals Collection: Bay of Kotor, I examine how the pursuit of empires, trade, legacy, medicine, religion, and aesthetics forged the coastal landscape of the UNESCO protected site.

The bay’s naval fleet peaked at 300 ships to protect its prominent salt trade in the Middle Ages. But, its mariner history potentially traces back to the Balkan Bronze Age. Over millennia, great European empires (Roman, Ottoman, Venetian, Napoleon, Russian, and Austro-Hungarian) owned a piece of the Bay of Kotor for strategic and merchant gain.

Today the Bay of Kotor strives for architectural revitalization and preservation while maintaining its wild beauty and traditions. Venice, Italy, continues to finance the restoration of Kotor’s Venetian structures. Retired naval facilities around the bay have converted into five-star resorts and marinas welcoming mega yachts. Every year at sunset on July 22nd, sailors arrive for the custom known as fašinada, throwing rocks in the sea near Our Lady of the Rocks, a sailor-formed island near Pearst.

The pursuit of empires, trade, legacy, medicine, religion, and aesthetics have forged the coastal landscape of the UNESCO-protected site.

Crimson Bottlebrush, Origin Australia Photograph Bay of Kotor Montenegro 2021 Joelle McTigue - Capture
Marvel of Peru, Origin Debated. Photograph Bay of Kotor, Montenegro, 2021
Bengal Rose, Origin China. Photograph Bay of Kotor, Montenegro, 2021
Chimney Bellflower, Origin Southeastern Europe. Photograph Bay of Kotor, Montenegro, 2021
Myrtle-leaf Milkwort, Origin South Africa. Photograph Bay of Kotor, Montenegro, 2019
Coconut Palm, Origin Brazil and Mimosa, Origin Australia. Photograph Bay of Kotor, Montenegro, 2021
Crimson Bottlebrush, Origin Australia Photograph Bay of Kotor Montenegro 2021 Joelle McTigue - Capture
Crimson Bottlebrush, Origin Australia Photograph Bay of Kotor Montenegro 2021

Crimson Bottlebrush originated near Botany Bay in southeastern Australia, where seasonal change affects the ecosystem like Kotor. The ancient walled city of Kotor sits at the innermost point of the bay, shaded by two steep and rugged mountains that create a biosphere for extreme weather. The city recommends planting the naturalized shrub because it thrives in the hot summers and fends off frost in the winter while producing its own natural herbicide.

NFT: Genesis Drop Minted on Niftys.com
Edition: 1
File: MP4 16:9
$2500

Marvel of Peru, Origin Debated. Photograph Bay of Kotor, Montenegro, 2021
Marvel of Peru, Origin Debated. Photograph Bay of Kotor, Montenegro, 2021

Binomial: Mirabilis jalapa. Mirabilis [Latin] means wonderful, admirable, or marvelous. However, the use of "jalapa" in the binomial has been a point of debate among botanists for over 300 years. Irrespective of its discoursed nomenclature, the Marvel of Peru denotes a period of prosperity as it was a popular landscaping complement to brutalist architecture in mid-twentieth century Yugoslavia.

NFT: Genesis Drop Minted on Niftys.com
Edition: 1
File: PNG 7680 x 4320 pixels, 300 dpi
$1500

Bengal Rose, Origin China. Photograph Bay of Kotor, Montenegro, 2021
Bengal Rose, Origin China. Photograph Bay of Kotor, Montenegro, 2021

Boka sailors brought home roses from the Bay of Bengal, China, for their personal gardens as fragrant privacy hedges during the rule of Venetian and Ottoman empires. To protect itself from the intense Mediterranean sun, the plant develops a purple pigment that acts as a sunscreen.

NFT: Genesis Drop Minted on Niftys.com
Edition: 3
File: PNG 7680 x 4320 pixels, 300 dpi
$500

Chimney Bellflower, Origin Southeastern Europe. Photograph Bay of Kotor, Montenegro, 2021
Chimney Bellflower, Origin Southeastern Europe. Photograph Bay of Kotor, Montenegro, 2021

The Chimney Bellflower is an Adriatic/ Illyrian native species from ancient times. In Lipci (near Risan), academics debate the intention and specific era (Balkan Bronze Age c. 1800 BC or the Balkan Iron Age 1100 BC – 150 AD) of rock paintings that depict lines and curves. Some scholars believe the drawings represent sailing ships and maps of the Bay of Kotor. The illustrations are the oldest depictions of Adriatic sailing and nautical maps in human history, if they are correct.

NFT: Genesis Drop Minted on Niftys.com
Edition: 3
File: PNG 7680 x 4320 pixels, 300 dpi
$500

Myrtle-leaf Milkwort, Origin South Africa. Photograph Bay of Kotor, Montenegro, 2019
Myrtle-leaf Milkwort, Origin South Africa. Photograph Bay of Kotor, Montenegro, 2019

Montenegro promotes its wild beauty. Municipalities set mandates of authorized plants for contemporary landscaping to maintain the ecosystems. Myrtle-leaf Milkwort arrived from South Africa but has since naturalized in the Bay of Kotor, making it an approved landscaping plant available at flower markets.

