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Joke’s Over? Lokie Jokie Unmasked

Lokie Jokie, known widely online as simply LokieJokie (combined), rose to popularity through online social networks during the mid-2010’s, taking an unofficial but widely accepted and recognised mantel as the alternative-culture voice for underground underrepresented youth. His work often combines dark imagery with elegant portraiture, social commentary, and anti-establishment movements. ‘Jokie has consistent themes of women’s rights (he appears to be a strong supporter) as well as rights for animals (specifically, dogs and cats), throughout his work. His piece titled ‘Hollycaine’, an oil painting depicting the Oscars statue snorting cocaine off what appears to be Hollywood Boulevard and a child in the background being swamped by demons in suits, received significant backlash from media outlets when it was released online in March 2020 on his official Instagram page, to the point where it was removed from Instagram. Critics of the artist reported the post for violation of Instagram’s user policies as it portrayed what could well be perceived as a young girl being lured for abuse, combined with imagery of illicit drugs.

Alongside his massive online following, Lokie Jokie has simultaneously built a reputation as a disruptor of the modern niche-creative landscape. Instead of selling his pieces, he often distributes them at no charge either through crypto asset backed NFT’s (non-fungible tokens) to his followers, or through public offerings. He has been known to sporadically show his work on the streets of Paris and Los Angeles, open to the public to view or even take home, for themselves, at no expense. This goes against the mainstream status-quo where NFT’s are often sold for significant profits and galleries are ever-increasing the cost of entry, let alone for works sold within them.

Further still, ‘Jokie occasionally hijacks what he deems to be “ostentatious and outrageous” art or film exhibitions of other artists or directors. According to the eccentric artist “(they) are selling you dirt for your hard-earned cash”, or, as he eloquently wrote on his Instagram in November 2021 regarding Netflix’s Trump: An American Dream documentary, “rubbish that skirts around the inherent problem of the abuse of women under a tyrant”. He is certainly not shy expressing his beliefs, no matter who they may upset (and for all his supporters, there remains a faction of anti-Lokie’s, who claim the artist is a menace and bad news).

The one constant factor that both sides agree on is his identity. Nobody truly knows who Lokie Jokie is, where he is from, or what he looks like. Well, at least that was the case.

From January 2021 his official Instagram page began posting images of an unknown man, which continued throughout 2021 and into the first half of 2022, infrequently. The posts were never credited but the images were all clearly of the same person. In February 2022, however, Lokie Jokie posted an image titled ‘Self-Portrait’, which appears to be an image that matches like for like all the previously posted images of the unknown man. This is by far the strongest piece of evidence yet that supports, perhaps, that the identify of the internet’s most notorious underground artist may finally be revealed. Of course, Lokie Jokie has not commented when we reached out for confirmation or comment. It should also be noted that critics claim that this is a rouse by the artist, designed to lead astray followers and critics alike, and continue hide his true identity – essentially, a claim that the artist is setting up onlookers to fall for a false breadcrumb trail.

If we dig further still, and we compare the intermittent images of this unknown male to the self-portrait to other posts sporadically made by Lokie Jokie, showing a man’s body in various positions, including in clothing, we can gather the following: The skin tones across all images match, and show that of a moderately tanned individual. We can see that the individual is clearly a man, and clearly between the ages of 20 and 30 years. Based on the environments he is in, in the images, we see a strong consistency between locations: Paris, France, and Adelaide, South Australia. There have been occasional images that show Los Angeles, California, but the majority seem to be coming out of either Paris or Adelaide. Prior to this, fan theories have suggested for years that Lokie Jokie is either French or Australian, or perhaps a mix of both.

Short of Lokie Jokie himself coming out and confirming his identity (and real name), we at the Times and Tribune, consider this one (almost) case closed. The evidence at hand is too consistent and without much in the way of alternative evidence to disprove any of the above findings, we have no reason to believe otherwise. At the very least, we are sure of his frequented locations, an approximate age range, and skin tone. At best, we know his face.

Will the real Lokie Jokie please stand up? Perhaps he already is.

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