Ignasi Monreal headlines 1stDibs' latest NFT exhibition, dedicated to the universe of flowers.

1stDibs presents BL00M, the latest NFT exhibition dedicated to the universe of flowers. Headlining the exhibition and auction, Spanish multidisciplinary artist Ignasi Monreal has produced an animated series of three NFTs, in collaboration with London-based animation studio No Ghost.

For the centrepiece, Monreal depicts a dynamic digital garden of hand painted flowers. Interacting with the crypto market, each flower blossoms as the price of the artwork rises, or slowly wilts if the market takes a downturn. Each NFT features one of three types of flowers — PoppiesTulips or Lotus Flowers. These were selected because of qualities ascribed to them at different points in history.

“I wanted to create an NFT that my 70-year-old grandmother could understand,” Monreal says. “The big question was how to bring poetry to a currency that fluctuates so much. I wanted to attach life to it. Thinking of the perfect symbol of timeless beauty, it had to be flowers.”

The poppy alludes to the opium produced from its seedpod and hints at the sometimes addictive nature of cryptocurrency exchanges. ​

Meanwhile, in Eastern cultures, the lotus flower is a symbol of purity and spiritual awakening, as well as of prosperity and success, which gives the work a sense of duality.

According to Monreal, the tulip is the flower with the most conceptual power. “It relates to the financial bubble created by tulip mania in 17th-century Holland, when the price of these flowers went totally wild because of a trading trend. The type I’ve shown is the Semper Augustus, one of the rarest tulips of that time and now extinct.”

Metaphors are also deeply ingrained in the work of Delaware artist Shaylin Wallace, also known as Shay the Surreleast, who collaged a Northern Renaissance–style still life of florals, fruit and a hummingbird inside the silhouetted head of a young man.

For the London-based collagist known as CoverArtGuy, nature has a restorative quality. His What a Beautiful Place to Breakdown (2022), in which a vintage black-and-white photo of a woman leaning on her car appears amid a bright oasis of colourful flowers, is about embarking on an inner journey of self-renewal.

Influenced by gaming and manga/anime aesthetics, Aris Roth‘s futuristic dreamscape Bedroom View (2022) features a strong female figure who appears emboldened by the natural scenery around her.

Kyle Lee, who goes by the handle SOULPAINTS, explores more historical paths to spiritual fulfilment. His Child of Light (2021) has Pop art piquancy, showing an angel enveloped in cosmic symbols that include a fiery crescent resembling a blazing sun or perhaps a sunflower.


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