Discover more from Kaloh’s Newsletter
🎆 The Astonishing Renaissance of Latin American and Hispanic Art (Part 1)
A colossal wave of excellent crypto-art work has erupted from Latin and Hispanic regions over the last year. As a consequence of the language barrier, it might be hard to notice some of them...
A colossal wave of excellent crypto-art work has erupted from Latin and Hispanic regions over the last year. As a consequence of the language barrier, it might be hard to notice some of them. Although I’ve covered Latinamerican artists (_tmist, xmachadoleao, and Datzel) in the past, I wanted to make a new edition about the whole movement. Let’s not forget legends like Pablo Picasso, Frida Kahlo, Joan Miró, Salvador Dalí, Fernando Botero, and Diego Rivera all come from these regions. Could we be witnessing the first steps of new art legends?
To write this edition, I asked the community for recommendations, and I got tons of replies.
I spent a lot of time looking through more than 150 artists. It was a fantastic journey. You might be wondering what my selection criteria were, and in short, I was searching for unique styles, community support, and whatever made me feel something. My focus is on up-and-coming crypto artists and not established ones. I tried very hard, but I couldn’t shorten the list anymore, so there will be a second edition next week. Let’s stop the introduction here and see some art!
The Characteristic Colourful Trend
The artists in this category are not afraid to use vivid colors. They might be the closest to what you’d expect from Latinamerican and Hispanic creations from the featured group.
Pablo Esteban Sánchez Rijlaarsdam AKA “Rey” is one of the most popular NFT creators in the modern Latin scene. He is originally from Mexico and lives in Oaxaca but has Dutch roots. When I look at Rey’s art, it gives me the feeling of a “Happy Chaos.” I don’t know if it makes any sense, but that’s what I feel when I look at his NFTs. “My Revenge” is an actual example of how Rey mixes multiple unique characters, scenarios, and moves - this composition reminds me of Diego Rivera’s work (who was Mexican, as Rey).
Continuing with the colorful trend, Mercedes de Bellard mixes simplicity with very detailed touches in “Naturaleza Viva.” The inner face of the model (eyes, nose, mouth, and smile) are highly detailed, while the hair, neck, and flying birds are rather plain. Mercedes finalizes the creation by adding special characteristics to the flowers and the heart (which might be hard to spot if you don’t look with caution). This crypto-artist was born in Andalucia, Spain.
The last artist in this group is more disruptive. Showcasing a futuristic, vibrant, and decadic vibe, “neurocolor” has made a name for himself. He is the second Mexican artist to make this list, and he currently lives in Mexico City. Nothing better to describe his art than his own words:
Painter and digital artist with a heavy tendency to use vibrant colors, dark motifs and abstract patterns. Cyberpunk culture enthusiast.
Abstract and Non-Figurative Styles
The artists in this category have been able to master one of the most complex categories to break through. The reason being that there are no clear rules or definitions in abstract art. Let’s try to figure out what’s going on here.
“Souline” is an Argentinian crypto-artist living in Spain. She travels the world and is both crypto and a tattoo artist. “Error" 404” is a handmade piece that she gave the last touches with digital tools. The 4040 error occurs when an internet browser can communicate with a server but couldn’t find the requested information. Perhaps, this piece is trying to represent communication problems? (I’ll love to hear your thoughts on the comments ;))
Jimena Buena Vida is a Colombian crypto artist who has a computer science background - just like me ✌️. She joined the crypto-art space a few months ago and hasn’t looked back. Besides creating, she is very active in the community, sharing her experiences on Twitter Spaces or Clubhouse every week. “Perfect and Easy” is a collection of 44 NFTs, created in 44 days. What I love the most about it is each piece's uniqueness. This fact demonstrates Jimena’s outstanding creativity (again, she made the whole collection in 44 days!).
3D Shapes and Textures
The compositions of this group take advantage of digital tools like no other. It is impossible to recreate audio, video, and 3D in the physical world, thus adding extra long-term value to this kind of NFTs. I suggest you open the NFTs in this section and watch the original so you don’t lose important details.
This NFT creator didn’t just masterfully play with 3D and lightning; he also added and transmitted a protest message. “Physical Art is Cancelled” expresses the feeling that analog artists get when looking at Non-Fungible Tokens. Although we are far from that reality, it might happen one day. Judd Buchanan is an artist from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
To close this group, we have a Chilean named Pablo Espinoza. What makes Pablo’s work so fantastic are the textures. He is capable of creating surfaces you can feel even if you are looking at a screen. Additionally, he makes shapes out of this world like the “Afraid” piece - Look at the back of that head 🤯! He started his journey minting in hic et nunc for just 0.1 tez ($0.2) per NFT and has increased his pricing steadily as people recognize his talents.
Photographing Latin and Hispanic Roots
As the saying says, a picture is worth a thousand words. The artists in this category were able to capture the Latin American roots in one shot. The first one was taken in Cuba, while the second one was in Honduras.
Metamorphosis, a work that represents the first link in the photographic essay "Illustrated Frustrations", which brings us closer and tries to faithfully reproduce the scene immersed in a moment of fullness-drowning of the artist. He tells us about his creative shipwreck during the first stage of his life as a visual artist and his stage (bathtub), which at that time, was the only corner where he could spread his wings, contain his muses and shed his fears on the few canvases.
Look at this frame, close your eyes and imagine you are there. The vibe in this man’s bathroom, on the sunny Cuban island, is full of energy. This moment, captured by the Cuban visual artist Carolina Padron, is pure gold.
Last but not least, we have a perfectly symmetric shot taken by @ADuoCrypto, usually known as “Duo.” Besides being an artist and collector, Duo is a big supporter of the Latin and Hispanic communities. You can find him in audio rooms in Twitter Spaces or Clubhouse, trying to help newcomers. The picture captures San Pedro Sula’s downtown, a city of Honduras founded in 1586. I love the fact that there are many popular elements from Latin American culture, such as the informal street markets, the catholic church, the city’s “Plaza,” and, of course, some traffic.
I had a blast discovering and taking some time to enjoy all these Latin American and Hispanic creations. Remember, this is just the first group. Continue reading here.
I’d to hear your thoughts in the comments below. Which one was your favorite NFT so far?
Until next week,
Kaloh’s Newsletter is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.
Check out these cool drops from other crypto artists.