NFT: Genesis Drop Minted on Niftys.com
Edition: 10
File: PNG 7680 x 4320 pixels, 300 dpi
$200

Coconut Palm, Origin Brazil and Mimosa, Origin Australia. Photograph Bay of Kotor, Montenegro, 2021
Coconut Palm, Origin Brazil and Mimosa, Origin Australia. Photograph Bay of Kotor, Montenegro, 2021

The Brazilian Coconut Palm tree's first known transport to Europe from southern Brazil was in the 18th century. Seemingly out of place in the Mediterranean, the tree was nursed as an alternative fuel source in Yugoslavia. Instead, however, it became a statement of wealth in mansion gardens along the coast.

Naturalized around the bay from Australia, Herceg Novi, the city of sun, flowers, and stairs, celebrates the anticipation of Spring with the month-long Mimosa Festival because the flower blooms in February.

NFT: Genesis Drop Minted on Niftys.com
Edition: 20
File: PNG 7680 x 4320 pixels, 300 dpi
$125

Crimson Bottlebrush, Origin Australia Photograph Bay of Kotor Montenegro 2021 Joelle McTigue - Capture
Marvel of Peru, Origin Debated. Photograph Bay of Kotor, Montenegro, 2021
Bengal Rose, Origin China. Photograph Bay of Kotor, Montenegro, 2021
Chimney Bellflower, Origin Southeastern Europe. Photograph Bay of Kotor, Montenegro, 2021
Myrtle-leaf Milkwort, Origin South Africa. Photograph Bay of Kotor, Montenegro, 2019
Coconut Palm, Origin Brazil and Mimosa, Origin Australia. Photograph Bay of Kotor, Montenegro, 2021
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Submarine Tunnel. Lustica Peninsula, Montenegro.

Minted on NFT NYC & 1stDibs

Joelle McTigue examines the creation of the submarine tunnel built by the Yugoslavian military and how it represents a desire for change. A militarized space constructed for sovereignty and security was repurposed as a public space for pragmatic and leisurely pursuits.

“Submarine Tunnel: Tourist Boat. Photograph Lustica Peninsula, Montenegro, 2018.” in NFT.NYC Collection

2022: Featured Creator on 1stDibs.com and NFT.NYC in Times Square

Play Video about play a video of a submarine tunnel

Tourist video of a submarine tunnel in the Lustica Peninsula, Montenegro.

Lustica Peninsula, Montenegro.

The lush, steep coast of the Lustica Peninsula dives into the Adriatic Sea on the south side and the Bay of Kotor on the north. The eight-mile (13 km) long peninsula forms half of the bay’s opening.

Lustica’s long history served two primary purposes: agriculture and fortification. Near the mouth of the bay, hidden amongst the trees, resides a decommissioned submarine tunnel bored 328 feet (100 meters) into the stone by the Yugoslavian military.

Since Montenegro gained independence in 2006, it has strived to make its mark in upmarket tourism. The country retired several military installations and sold them for touristic endeavors, including luxury residences and resorts. Around the bend from the decommissioned submarine tunnel photographed in 2018, plans for the Ritz-Carlton Montenegro are underway.

Submarine Tunnel: Bow. Photograph Lustica Peninsula, Montenegro, 2018.
Submarine Tunnel: Entrance. Photograph Lustica Peninsula, Montenegro, 2018.
Submarine Tunnel: Aft Starboard. Photograph Lustica Peninsula, Montenegro, 2018.
Submarine Tunnel: Mid-Starboard. Photograph Lustica Peninsula, Montenegro, 2018.
Submarine Tunnel: Tourist Boat. Photograph Lustica Peninsula, Montenegro, 2018.
Submarine Tunnel: Bow. Photograph Lustica Peninsula, Montenegro, 2018.
Submarine Tunnel: Bow. Photograph Lustica Peninsula, Montenegro, 2018.

As a storm brews off in the distance, the tourist boat gains speed towards the decommissioned submarine tunnel's entrance. The soft sunlight refracts into the water, cascading deep green jewel tones that emphasize the boat's wake.

NFT: Minted on 1stdibs.com
Edition: 1
File: PNG 7680 x 4320 pixels, 300 dpi
Auction Reserve: 2ETH

Submarine Tunnel: Entrance. Photograph Lustica Peninsula, Montenegro, 2018.
Submarine Tunnel: Entrance. Photograph Lustica Peninsula, Montenegro, 2018.

Concrete layers cast onto the hillside loom over the tourist boat at the entrance of the decommissioned submarine tunnel. An overhang protects bubbly-font graffiti from the rusting pattern on its face.

NFT: Minted on 1stdibs.com
Edition: 1
File: PNG 7680 x 4320 pixels, 300 dpi
Auction Reserve: 2ETH

Submarine Tunnel: Aft Starboard. Photograph Lustica Peninsula, Montenegro, 2018.
Submarine Tunnel: Aft Starboard. Photograph Lustica Peninsula, Montenegro, 2018.

The afternoon sun reflects off the back wall of the decommissioned submarine tunnel illuminating it in a soft vignette. The light bathes the concrete dock in pastel pink hues that tint the darkened water near its edge.

