27 March, 2023
On March 22nd, the LTArt team was delighted to attend the opening of a new Oxford Street co-working space, Huckletree, for which they partnered with art agency Millecent to feature a cutting-edge exhibition of NFT art. We attended the event to support contemporary artist Gabriella Anouk, with whom we have collaborated for the creation of animated NFTs, which were inspired by her stunning hyper-realist drawings as part of her #SlimeSeries and are currently hosted on the LTArt platform. To mark this exciting occasion, we caught up with Millecent Founder Priscila Dantas and Gabriella just before the opening night to discuss the project and their views on digital art in more detail. Read on for the full interview.
Gabriella, we're really looking forward to seeing your artwork on display throughout Huckletree's offices. Can you tell us a bit more about the works you are exhibiting there?
Gabriella: I will be exhibiting my Slime Series NFTs. This is my first series and it’s one I’m very proud of and excited to share in the Huckletree workspace. In this series, I experiment with slime and how its malleable texture manipulates shapes creating beautiful sculpture-like objects which I then proceed to draw using colouring pencils for hundreds of hours. I’m very drawn to bold colours and strong shapes that pop out against white backgrounds. I’m really looking forward to seeing them up on the Samsung screens in the new Huckletree workspace and for people to enjoy them while working!
Your hyper-realist technique is really impressive! What is the inspiration behind your artworks and what is your artistic process like?
Gabriella: When I started the Slime Series back in 2021, I didn’t know anything about NFTs. I created the series entirely using colouring pencils on paper. Each piece took me between 80 to 200 hours to complete. Upon completion of the series, I started to learn more about the NFT space and was captivated by its digital element. As my drawings are very bold in colour and shape they lent themselves perfectly to be transformed into NFTs. The animation of the slime was a natural digital feature, which I couldn’t resist, and the Slime Series NFTs were born!
What excites you the most about the collaboration with Huckletree?
Gabriella: I’m excited to see my NFTs up on the Samsung screens and for them to be enjoyed by the public as actual pieces of art in this new and exciting world of digital art. I’m also looking forward to seeing all of the other artists’ NFTs featured in the exhibition.
Priscila, we've always found the concept behind Millecent extremely clever and unique. How was it born?
Priscila: Millecent was born from the urge to democratize the art industry and bridge the gap between artists and the world. We facilitate the communication and business of these two different universes. Art should be accessible and seen by everyone, whether that is through digital art, collaboration, public installations or street art. It’s one of the most powerful tools to educate, create communities, elevate businesses and be bold!
Millecent was solely responsible for the curation of the Huckletree exhibition. What is the story you tried to tell through your curation of it?
Priscila: The curation process was very long, mostly because we wanted to bring as many international and diverse artists as possible. We wanted to give space to emerging and established creators worldwide, regardless of whether they’re already immersed in the web3 world or in the process of learning more about it. There’s space for everyone. The exhibition was a mix of different styles and techniques, for example, hyperrealism, cyber art, nature, classic illustration, CGI and photography. We gave total freedom to the artists to showcase what they felt most comfortable with. The exhibition is also a way to create a strong community for our Millecent artists to connect, exchange and even work together in the future.
How did you find the artist selection process and what drew you to Gabriella's works?
Priscila: Gabriella caught our attention due to her unique style, which mixes organic elements, animated fluids and colours in a very powerful and hyperrealistic way. The audience is caught in the performance. The choice of fruit also gives a double meaning which is fun and plays with the audience's imagination.
In terms of looking toward the future of digital art, how do you envision it?
Gabriella: I see it being used as an instrument to communicate with people globally. As technology rapidly advances, so do artists. It’s all very very exciting, and this is just the very beginning.
Priscila: I believe that digital art will continue to evolve just like anything else around us! We, as humans, need to keep moving, changing, creating and reinventing ourselves and that is also reflected in the art world. It gives new kinds of artists and creators the possibility to play and be bold, to innovate and break down boundaries. I’ve always been a huge fan of street art and paintings, for example, and these mediums will remain, but it doesn’t stop us from playing around with new techniques, such as bringing graffiti into the metaverse or creating even more virtual galleries, giving people access to art from anywhere in the world.
In your opinion, what are the main advantages of digital art and what challenges do you think digital artists may face?
Priscila: Royalties on the secondary market represent an incredible opportunity for artists to have another viable income. It will encourage them to always innovate and create more. They’re finally being valued for their hard work. However, as a digital artist, you also need to have some level of knowledge of computers, or at least, be willing to learn, which can be challenging. They’re also facing the issue of scams, which is very common in the digital world, but thanks to blockchain, this is changing. Most importantly, there’s the controversy over sustainability and how to solve this issue with new technologies, while at the same time they have to keep reinventing themselves and keep collectors interested.
Gabriella: The main advantage for me has been that I have been able to animate my drawings and reach an entirely new audience. I’ve been able to add a completely new feel and element to my practice and I can’t wait to explore it even further in my next series. Challenges-wise, I think it will take some time for the general public to ‘trust’ that digital art is here to stay. But, I don’t think it will take too long.
Gabriella Anouk's animated NFT artworks can be viewed here.