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Date Minted:  October 23, 2020

Artist Description: Clionate

CohentheWriter’s Commentary:

I would love to begin this analysis with somewhat of an exploration of WintEagle’s collected works. I’d love to examine the artist’s subject matter, their color, their process, and use it all to extrapolate meaning for the piece before us today, Clionate, a somewhat-confounding aesthetic artwork that nevertheless sizzle with ideas and enthusiasm. Oooooo it’s so colorful! Ooooooo it’s so engrossing. And I could use those same exclamations to describe so many of WintEagle’s pieces. The only problem is that there’s so many of them. WintEagle’s SuperRare oeuvre is the densest I’ve hitherto come across, with a whopping 305 pieces minted in total, some of them bunched together into categories like “Surreal AI” (which contains 69 artworks) or “Statumania” (which contains another 109), but most of them are presented individually, to act as solitary touchstones in the cluttered and expansive works on the artist’s public page. Many utilize 3d renders! Many utilize fascinating color schemes and the brightest of hues. But, generally speaking, not all do. There are multifarious works here in a grand assortment of styles, tones, and color schemes. They focus on unrelated subjects. They are hard —if not impossible— to wrangle into a single stable. But my goodness, the artistry! And my goodness, the vision! A self-proclaimed “Surreal Artist” with a number of quite-obvious forays into AI generative artwork, WintEagle can only be described as a virtuoso, for only such a strong word can describe someone with this kind of jubilant mastery over so many forms. Clionate we must examine only based on its own merit, is what this all means, however. Not just because I’m simply incapable of placing it in the artist’s larger context, but because I don’t want to do it a disservice. Like so many pieces that WintEagle’s has created, Clionate is its own beast entirely. 

As if to emphasize that point, the artist’s description for Clionate is as follows: “Clionate.”

So I think I’m on the right track here. 

Describing Clionate aesthetically is a bit of a Pyrrhic effort, if only because of how blatantly abstract and absurd nearly everything in the piece seems to be, from the color choice, to the way those colors seem to melt over and completely envelope every object herein, to the fact that those objects themselves are more-or-less unintelligible. There are a few items of recognition, nevertheless. In the near center of the piece, standing upon a tiled ground —dotted with sporadic patches of weeds— that is washed over in a blood red hue (And so are the weeds) is a human figure, seeming to sit in what might be called a side-lunge: one knee out at a 90-degree angle, the other leg outstretched straight and to the side. The body’s features are all completely hidden behind the tribal-tattoo-like markings which cover its body, red swirls and lines upon a black, somewhat translucent form. We can see that the figure has one hand affixed to its head, but we can make out neither fingers nor face. Its other hand rests on its knee. In the distant background, other somewhat recognizable objects take up the frame, like the tan-barked trees with their puffs of scarlet foliage, and the turquoise sky behind it all. But the main attraction in the frame is the many-pronged and curvaceous object (or is it a being?) that sits in its center, that both frames and looms over the figure below it. The thing is mostly tan in color, or perhaps it’s sun-soaked, and the largest section of it is a curving scythe-like shape, though in practice it seems to have been cut out of some kind of stone. The scythe is affixed with an eyeball, sprouts a hand of sorts, even seems to grow a large bulbous head, well, maybe it’s more of a sphere, but the sphere has a mask of a human face stuck into it, and atop this bulbous head is a small garden of 4th-of-July sparklers. The thing has other dimensions: It extends into the background, it is cut-up in places as if it has been sliced by a cleaver. Around it are other bizarre objects. A stationary splash of water, or perhaps it’s ice or glass. A waffled sphere like something you’d find at Universal Studios. A thin square of pure red. A white triangle. A small paper crane.

Enough details to make a man sweat. And in such an all-encompassing combination that trying to put the thing into words is, as detailed, a losing effort. Still, there’s something oddly recognizable about this bizarre brain landscape, the kind of half-surrealist, half-horrific setting Salvador Dalí would have loved. It’s a brain-scape, all right, as if we’re looking into a bubbling cauldron of artistic thought itself. See, there are the colors, all melted together, though there are clear preferences. And there are shapes, following the same logic. And substances! Textures! Symbols! Subjects! It is like we’re seeing an artwork only conceived of, and like WintEagle is taking us inside the mind that conceives it, so that we can see just the mishmashed amalgamation of influences and ideas that may one day emerge into a coherent art piece. Which, ironically, makes Clionate coherent itself. Despite its best efforts to the contrary, I would say. 

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