NFT: Minted on 1stdibs.com
Edition: 1
File: PNG 7680 x 4320 pixels, 300 dpi
Auction Reserve: 2ETH

Submarine Tunnel: Mid-Starboard. Photograph Lustica Peninsula, Montenegro, 2018.
Submarine Tunnel: Mid-Starboard. Photograph Lustica Peninsula, Montenegro, 2018.

Kayaks enter the decommissioned submarine tunnel. The concrete dock's reflection ripples from the gentle wake that accentuates the natural jewel tones of the Bay of Kotor.

NFT: Minted on 1stdibs.com
Edition: 1
File: PNG 7680 x 4320 pixels, 300 dpi
Auction Reserve: 2ETH

Submarine Tunnel: Tourist Boat. Photograph Lustica Peninsula, Montenegro, 2018.
Submarine Tunnel: Tourist Boat. Photograph Lustica Peninsula, Montenegro, 2018.

The sun sparkles off the water and supplies natural light into the decommissioned submarine tunnel. Small tour boats navigate around kayaks and divers to dock alongside the concrete walkway.

NFT: Minted on NTF NYC Art Collection
Edition: 10
File: MP4
1ETH

Submarine Tunnel: Bow. Photograph Lustica Peninsula, Montenegro, 2018.
Submarine Tunnel: Entrance. Photograph Lustica Peninsula, Montenegro, 2018.
Submarine Tunnel: Aft Starboard. Photograph Lustica Peninsula, Montenegro, 2018.
Submarine Tunnel: Mid-Starboard. Photograph Lustica Peninsula, Montenegro, 2018.
Submarine Tunnel: Tourist Boat. Photograph Lustica Peninsula, Montenegro, 2018.
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Less Subtle LA

Minted on Kalart

In Less Subtle LA, Joelle McTigue manually manipulates her street photography into stained glass to accentuate Los Angeles’ glorification of fact, fiction, and fantasy in its communal narrative.

2022: Featured during Paris Blockchain Week

Los Angeles, California, USA.
Photograph: Joelle McTigue, 2016.

Los Angeles, California, USA

From orange groves and oil fields, Los Angeles’ metamorphosis over a century used its wealth to import influences into its public spaces. The entertainment industry, local politics, journalism, public relations, and real estate developments contributed to shaping a metropolis full of distinct neighborhoods. The city’s architectural follies, fame, façades, and fallacies uphold its mythical city of hopes and dreams, where inhabitants use location to define and refine their identity.

Skyscraper Pool. Photograph Los Angeles, California, 2015.
Los Angeles Theatre. Photograph Los Angeles, California, 2015.
Restaurant on Montana Avenue. Photograph Santa Monica, California, 2015.
Skyscraper Pool. Photograph Los Angeles, California, 2015.
Skyscraper Pool. Photograph Los Angeles, California, 2015.

The skyscraper was the tallest downtown residential building in 2010. During a revitalization period, the city's creative class sought residences that had a luxurious, fun, and healthy lifestyle. A few residents gathered by the pool to enjoy the warm night after Elle King finished her private performance of her latest album, Love Stuff.

NFT: Minted on kalart.utip.io
Edition: 1
File: PNG 4320 x 4320 pixels, 300 dpi
$750

Los Angeles Theatre. Photograph Los Angeles, California, 2015.
Los Angeles Theatre. Photograph Los Angeles, California, 2015.

Broadway's last movie palace, the Los Angeles Theatre, opened in 1931. Architect S. Charles Lee designed as if "Louis XVI were his client" and reimagined the Palace of Versailles' Hall of Mirrors. The focus of the grand staircase is a marble and crystal fountain decorated with gold leaf, walnut paneling, and crystal chandeliers.

NFT: Minted on kalart.utip.io
Edition: 1
File: PNG 4320 x 4320 pixels, 300 dpi
$750

Restaurant on Montana Avenue. Photograph Santa Monica, California, 2015.
Restaurant on Montana Avenue. Photograph Santa Monica, California, 2015.

For over 60 years, Montana Avenue’s commercial stretch was quaint. In true LA fashion, the street's rise in popularity became tense and territorial between residents and business owners. In a 2000 newspaper article, a retail leasing agent retorted on the tension, "They want to have their creme brulee and eat it too.”

NFT: Minted on kalart.utip.io
Edition: 1
File: PNG 4320 x 4320 pixels, 300 dpi
$750

Skyscraper Pool. Photograph Los Angeles, California, 2015.
Los Angeles Theatre. Photograph Los Angeles, California, 2015.
Restaurant on Montana Avenue. Photograph Santa Monica, California, 2015.
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Control & Cooperation

Six 1/1 Prints in Collection

In the series Control and Cooperation, Joelle McTigue examines the rituals of gardening and the creation of public spaces that represent how a community wants to be viewed. The work responds to the history of each public space and how it embodies the power dynamics of practical, leisurely, and spiritual pursuits. Restructuring the landscapes, McTigue transforms close-up snapshots into aerial botanical gardens. Control and Cooperation addresses the constant movement of how perception can change.

Shown in 2019: Art on Paper during Armory Week