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Time, Improvisation and Warm Textures — The NFT Art of Andreas Rau
Learn the story behind the creator of Loom, Concrete, About Lines, City Scapes and more...
This article is part of the #30NFTArtists30days challenge, where I write a daily newsletter edition about a different NFT creator during March 2022. Consider getting a premium subscription to support my writing journey ✌️
Today we’ll learn the story behind Andreas Rau, one of the most popular generative NFT artists on Tezos. In less than a year, he has released multiple collections on different Tezos platforms like hit et nunc / teia, fxHash, and objkt.com. His most demanded work is Loom, which is in the top 10 on sales volume on the FxHash marketplace. Anni Albers, Gunta Stölzl, Sophie Taeuber-Arp, and Hilma af Klint inspired the color palette (Andreas’ tends to explore historical artists as an inspiration source).
How did you discover NFTs?
It was on an early spring day in 2021 when I decided to create my first NFT, after more and more artists I admire had started to talk about it. I immediately liked the idea of distributing my art to a worldwide audience without having to give away the control to a large corporation, and the benefits of being able to set royalties for future sales of my pieces. But what really caught me was that NFTs seemed to be the perfect context for generative art, something I simply hadn’t had before.
After an intense period of research, I decided to mint on the Tezos blockchain, partly because of the energy-efficient technology, partly because of the wonderful community that had started emerging around Hic et Nunc. I received my first Tezos from a friend and minted my first NFT on April 24, 2021. HEN already supported interactive tokens at the time, and so my genesis piece was an interactive token, basing its appearance on the viewer’s wallet address. (https://teia.art/objkt/47216)
I personally discovered Andreas’ work when he dropped the Concrete collection on FxHash. The description hints at a physical motivation behind the digital creation “640 unique sketches of imaginary walls, inspired by the work of Norwegian architect Erling Viksjø (1910–1971) and his artist collaborators. Viksjø designed the Government Quarter in Oslo and invited artists from different disciplines to help design the facades and interiors of the buildings.”
“Viksjø’s aim was to “soften” modernist architecture. He invented «Natural Concrete», a type of concrete that deliberately exposes the mixed-in stones on its surface to give it warmth and a human touch. In my work, I have similar ambitions—using code instead of concrete.”
Can you tell me a little bit about your creation process?
Making art, for me, starts long before I sit down with a sheet of paper, let alone write the first lines of code. I can develop an idea in my mind for weeks, if not months, before it starts to manifest into something visual. I often go for walks, taking photos as visual notes and thinking about projects I might do in the future. There’s no shortage of ideas, and often it’s the ones that continue coming back to me over a period of time that I end up following. Here, I fully trust my subconsciousness: While I might loose many ideas on the way, the good ones will stick.
Those ideas can be pretty much anything: a mood or a visual impression, a specific moment or an interesting concept. The final piece then slowly evolves in a dialogue with the machine. I like to compare this dialogue to a jam session (I’m a jazz musician as well): I create something with a specific intention in mind, and might get an unexpected response that moves me somewhere completely different. I really enjoy this contrast between being 100% in control, and giving a lot of control out of my hands, taking detours and discovering freely.
The most important ingredient to my art is time, and I really like taking my time to make a lot of mistakes and discover the unexpected paths that often lead to the best results.
Who are your favorite NFT artists?
Oh, there’s so many. I keep being bewitched by the elegance of the work of Iskra Velitchkova (@pointline_), the wondrous organic shapes Mark Webster (@motiondesign_01) creates, the musicality that lies within the pieces of Marcelo Soria-Rodríguez (@msoriaro), the playful colours and compositions by Anna Lucia (@annaluciacodes), the striking simplicity in the pieces of Leander Herzog (@lennyjpg), the powerful stories SyberWeerd (@SyberWeerd) tells through her art — and many, many more.
Interestingly, Andreas is one of those hybrid participants in the metaverse, as he isn’t only creating but also enjoys collecting. “My collection currently comprises 1143 pieces by 416 distinct artists — it’s fascinating how NFTs have turned me, alongside so many other artists, into collectors as well.”
Until next time,
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