Last month I, along with a group of crypto artists, began our mutual participation in the Artvatars project; a pursuit dreamed up a year ago by “MantaXR”, one of the well respected patrons of the “NFT” (Non Fungible Token) crypto art space. My involvement began at the request of Manta, who is also a collector and supporter of my work, both digital and physical.
Simply put, the project aims to use the artworks of over 60 NFT artists, and randomly splice them together into unique single edition collectible artworks. Editions are generated upon purchase–so, much like a fortune cookie, part of the enjoyment is the surprise. Like a needle in that haystack is also the possibility to receive a single edition of the whole and original submission from each artist; which will represent a truly rare find for the collector.
The template artists based their works on was an extremely precise set of measurements defining a front facing portrait, with “wearables” such as glasses, hair, or a hat. Though not my typical foray into art making, I found the adaptation of my process into the demands of the framework to be an interesting challenge, particularly within a short window.
As an artist, all of my works begin as physical works, and usually oil paintings. As an NFT artist, select imagery is adapted into animation or minted as a digital edition on a blockchain. In most cases this means I work slow and methodically, often taking months or sometimes the better part of a year to release a work. In this case, the working space was within weeks, and reminded me quite a bit of the time crunch I’d face in Grad School.
To better illustrate what this looks like, here is one of the “faces” that I submitted:
And here is an example of part of my face (the mouth and chin), spliced with other artists’ submissions:
The unique mathematical combinations are nigh infinite. A total of up to 20,000 unique NFT’s will be generated. As no doubt you may be aware, the prices in the NFT space are in a highly speculative bubble. The Artvatars hope to address this by offering the rare collectible NFT art experience–but at a price accessible to a much larger range of interested NFT collectors.
For a more complete dive into this project, and the context of art in the NFT space, you can begin by checking out the official Artvatars website. In addition, you can listen to a podcast interview on Spotify with MantaXR, in his own words, and read a short Medium article which elucidates some of the concepts and underpinnings of the upcoming release.