When I first entered the NFT space in February 2021, I saw an opportunity for digital artists to finally receive appreciation. Digital artworks have tended to be ignored by traditional art institutions, and I found it freeing to have NFT’s as an option: fewer client calls, more passion projects! Other platforms quickly became extremely busy and a lot of great artists got lost in the crowd.
However, I still believe that it is a space where our community should invest time and effort, and that's what makes Dissrup special as a platform: it has been built by digital artists who understand the value of digital artwork and its creators.
With the curated collection “Dissrup Debuts”, Pia and I wanted to spotlight the artists that we love. The launch of the Debuts collection includes a lot of amazingly talented artists, and we have a diverse collection featuring a wide range of styles. ‘Dissrup Debuts’ is about celebrating what makes this space great: wonderful digital art.
Originally from Barcelona, Alex Trochut has been residing in Brooklyn for the past 10 years. He has a background in graphic design, but considers himself to be a ‘swiss army creative’, mixing typography, animation, design and illustration into a single practice.
What can you tell us about your new piece on Dissrup?
'Fear Fate' is part of my 3D ambigrams series, where I've been experimenting with paradoxes as unified concepts within a typographical sculpture. Everything we experience is relative to our POV, and these sculptures seek to bend two realities within one whole and more complex truth. I look forward to working on more of these pieces and perhaps finding a way to make them physically.
When did you realise you could make a living out of your passion?
I've worked as a freelancer for more than 15 years now, it's been full of ups and downs, the freelance life is never a silky road, but I've been managing to live off projects I really enjoy working on. I was scared when I first started back in 2006, but it was a great feeling to discover there was a market for the things I loved to do.
How would you describe your work?
I would describe myself as more of a crafter than a thinker. I specialize in the written medium, and I prefer to focus on the visual language of each project, rather than pushing a story. My work is based on lettering, which is different from typography or calligraphy. Lettering is more about the customisation of the letters that you’re going to be using, which allows for a lot more freedom and creativity with words whilst still retaining their communicative utility.
What fascinates you about lettering and design?
I love to discover new visual languages, and create a sensorial feeling inside an image. Letters are my favourite medium because of their abstract nature, I love to be able to warp them, and blur the lines between a character and something else.
What‘s the most valuable lesson you‘ve learned so far career-wise?
Aviv Greenberg is a multidisciplinary artist currently living and working in Tel Aviv. His practice utilises various materials and mediums to push the boundaries of painting and sculpture, exploring the realm which lies in between the two. His work addresses global social structures, changing ecosystems, and consumerist behaviour in an attempt to interrupt the socio-economic status-quo.
What’s the idea behind your piece?
My piece 'Mechanical Secretions' is a digital interpretation of a sculpture that is part of my new installation 'Inflating Errors', a large scale exhibition I created at the Petah Tikva museum. As an artist who works primarily in painting and sculpture, creating an NFT adds another layer to my work, extending my creation into a digital space.
The piece is part of my vision of a fictional futuristic landscape, born from the plastic waste of the human era. Assuming plastic will outlive humanity, a skeleton used as a foundation for a new world to be created, a world in which new unknown life forms will flourish. Under the surface of perfect final products I found defective containers, unusable products, one of a kind mistakes.
Can you tell us more about the process behind the piece?
My preoccupation with plastic byproduct of mass production came from an ecologic and environmental discussion I had. As my work on the installation grew, it became more intense, and I found myself in an unsatisfying chase. I started to feel like my work in the studio became the factory itself, running under pressure and hit. I wondered about the purpose of the factory and my purpose as an artist creating unflawed products, surrounded by those deviations and mistakes that are crucial for any creative environment.
How do you make decisions on colour and composition?
I draw inspiration from nature, but I always like to infuse unnatural imagery within my work, as a sort of reflection on my own nature. Colours have always been one of my work’s identifying marks. In 'inflating errors' I found a different kind of approach to colour, staying true to the palette that ‘naturally’ emerges from the factory production process.
How long does it take to make one painting/sculpture
It's a long process. A painting can be done in a couple of months, but I sometimes find myself playing with it long after that. Painting in oils gives me the ability to do that, as it takes time to dry. As for my sculptures, it depends. If you count the gathering of the material and the exploration it can take years.
Discover Aviv on Dissrup and Instagram.
Ada Sokol is a Polish-born, Stockholm-based 3D artist whose aesthetic is built on three key principles: subtlety, femininity and magic. She describes her visuals as an ultra-sensory experience, based on the oneiric scenery of a distant future. The main inspirations for her renders are the imagined creatures and phenomena that populate the environments she creates – water bears, sea dragons, orchids, or fungi.
What's the idea behind your Dissrup debut?
'Gaia N°4: X' was created as a summary of the Gaia trilogy I’ve been working on for several months. It’s an exploratory endeavour, celebrating female strength and values in relation to nature. The three virtues highlighted in the series are powerful attributes of femininity: wisdom, love, and health, which become symbolic ‘keys’ to strengthening our relationship with the natural world. These values are often lacking in the mainstream, and within this series, the ethics of ecology, especially in the context of human/nonhuman relationships, get a chance to resurface under the influence of ecofeminism, which dares to stir up and challenge the standard by shifting focus away from the status quo. Environmentalism is an inherently feminine issue in that sense because, at its core, it profoundly relates to a mindfulness of the environment surrounding us and an intimacy in the ways we are meant to care for it.
