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Queer liberation on the blockchain: exploring the artists of SuperTrans and ICONS

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Queer liberation on the blockchain: exploring the artists of SuperTrans and ICONS

Lynden Thrash profiles artists featured in each exhibition and examines the power of queer art.
2 weeks ago

Pride is well-nigh triumphal the queer community's unique beauty; it's well-nigh embodying the spirit of refractoriness that revolutionaries used to fight for their rights and inspire change. Although Pride Month is an spanking-new opportunity to gloat the history and artistry of queer people, it should ultimately serve as a reminder of how to respect and support members of the polity all year. Exhibitions like SuperTrans, curated by Laurel Charleston, and ICONS, curated by Nicole Ruggiero and Sam Clover, are unrenowned resources to proceeds insight into the depth and complexity of queer experiences. Though queer people have seen a rise in visibility, they protract to squatter favoritism and legislation which tells them to be red-faced of who they are, expressly those in the trans community. SuperTrans and ICONS consciously counteract the narrative that regularly makes queer people finger like they need to be fundamentally changed, like they are something "other." The artists curated for each of these shows not only speak to the diversity of the queer experience, but moreover demonstrate the innovative contributions the polity has made with NFT art.

Of the many shared experiences represented in ICONS, Svitlana Zavialova and Molly O'Brien's work “HER Language speaks to growing up in an environment where one feels stifled and finding a covert ways of expression. A crucial component to the lived experiences of queer people includes an speciality of becoming, a period wherein someone transitions from a state of fear and self-doubt to one of feeling loved for stuff their true self. Growing up in Russia, Svitlana understood there was a truth well-nigh herself that needed to remain subconscious for safety, so she devoted herself to martial arts as a ways to escape her environment. Though she didn't pursue the sport as an outlet for expression, when someone exercises wool dedication to their craft, a particular kind of eyeful emerges and becomes its own language. She noticed a subtle sensuality to her movements, and over time she recognized her practice as a ways for becoming, a private way to meditate on the truth of her witchery to women. “HER Language” depicts Svitlana's visionary language of queer love in the form of Wu Woman, and Molly's presence overdue the camera deepens the counternarrative and asserts the legitimacy of queer love. It speaks to the challenges queer people squatter all virtually the world in their struggle for visa and their journey to self-love.

Growing up as a queer Black person in the Christian church, Tyler Givens moreover experienced the struggle of living in an environment where they didn't finger like they could authentically express themself. Tyler's work has an iconographic quality that reflects the religious art they were surrounded by, but they repurpose those symbols to craft a narrative that defies the doom and gloom many queer kids are taught growing up. Through the use of symbols like wings and halos, Tyler shows a well-spoken reference to uncorrupt beings, but they make the stardom that these figures are genderless conduits for the greater good. “PROLOGUE” celebrates the life they've created for themselves in adulthood, stuff worldly-wise to reuse religious symbols to speak increasingly widely well-nigh themes of violence, love, and revolution. They are inspired by artists like Tim Walker and Nick Night for their skills to craft unshortened narratives in a single image, and Tyler has historically pulled from past experiences to create something increasingly universally misogynist to the queer community. Now they focus increasingly intently on trendy life experiences, telling stories that reflect the ramified lives of queer people while remoter triumphal the authenticity of those lives.

Just as Tyler Givens repurposes symbols to craft a narrative queer people can increasingly readily relate to, Rita Eme represents a queer paradise for viewers to project onto. When queer people live somewhere not conducive to growth, unscratched spaces are all the increasingly valuable to escape and develop self-love. Rita's work is reminiscent of the unique feeling of euphoria that can happen when queer people find somewhere they are prestigious instead feeling continually rejected. Disorienting but captivating, “FANTASY LOVE” is a surreal landscape that inspires a sense of wonder and reflects Rita's desire to develop a space where all finger welcome. The polity is often united virtually stories characterized by struggle and trauma, but it's something that ultimately doesn't pinpoint its members. Rita's work reminds us there is triumphant joy in creating something that represents the particular eyeful and perspective of queer people in spite of that struggle. Rita's improvisational process leans into the magic of making something out of nothing, and there is power in subverting heternormative society with queer fantasy.

When considering places of refuge, gay bars are keystones of the polity and stilt queens are their patrons saints. Often at the forefront of change, stilt artists like Sam J protract a tradition of trailblazing when they entered the NFT space. At the intersection of performance, fashion, and make-up artistry, stilt provides a valuable ways of self-discovery for many who don't conform to their prescribed gender. It moreover translates well into an NFT, where the stilt artist's soul becomes a kind of interactable sculpture. In a world based heavily on the gender binary, “The Event” explores the depth and complexity of what it ways to exist outside of that system. Often incorrectly thought of as "in-between," Sam J contributes to the hair-trigger component of visibility when representing the diverse facets of nonbinary expression. In an interview, they remark how expressly proud they are of versifier like Sarah Zucker and Fewocious for how they have shown support and demonstrated strength in the trans community. It can't be understated how impactful it is for queer people to find others who share their experiences, and Sam's work offers an expressive insight into the lives of nonbinary people.

