Behind the pseudonym Hackatao there is the couple of Italian artists composed by Nadia Squarci (Udine, 1977) and Sergio Scalet (Transacqua, 1973). The word Hackatao puts together the two different words: “hacker” and “tao”. The first is the ability to go further the limits with genius and creativity in order to achieve a goal; the second refers to the union of two elements that can generate a life flow.
The duo was born in Milan in 2007, working together on the creation of Podmork, sculptures with soft and totemic shapes, the focus of their artistic research. During the first years of their activity in Milan, Hackatao joined the artistic ferment of the city and the emergence of new movements. In 2011 they change direction and decide to move to Oltris, a small medieval hamlet nestled in the Carnic Alps. Detaching themselves from the hectic city life, they break free from the "flow", but at the same time allowing them to actively participate in it more consciously yet immune to its too-quick flowing. Thusly their art focuses on new, yet natural, support materials, such as wood and ceramics, making them live again, contaminated by their imagination.
Their pop surrealist style recalls both artists such as Andy Warhol and Takashi Murakami and elements of popular culture such as manga. Media and network culture are also part Hackatao's works, and the duo joined the first experiments that closely related art and technology.
2018 marks Hackatao's digital turn. The two artists, who had already been interested in the relationship between art and new technologies, embraced the nascent Crypto Art and began to create 100% digital works linked to blockchain technology in the form of NFTs (non-fungible tokens).
An NFT is a virtual token, a set of information that through the blockchain certifies the uniqueness of the work and its owner. The work, as a digital image (video, gif, etc..) is infinitely reproducible, but the NFT is incorruptible thanks to the blockchain technology on which it is based and provides a sort of identity card of the work. By certifying the essence and the owner, the NFT gives value to a type of digital art that even if reproducible is now certifiable as unique.
Hackatao are considered pioneers in the field of Crypto Art, anticipating a phenomenon that would explode only three years later with the Christie's auction sale of Everydays: the First 5000 Days for more than $60 million. The collage of 5,000 digital images by crypto artist BEEPLE became the third most expensive artwork by a living artist to sell at auction ever, marking the success of this new artistic movement.