Igor Martins • Artist Spotlight
What got you in to Crypto art?
I have been on an artistic production journey since 2001, but I never managed to sell many paintings or physical art pieces. So I started to work professionally with art applied to design, advertising, and visual communication, and in parallel, I always looked for opportunities to sell authorial artworks through image licensing platforms, stock images websites, and print-on-demand. As I worked professionally with 3D and motion graphics, I had known Beeple's work for years, as it comes from this universe of 3D design, and I was amazed at the sale that was made at Christie's in early 2021. That way I got to know NFT and started experimenting in this market.
Where do you find your inspiration?
The subjects that interest me the most are related to spirituality, beliefs, the supernatural, the unconscious, the imaginary, and the transcendental. Mainly I am interested in the meeting point of this non-physical universe with our physical, concrete, and tangible world. I believe that our physical universe is totally connected to an infinite that is beyond what we can see or touch. And I find inspiration the more I try to approach what we experience as ordinary reality. Examples are faith, nature, dreams, the unconscious, the imaginary, religious rites, and death.
What do you think of traditional artwork?
Before being a digital artist, I was a traditional artist. I have an academic background in traditional arts, knowledge of art history, years of experience with oil painting, I studied human anatomy with corpses in a university lab, and I deeply appreciate the artistic periods from the Renaissance to the 19th century. On the other hand, I was already experimenting with computer graphics software since 1998, wandering through virtual worlds on Active Worlds (which was the principle of metaverse at the time, before Second Life), and started working professionally with digital art in 2010. So I see traditional art as the place where the foundations of all art came from, and even influenced digital art. I seek in my work to unify what I experienced from these two universes of art.
Do you think your art is fulfilling a purpose?
I understand that intrinsically art is part of the artist's life. No one can produce something that comes from another source that has no relation to themselves. Even if it is a production assisted by artificial intelligence, the artist takes the initial step and makes the important decisions until the work is presented to the public. I see art as an extension of life experience, and an expression of the individual seeking to paint the universe with meaning. Not just my art, but all art is. My artistic production is elaborated from my journey as a human being. And whether in what I think, feel, speak, or produce, I seek to point to what is beyond what is perceptible in everyday life. I want to show that there is something eternal and infinite beyond what our senses can capture. And I seek to materialize this immaterial state through visual arts.
How did you start out as an artist?
Since I was a child I have always imagined a lot, dreamed a lot, and was interested in activities that developed imagination, creativity, and perception. Naturally, I started to draw, play musical instruments, dance, and write stories, and it was then that I discovered surrealism when I was a teenager. From then on, art became a passion and an obsession. I started drawing a lot, studying painting and art history, and when I finished high school I went straight to college to study visual arts. In college, I developed a lot, but there was little taught about the art market and how to make a living from artistic production. So right after graduating, I went to work with design, video production, motion graphics, and visual effects. Together with my wife, we founded a motion graphics studio, and in this way, we were able to make a living. But the quest to see and accept me as a professional artist was only satisfied when I met NFT art.
Who or what inspires your work?
I had to start elaborating better my artistic process when I faced art as a professional activity. Before I saw myself as an NFT artist, I produced art in a free, loose way, without paying attention to method, artistic research, having a line of thinking, or adding value to my production. The main person who helped me bring clarity to this new stage was my wife because we always had many exchanges in philosophical, conceptual, existential, spiritual, and artistic reflections. From the moment that my artistic work needed to mature and acquire consistency, she has constantly instigated me to think, produce, and see beyond what I can. So it is impossible to view the artwork I produce as the fruit of individual inspiration, but it is a collaboration between me, Stefane, and other artists we work with.
Which other artist(s) so you admire?
I greatly admire the work of painters like Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Caravaggio, Bouguereau, Ingres, Gustav Klimt, Salvador Dalí, Jacek Malczewski, Almeida Junior, Oscar Pereira da Silva, H.R. Giger, Peter Gric. And artists from the NFT era: Henrik Uldalen, Mikko Raima, Onefallart, Jenni Pasanen, Michele Petrelli, Chepertom, Nate Talbot, Hazedlockdown, Olento.
Final question, what is next for you as an artist?
What matters to me at the moment is to bring philosophical and aesthetic consistency to my artistic production. I want to contribute more with works that cause aesthetic reflections and initiate dialogues. In addition, I have sought to participate in more virtual and IRL exhibitions, establish relationships and collaborations with other artists and NFT galleries, and I have brought some traditional artists and collectors into the NFT universe. I am also currently doing research and pictorial experiments that establish relationships with traditional art and artificial intelligence, and soon I would like to paint some pictures with physical paint from computer-generated images and AI.
We would like to thank Igor Martins for giving up their time to collaborate on this with us.