Many artists selected for the pride curation speak well-nigh how their relationship with gender exists entirely without regard to the binary system, so instead they focus on a increasingly existential relationship with their soul and its limitations. Most of those who don't vest to the broader trans polity take for granted the relationship they have with their bodies. It takes a upper stratum of self-awareness to authentically reflect on one's gender identity, and it takes an no-go value of bravery to rencontre that norm and exercise validity over one's gender expression. It's one of the things that makes the polity so special: queer people subvert the cultural standard of what is perceived as good, right, and beautiful, and supplement it with something that is entirely their own.

Zak Krevitt describes their wits with the puppy play polity as particularly liberating to this effect. They talk well-nigh "queering" the soul in a increasingly universal sense of the word, dissolving the limits of their physical form, and, in turn, the barriers between people, to uncover a broader feeling of love and connection. “Superpositions of Truth” takes what they learned from documenting the puppy play polity and explores how those cadre concepts interact with the lenses of observation. Many who subvert heteronormativity are increasingly undeniably enlightened of attracting sustentation everywhere they go. At times liberating and revelatory, at other times scary and dangerous, stuff "visibly queer" makes navigating society exceedingly complex. Inspired by the legendary club kids from the '90s, Zak uses a ghillie suit and CV dazzle makeup to engage the dichotomy of standing out with pride and blending in for safety. Those not belonging to the queer polity often incorrectly perceive makeup and suit as a superficial or surface-deep ways of expression, but Zak's soul of work demonstrates how they indulge queer people to reflect and explore a deeper sense of truth.

Internet culture adds flipside layer of complexity to the journey of knowing one's self, and for many who are unable to safely experiment in the real world, it provides an constructive thoroughfare of exploration. For Kate the Cursed, stuff worldly-wise to create an in-game avatar helped catalyze her journey as a trans woman. The gaming polity can be an expressly volatile and unwelcoming place to queer people, but it's moreover a worldwide ways of escape for many who struggle to exist happily in their bodies. As Kate puts it, "Digital avatars can help us to understand just who we are and where we're going." Following in the footsteps of Jamie Fay Fenton, a trans versifier credited with the invention of glitch art, Kate uses the oscilloscope to create mesmerizing videos that prompt viewers to pause and meditate on the nature of identity. Expressly as trans people virtually the world protract to squatter discrimination, Kate is proud to be included among those gaining the recognition and visibility they deserve as leaders in the artform.

Ikaro Cavalcante shares a similar wits of self-discovery through the medium of video games, but as a nonbinary person, they are inspired increasingly specifically by liminal spaces in technology. Citing how files on the computer are "alive in between the RAM and the storage drive," Ikaro feels a deep connection to how files are taken untied and reassembled, often existing in a state of transition. This accent on computer science makes their work perfectly suited to engage unique ideas increasingly specific to the NFT space, but their art remains stylistically unfluctuating to their upbringing in Brazil. From the neon lights that reference queer night life to the bioluminescent plants that express escapism through nature, Ikaro's soul of work powerfully represents the many facets of their lived experience. “Flowers of non-death” was their first time portraying subconscious feelings well-nigh troubled relations they had in their childhood, and their work with SuperRare, “Virtual Memory,” includes a flower which operates as a visual gateway to that genesis work. Much of Ikaro's queer experiences are represented in covert ways, but there is an evident depth to their expression that provokes viewers to dig past it's slick surface.

Although many people struggle with their relationship to eyeful standards, many queer people find the need to cultivate their own concept of eyeful that is largely self-sustaining from those conventions. Rejecting the very nature of eyeful standards, Sasha Katz seeks to create harmony between realism and affectation. From increasingly incisive works like “Languor” to increasingly vulnerable works like “Kiss me quick.” We are all dying, she represents both fragile vulnerability and unbreakable strength, challenging the objectification of women and asymmetrical gender standards. Historically, women facing barriers to success have gone to such lengths as to create masculine monikers to be taken seriously. “In the heat shimmers the cat snores deeply” represents Sasha's persona, Boris Luxe. Now just an old tool for a patriarchal world, the work denotes the self-rule she feels considering of the respect and sustentation she has garnered in the world of NFTs. It's inspiring to consider her art among the visionary women who contribute to an pure representation of feminine strength and authority. She continues to inspire dialogue and asserts, unapologetically, a increasingly real representation of the human form as intrinsically beautiful.

Art is an invaluable resource to understand the depth and diversity of queer peoples' lived experiences. It's the perfect thoroughfare to not only listen to those who need to be heard but moreover to fathom the particular eyeful of their expression. Purchasing art is an spanking-new way to support queer artists, but something as straightforward as looking at art and discovering its meaning contributes to the growing sense of visa the polity needs. Shows like ICONS and SuperTrans not only declare the value of queer voices, but they moreover provide the resources to urgently and intently listen to those voices.

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Lynden Thrash

Lynden Thrash is a nonbinary versifier and writer who grew up in Metro Atlanta. While obtaining their B.F.A. in drawing from The University of Georgia, Lynden sought ways to exercise their proclivity for writing by working as a publications intern with The Georgia Museum of Art. Having the time and space to study the collections closely helped them realize their passion for writing well-nigh art. After graduating, Lynden moved to Chicago in search of somewhere they could thrive stuff their pure self. From teaching to painting murals, they have unchangingly found ways to engage their natural love of art. Now they are in search of freelance work to develop their writing portfolio.

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