CAN Review – Adam Fryda is a painter who embraced cryptoart in early 2019 and employs a number of traditional and digital techniques in his work. His paintings display a wonderful understanding of colour and light, which can be clearly seen in all of his paintings within this article. One of his latest pieces ‘MegaCity, Gate 5’, depicts volumetric light beams breaking through the industrial structures that shelter a city’s inhabitants from the wasteland beyond. While Adam’s work appears to be meticulously crafted, there is also an element of experimentation via GAN apps (Visit https://heartbeat.fritz.ai for more information), digital painting, and expressionism in his mark-making and general attitude in creating new work.
This is perhaps more noticeable in his painting ‘Talking to the Moon’, which has a looser and more tactile approach to brushwork and mark-making, particlarly in the depiction of the moon itself. Again, the colour palette is carefully considered and the cooler green tones of the field are beautifully observed.
Continuing the landscape theme, Adam’s ‘cloud study’ series, explores his fascination for dawn and dusk, in a limited edition series. The rendition of colour and light are again wonderfully subtle, but there is an addition of a complex grid of lines that create a rich scaffold that hints at classic perspective techniques. Subtle drips of paint add an expressive quality over the image, giving the scene an ephemeral quality that isn’t fixed in time.
Adam’s quality as a painter is clear to see, and his love of the landscape is a refreshing addition to the cryptoart field. Furthermore, his desire to experiment with different techniques, software packages and themes indicate a thoughtful artist who is always pushing the boundaries of his abilities and concepts.
Adam Fryda (or Adapainter)
What is your background as an artist in general?
I have been drawing and painting for as long as i can remember but have no formal training (other than a few weeks of beginners evening classes some 15 yrs ago). At about the same time, I briefly worked as a sculptor, using the ‘lost wax method’ to make bronze sculptures for The Bronzart Casting Company. After a brief hiatus, i started painting for myself again (with both traditional media and digital), which led me to start painting pet portraits for friends and family about 6 or 7 years ago. I went full-time not long after that.
What is your overall process in generating art?
I’m a very impatient creator lol. When an idea comes to me I tend to fill my canvas as soon as i can. Only after that do i begin to relax and rework it, usually a few times over a period of weeks, or sometimes months. I generally have multiple projects in production at any one time, which suits my way of working very well. If i get stuck on one piece, i can simply move it to one side for a while and get straight to work on another. When i come back to the original, i am looking at it ‘refreshed’, which helps to solve a lot of creative hurdles. (I don’t work like this on commissions however, as they often have strict deadlines). Another important part of the process for me is the mark-making aspect of creating art. I generally love to start by using random applications of paints and mixed media on paper or canvas (usually but not always!), building up layers and scrubbing some back as i go. Then i digitize the work and continue the process on my graphics tablet. The randomness of these built-up marks gives the work more character and vitality – there’s more depth to the image, more life.
How would you describe your art in your own words?
In short, a journey through the language of mark-making. I’m fascinated in the space between traditional and digital art and how i can play between the two. This involves using different techniques to explore a variety of topics. At first, my projects can seem very different in style but the underlying processes are really my focus. And it doesn’t matter if i’m using traditional methods, a graphics tablet, GAN apps or a combination of all three; the journey remains the same – what magic can i find in the random interplay of marks, layers and thoughts.
Favourite artists / influences?
My favourite artists are many and varied, but the ones that come to mind as i write this are: Turner, Van Gogh, Giacommetti, Da vinci’s drawings, Ewan Uglow, Jenny Saville and John Virtue. My influences come from multiple places but probably the strongest ones are those from the natural world (animals, landscapes etc.) – i think that those are the most obvious ones when looking over my portfolio or work.
How did you discover Crypto Art NFTs?
When i first went full-time as an artist i was looking for somewhere to start a blog. A link from Facebook took me to something called Steemit (now it’s split off into the HIVE blockchain, which i’m still using). That was my first introduction to crypto. I started blogging there back in 2018. Later, i began poking around the world of crypto in general and came across SuperRare late in 2018. NFTs were a mystery but i decided to apply as it was a new shop window to try to get my art into, and any sold art got you crypto! I minted my first NFT in Feb 2019 and sold my first piece about 7 months later.
Has the digital nature of cryptoart NFTs changed how you approach your art practice?
I would say the NFT market place in general has had more influence over my art that just the ‘digital nature’ of it. I was already creating work in this same way before NFTs, but none of it was selling. As a full time artist, you need to concentrate your work on where the sales are, so the majority of my work was in producing digitally painted pet portraits. However, the rapid growth of the NFT marketplace has opened up a lot more opportunities to find homes for my other work – meaning i can now spend a lot longer producing more of what i love.
What if anything, has surprised you about this new area of art practice?
How quickly it’s grown, compared to when i first dipped my toe in with my first NFT. This has totally changed my work priorities from making 4-5 pieces back in 2019, for the whole year (just to ‘test the water’), to producing 3-5 pieces a month now. Also, the cryptoart community has been the biggest and nicest surprise. For someone who had no contact with other artists and worked alone in a loft for large chunks of the week, this discovery alone got me through 2020.
How would you like the field of cryptoart and nfts to evolve over time?
I guess the most immediate change i’d like to see is the gas issue getting resolved (as most of the major NFT platforms are still eth-based). I know solutions are in the pipeline, so this will be a minor issue in the not-too-distant future. Cross-platform royalties for artists would be nice. I know there are some issues now (e.g. if an artwork is minted on one platform and re-sold on another) As time progresses and more artists and collectors enter the space, it will be harder for new artists to make an impact or even a living. The danger is that we recreate the ‘old world’ art dynamics here in this new arena (with a few superstar artists and many starving ones). With that in mind, it would be good to start seeing more support opportunities for new artists – perhaps bursaries/grants/support tokens etc.
How can access and information to this new field of art practice be encouraged?
Generally, better UX and onboarding for non-crypto users. I know we’re still early and a lot of these things will not be issues say 5 years from now (hopefully!) but, right now, i feel this is a huge hurdle for many people – crypto users are still a tiny minority and only a fraction of those understand NFTs.
Anything you’d like to say that this form hasn’t covered?
I would just like to repeat how grateful i am to the cryptoart community and the ongoing inspiration, support and laughter they provide – Please keep blowing my mind every day!
CAN – You can view Adam’s work via the social links above and in his own words the links below!
For my ‘blue/green’ series and my ‘experimentals’ (examples of the play between digital and traditional art): https://www.superrare.co/Adapainter
For my ‘cloud study’ series: app.rarible.com/adamfryda
For my newest project (exploring storytelling through fantasy and sci-fi art using GAN and digital painting: https://knownorigin.io/adam-fryda