What fuels your creativity and imagination?
I gravitate towards things that are beautiful in a non-obvious way. The natural and mechanical realms are both valuable to me, but fauna and flora are the best visual stimulus, and technology allows us to play with its devices in a distinctive way. It gives me great joy to explore these unconventional ideas and create scenes that balance the line between dream and reality.
How did you evolve your unique style?
It's something that developed over several years. I've always been interested in art, treating it as an outlet for my creativity, but the 3D design was something unexpected. In 2015 I was commissioned to develop the visual promotion for one of the exhibitions 'Private Settings' at the Museum of Modern arts in Warsaw. I was motivated to create something completely progressive and new for that occasion, so 3D came as an experimental medium. That is how it all started, and I have since become fascinated by its possibilities.
How do you come up with a great composition? What's your work flow?
When I approach a new project, I usually already have the idea for it in my mind. I want my work to not only look good, but to also have a thoughtful message. I strive to challenge myself every time I start something new. I want to create a space for the co-existence of design, commercialism, and activism. I believe those seemingly contradictory elements can complement each other in an interesting way — every element of the scene needs to be a part of this narrative. When I build a scene and think about the composition, it's never just trying to make it look visually pleasing. I try to tell a story and arrest the attention of the viewer.
Santi Zoraidez is an Art Director and Designer from Buenos Aires, currently residing in Barcelona. Having discovered his passion for design at a young age, Santi has gone on to work on a variety of projects with people and brands from all around the world. Today, he continues to work on both personal and commercial projects, exploring new tools, aesthetics and technologies to adapt his work to changing times.
What’s the story behind your piece on Dissrup?
At first I wanted to do a piece of an architectural model made out of wood and colourful shapes. Then I created this abstract, colourful balloon that is now the main character of the scene. I like to think of it as a future physical installation in a museum, or a 3D set design for the window display of a concept store.
I always try to mix real materials with digital created shapes to create a space where you find things that you’d like to touch, or have as part of your living room. So my work tends to sit between the real and the digital.
How do you develop your ideas and compositions?
There is always an initial idea, an impulse that compels me to create something new. Once the initial thing is out there, the idea starts growing and the project matures — the more I work on something, the more things I discover.
What influences your work?
Everything! I find inspiration in many things, and ideas come from many different places. I’ve been developing my own voice and style for a long time, and I’ve learned that it’s good to be flexible when creating something; this mentality offers new ways of moving forward.
My work is very graphical, even when the final result is a 3D space or realistic object, so graphic design, which I studied in Argentina, is a big influence of course. I’m also big fan of Architecture and Industrial Design.
How do you balance work with personal projects?
I also have two kids! So the balance is hard, but I'm always working on it! Luckily there has been so much commercial work in the last few years, but always try to find time to do personal projects. It's a bit of a need for me. It does me good, makes me grow and learn, plus ideas conceived in my own time can often be applied to commercial work further down the line.
What’s your career highlight so far?
I have had the chance to achieve the dreams I had when I was little: I’ve moved from my home country to the other side of the world; I’ve collaborated with studios and artists that I have always admired; I’ve worked with the biggest brands, so I can say that I feel pretty satisfied, but that I’m also looking forward to what still is to come. Who knows that that’ll be!
Simon Appel is a Swedish designer and animator based in Stockholm. His passion for strong silhouettes and vivid colour shines through in all his work—whether it is commercial 3D commissions, limited edition screen prints or created in collaboration with other artists.
About the artwork
'LACES_01' is the first in a series of animated digital ceramics brought to life by a pair of shoelaces. The surreal nature of the piece is enhanced by the work of Berlin-based sound designer Amedeo Inglese [Noi].
Évoque lab is a Milanese digital imagery lab founded by the architects and digital artists Emanuele Longo and Paola Frascerra. Inside their multidimensional world they build distinctive digital spaces poised at the edge of reality. Their creations are characterised by an elegant, refined style and fresh contemporary aesthetics.
Their Dissrup debut, 'Concerto per due' (Concert for two) is a visual exploration of the sensorial experience of living a precious moment together with a significant other.
Alexandros Mavrogiannis is an Athens-based multidisciplinary artist with a focus on CGI filmmaking, virtual photography and digital sculpture. Through the exclusive use of digital tools, Alexandros aims to conceptualise essence through imagery.
About the artwork
The 'Biomorphic Structures' series for Dissrup is a pivotal point in Alexandros' ongoing research into our subconscious understanding of materiality in the digital space. In these artworks, Alexandros asks whether materiality can be still considered as such, even if its digital nature is apparent. The rendered materials of these structures have both a familiar and uncanny quality. In order to achieve this impression, he uses different softwares to blend digital materials and physics simulations to create solid structures, enveloped by liquid net forms.