Diving Into Dario Lanza's Catharsis
Let's go deep into Catharsis and all the innovations it introduced
Last week, I discovered that an online friend (Álvaro) was my neighbor. I live in a small city in the North of Spain where there aren’t many crypto art enthusiasts (yet), so this was a big coincidence. To add to the surprise, Álvaro is Dario Lanza’s brother, who created and released Catharsis on gmStudio a few weeks ago.
I went out for a beer with Álvaro, and we chatted about crypto art, web 3 communities like PROOF, gmDAO, Tender, FxHash, and Art Blocks. We also spent a lot of time diving into Catharsis, the whole journey, and the innovations introduced by Dario Lanza in this generative art collection.
Let’s dive into Catharsis…
Dario holds a Ph.D. in Information and Communication Technologies, is a fine arts professor at the Complutense University of Madrid, and has been involved in arts and technology for multiple decades. From a very young age, he had a passion for arts, and in the 80s he was coding as a hobby. This year, he found that both fields were intersecting in generative or computer art and got interested in crypto art thanks to his brother and another friend - Manuel - who convinced him to give blockchain art a shot.
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Blender (3D software) was his tool of choice, but at one point, he remembered an old, forgotten project from 2014 that generated art with code (p5.js). It was initially named Generative Action Painting or GAP. He focused on that project instead and applied to gmStudio, following his brother's advice. The other route would have been to do an independent drop, but given he was new to the crypto art scene, it would have been quite challenging (at least early on).
GmStudio replied with a positive sign. From that point, the Spanish arts professor received feedback and advice from their curation board. Six months in the making until the final iteration was finally ready.
The original name (GAP) wasn’t ideal as the genesis gmStudio collection was “Mind the Gap” by MountVitruvius. Dario came up with the word - Catharsis - as he described the whole coding experience as a catharsis.
Let’s review the dynamics and innovations embedded in this generative art collection.
Each piece has its own title inspired by Jazz songs
This adds a special touch as appreciating abstract art like Catharsis isn’t easy for everyone. That is why having a title on each piece serves as a companion or guide to spectators and makes it easier to submerge and explore all the details.
@mickeyfantom put together a playlist on Spotify with all the songs used as titles in the collection.
Catharsis pieces can be paired in multiple ways
This means you can place them next to each other, creating a diptych or a triptych. To make this possible, the algorithm behind Catharsis keeps track of each iteration and pairs with a new Catharsis every 50 iterations.
Instead of each piece being solved individually on its own visual space, independent from the rest of the project, the paint cast in one Catharsis artwork continues and extends into the next work, whose painting in turn invades the following one, producing a global rhythm that runs through the entire project, on a beautiful structure designed on a gigantic scale.
This implies that, while the paint is thrown in chaotic and unpredictable ways in all the pieces, the work, for example number #2, presents continuity on both sides with works #1 and #3, and can thus be collected together to produce a triptych. However, in order to broaden the possibilities of the collection, Dario managed to design the whole continuity around a 50-work structure, which implies that artwork #2 will also present continuity with piece #53, or with #103 or #153, #203, #353... greatly increasing the collecting dynamics of this project.
Taken from gm.studio Catharsis website
You can try the triptychs and diptychs Catharsis explorer created by pumpkin.
Hand-picked Catharsis by Dario Lanza
I had the chance to ask Dario which are his favorite outputs or grails.
I must tell you that I don't have a set of my favorites yet, mainly because (believe it or not) I haven't seen the entire collection yet. It is something that when you launch so many generative works you may find that it takes a long time before you can consider that you have seen them all.
Nevertheless, some outputs caught his attention for different reasons.
In this work it is one of the few occasions in which the "Indian Yellow" palette appears with white paint as the protagonist, instead of the usual black and red, which here are displaced to a secondary role. This makes the contrast between yellow and white particularly vibrant, achieving a plastic and fluid effect in the painting.
"Equinox" has one of the most appreciated color palettes by collectors (Prussian Blue). And this work in particular has immense energy, with a pole of attraction close to the golden section from which the entire painting emanates radially in an uncontrolled explosion. In addition, the canvas is painted with irregular rollers, reinforcing the energy that is transmitted in the work.
In this work, like the rest that present "brush majoris", a clear influence of the work of Franz Kline is noticeable. In this piece in particular, I like the powerful, almost totemic shape that occurs in the center, which refers to a primitive, atavistic inspiration, as if painted during a trance.
After knowing a little more about Dario, his artistic and technical backgrounds, and the development process that took over six months but started in 2014, I am not surprised by the fantastic reception this collection had.
I’m also intrigued by the system that connects individual outputs and lets collectors create diptychs or triptychs. I wonder how many artists have taken note and are planning similar synergies.
You can find Dario Lanza and his future projects on his Twitter account.
Until next time,
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gmStudio Catharsis Official Collections https://www.gmstudio.art/collections/catharsis
Super interesting read , thanks 🙏 que bueno no sabia que vives en España , yo soy originario de Barcelona aunque vivi en Australia desde hace bastantes aṉos 😎 un saludo grande 🙏❤️