“I often say words and lines are the same thing. Words are made up of lines. And my lines, like words, make conversations. They help me to connect with the world. They help me to collaborate. They help me to discover myself.”
Shantell Martin has a way of talking about her art that creates its own aesthetic. This personal chat, The Importance of Conversation, is part of a piece of an NFT that collectively is its own article of art. Sold for $1,300 on Nifty, the visual and audio one-off collectible followed a team-up with Kendrick Lamar in Amex Music Meets Art in Miami with her debut collection, The Importance of Conversation. Fellow artist Ben Sheppee brought Martin’s black and white drawings into animated NFTs. They come to life to ask thought-provoking questions like “Does progress really exist or is it the scenery that changes?” and dropping dimes like “Knowing is Growing.”
Martin presents her vulnerability by directly addressing her audience in the video conversation. The line artist describes how she wields words as tools to converse and gain access to a greater personal understanding through the self-exploration and visual communication that unlocks growth.
“They help me to get to know things about the world and things about myself that I don’t think I would ever get to know in any other way. Conversations with ourselves are so vital and so important.”
Available in sets of 20 at Nifty Gateway, The Importance of Conversation isn’t the only project that Martin has been involved in this year. Her black and white work is also featured in a collaboration with digital artist Jon Burgerman in <em>A Better Place</em> from the collection Let’s Draw Together. Burgerman’s bright faces and bouncing balloon-edged creatures accompany Martin’s encouraging words.
“One day we can. One day we will. Today we may make this planet a better place. Some day.”
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Burgerman also animates his digital art, using technology to create weird playful worlds, which include his new project, Jon’s Pizza Shop.
The shop mimics a real-life American Italian eatery with customizable pizza slice NFTs on order with available toppings like pepperoni and cheese. Users can also combine their slices to create whole pies. Burgerman is even giving away to a lucky few users 23 hand-painted physical works. To the English artist living in New York City, the idea of pizza, a food everyone loves and shares, is the ideal medium artistically.
“I’ve always had a fondness for pizza,” Burgerman writes on his website. “Growing up in the U.K. in the 80s and 90s, pizza was a rare treat offered up by my exhausted parents. When I moved to live in New York, at the end of 2010, I truly fell in love with pizza.”
There are seemingly a million ways to customize a pie. In Jon’s Pizza Shop, Burgerman generated a total purchasable amount of 6,666 unique NFTs, all drawn on his iPad Pro, to bring together endless combinations of lively, almost mischievous pizza slices kicking up their crusty heels.
“Pizza, the most otherworldly yet down to earth mood enhancer, is so simple; bread, cheese, tomato … and yet, so complex and so versatile,” Burgerman continues.
Opening this month, Jon’s Pizza Shop NFTs will be available in the Moonverse NFT marketplace on the Solana blockchain. <em>Jon’s Pizza Shop</em> NFTs will be tradable during the first 24 hours with each exclusive and distinct addition appearing in very limited quantities.
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