I've decided to create NFTs from some of the paintings from my 2018 exhibition Crypto Disruption beginning with 'The Hodler'. Below is a little information about my creative process with regards to narrative and the use of symbolism in my work.
Symbolism in Art
Symbolism can play a very powerful role in a painting and through this artistic device an artwork can have many different meanings to many different people, but this is also the beauty of introducing symbols. One person’s interpretation of symbolic representation won’t necessarily align with the person next to them. The Hodler is a good example of this in that someone who is involved with cryptocurrency will respond to this image in an entirely different way to someone who knows nothing of blockchain technology or financial investment. Furthermore, since I began working with augmented reality, I’ve enjoyed exploring how video can add to the narrative of my paintings; however, with a move into NFTs I’ve been able to develop my artwork ‘stories’ and meaning on deeper levels, layering the work even more with animation and additional symbolism.
The Hodler is now made up of three very distinct creative components, each adding to the overall symbolic meaning of the work of art.
Firstly, there’s the painting, created almost entirely with blue and gold oil paint, which consist of a lone figure sitting on a bench near a lake. Viewers of the painting may ask themselves, “Who is the man, what’s he doing?" and perhaps, "What is he thinking about?” but someone who understands the title ‘The Hodler’ will already have an idea as to what this lone individual represents.
Second, there’s the video produced for the AR feature of the artwork. The underlying theme of the video is one of unyielding patience and focus regardless of the chaos and volatility happening all around.
And lastly, the NFT was the final artistic device to add to the ‘total work of art’, creating a kind of gesamtkunstwerk, and an opportunity to develop the narrative even further through symbolism and added meaning.
Below is a description of the NFT animation along with a breakdown of some of the symbolism embedded into the artwork.
The day ends and night falls and yet the man doesn’t move, he remains on the bench, waiting, thinking. Stars appear in the night sky and a rocket launches in the distance from behind the mountain. The man follows its trajectory as it disappears up into the atmosphere. He waits for morning. Another fish jumps in the lake as the sun rises up over the mountains showering the scene with the colours of gold and blue once again. Interestingly, the one thing the man doesn’t seem to be aware of in this eternal cycle is that every day the sun travels the same line across the sky, one that seems to follow the circumference of a bitcoin hidden in the tree and somehow even embedded partly through the man himself. Hodl.
View The Hodler NFT at the KnownOrigin marketplace.
The Symbols and the Meaning
I hope you enjoyed reading about some of the ideas behind the creation of my painting and NFT - The Hodler. 🙂