Kiwi artist Daniel McKay lights up the Eiffel Tower and Times Square

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AUCKLAND, Monday: Toybox production designer Daniel McKay is going international with his digital artwork projected across Paris and New York City — including the famous Times Square billboard.

McKay’s looping art has been picked up by Artcrush Gallery, a team of digital art curators exhibiting the world’s best-known NFT artists. The exhibition kicked off its world tour last week and will see work displayed in 10 major cities across 100,000 digital billboards – next up Milan, Tokyo and London.

This recent surge in publicity culminated in McKay auctioning off a piece of digital art at Sotherby’s Paris.

McKay, who goes by the pseudonym ‘mobotato’, has been creating digital art for the past 20 years but it’s only in the last two years that he’s developed these character-driven, robotic loops.

His ever-growing body of work now includes over 60 animated characters and over 200 still characters.

“I’ve always been fascinated by mechanics and robotics, and an (albeit strange) interest in pipes, cables and alleyways.”

“I’m inspired by retro design, which I think comes from being a child of the 80s. I like to weave in pop culture references that I grew up with — these little personal touches that may or may not be recognised by the viewer,” he says.

“I’ve always been fascinated by mechanics and robotics, and an (albeit strange) interest in pipes, cables and alleyways.

“I had this idea of little robots living in a fictitious little world that have an almost vinyl toy-like feel and that tell quick little stories in the space of 6-10 seconds. They allowed me to combine all my favourite things, as well as using my 3D and 2D motion graphics skillset.’’

McKay has enjoyed successes across a decade at animation/post studio Toybox, an Animation and Post Studio in Auckland, where he the firm.

His credits include production designer for the hit YouTube Originals animated series Sherwood, lead designer for Tāmaki Herenga Waka Stories of Auckland projection installation at Auckland War Memorial Museum, as well as being lead artist on a number of local and international commercials.

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