CAN Review – We are delighted to welcome artist Tori Batt to the cryptoart field. Her ‘Madonna and Baby Cat-Jesus’ is rich in detail and features some intriguing elements that pull us in for closer inspection. The flowing hair of the Madonna contains other cats and eyeballs that suggest a tentacled creature hiding among the folds of long luxurious hair. The cat at the bottom of the artwork tips a hat to the work of Alice in Wonderland’s John Tenniel illustrations and there is a hint of menace in the pointed teeth. The baby cat jesus itself, merges the religious with the surreal and we are left to consider the animalistic and spiritual nature of this miraculous creation.
Tori’s pencil drawing ‘Beta-Hydroxybutyrate’ is delicately rendered and incredibly rich in details that take the viewer time to fully appreciate and provides an overall visual aesthetic that is quite rare in the cryptoart field.. (Beta–hydroxybutyrate is a chemical that is used as energy by some cells of the body when sugar levels are low. Beta–hydroxybutyrate seems to help nerves and the brain to work better from Webmd.com). From the huge eye in the centre of the composition, to the numerous creatures and brain at the top replete with wings, this artwork reveals more with each viewing, and the delicate pencil work also demands closer inspection of the artwork to fully appreciate the detail within. Thankfully Tori has minted this particular piece at an impressive 12000×8400 pixels on rarible, which would give the collector ample visual !
Tori’s final piece takes inspiration from ‘Magic the gathering’ and depicts a winged lion. The detailed mane and wings are particularly effective and the reflective sheen of the metal foil card adds an additional element of visual surprise that the viewer can appreciate.
CAN look forward to seeing more of Tori’s distinctive aesthetic in the future and believe that her artwork is a very welcome addition to the cryptoart community.
What is your background as an artist in general?
I’ve always loved drawing and painting with traditional mediums and I have a diploma in painting from Aoraki Polytechnic. I’ve spent much of my adulthood trying to figure out what I want to say with my work, and how to say it. I’m still trying to find my style and settle on a medium, which is hard because I love all kinds of art materials, charcoal for life drawing, ballpoint pen in sketchbooks and then acrylics, oils and watercolors for paintings. I’ve yet to find an audience for my work and often find my work doesn’t fit anywhere in the local galleries. The NFT market is incredibly exciting for me, because I feel I might finally find where my art belongs.
What is your overall process in generating art?
I draw and paint and scan images. With the discovery of the NFT scene I am exploring new options, such as animating parts of my work, which for now I will outsource, but hope to learn to do myself in future, so that I can get the exact result I desire.
How would you describe your art in your own words?
Traditional, cartoony at times, heavily influenced by the great masters and modern masters such as James Jean. Focus on heavy outlines, commercial compositions and bright colors.
Favourite artists / influences?
James Jean. Ferdinand Hodler. Skinner. Sarah Simblet. Zdzisław Beksiński.
How did you discover the new blockchain world of Crypto Art and NFTs in general?
I think it came up in a random youtube video I was recommended by the algorithms, and I followed the trail from there. Twitter and talking to other artists has been the best education.
Has the digital nature of cryptoart NFTs changed how you approach your art practice?
Definitely. The work I enjoy making never found an audience in my local community, so I used my skills to make the work other people wanted to see. Now I feel like I can finally make the work I want to see. I am hugely excited to explore the possibilities that before would be impossible, such as making blinking eyes in a portrait painting. As soon as I free up more time I am going to learn to animate and I can’t wait!
What if anything, has surprised you about this new area of art practice?
How incredibly open it is. I’ve felt locked out of the art scene my whole life and here I was able to jump in, share the art I love most and find people who encouraged and supported it. I’ve been overwhelmed by the excitement, enthusiasm and connectedness of the communities I’ve encountered. It feels like I finally found the art club I always dreamt of.
How would you like the field of cryptoart and nfts to evolve over time?
I hope it finds a nice balance of curated/exclusive spaces and open spaces for new or emerging artist. The fees for minting and listing have caught me off guard at times but I’ve found alternatives that suit my budget. I hope that continues to be the case so that any artist can share and is not locked out due to wealth. I’d like to see more protections for artists, including education about scamming and how to protect your own work.
How can access and information to this new field of art practice be encouraged?
I think as long as the people within the community are treating each other well and enjoying the space they will spread the information. Headlines about big sales are grabbing attention everywhere and making more and more artists aware of the new options available to them, so as long as the space remains open and welcoming, I think it will thrive.