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Detail transformed hippie happy

Museum Link:

Source Link:

Date Minted:  June 18, 2019

Artist Description: N/A

CohentheWriter’s Commentary:

A colorful cloudburst with abstracts abounding; what more perfect title could you want for such a piece than the stilted-but-sincere Detail transformed hippie happy? Lapin Mignon does not present this artwork with any added intertextual detail; it does not seem to exist within a collection of other Mignon artworks (not that I can easily find), nor does it have any Artist Description. Mignon merely throws us into an abstract pool and challenges us to swim, composing a piece that contains zero recognizable symbols, though a plethora of shapes and colors and interesting compositional choices provide ample life raft-age. It’s not that there’s anything specifically odd or off-putting about the piece itself —It contains plenty to discuss, and I’m looking forward to getting into it aesthetically— but it’s still strange to be so without contextual footholds when looking at any artwork. A larger responsibility appears before us when we’re analyzing and expounding on a piece without the stabilizing influence of its artist’s greater oeuvre readily available to us. We can’t make assumptions as easily. We don’t have a sense of the artist’s tendencies. But perhaps I’m getting away from myself, because plenty of artworks are presented as disconnected from their artist’s larger collection of works, and Detail transformed hippie happy does nevertheless imply certain sensibilities about the artist. Like their penchant for watercolors. Or the way they and their piece both revel in overlapping and muddled details. Or how we’re dealing with an artist that obviously has no interest in existing within a single artistic tradition. Detail transformed hippie happy is abstraction, and it’s collage, and displays a distinct expressionist sensibility. I’m tempted to wonder what it all means, but I fear —without the rest of the artist’s work to temper us— we’ll be coming up against a brick wall. Maybe we should still just run at it full speed and see what happens.

Helpfully, the work itself is alluring and inviting in its own right. Detail transformed hippie happy has a universal quality, most likely —in my estimation— a result of the bubbly nature of the colors. Supersaturated and neon, the swirling miasma of color which is the piece’s most attention-grabbing aspect marries the brightest of turquoise hues with electric greens and pinks and yellows and orange and reds, mashing them together into a splotchy mess that reminds me of how a heat-mapped world looks through infrared goggles. Most of the colors exist in individually-consistent splotches, like the small puddle of green which extends from the right side of the frame, or the reddish-pink section near the top-left corner. Generally, warmer colors seem to exist at the fringes of the larger assemblage, like with the prong of color parallel to the image’s southern edge that contains layers of orange and pink and red and yellow. Still, all the colors are inexact, with their edges often bleeding into each other, or bleeding out into the otherwise white ether behind it. Atop the colors themselves are clumps of abstract shapes, generally existing in two clusters. The first and largest such cluster sits near the center of the piece. As if a tub of Lincoln Logs had been dumped out atop the composition, two-dozen-or-so transparent rectangles of varying sizes are spread out, one on top of another, along most of the image’s width. Elsewhere, along the frame’s left edge, is an alien-looking shape: a circular ring with a number of ball-capped antennae arcing off from its center. 

Together, all these details give off the sense that the image was found as opposed to created. There’s something distinctly naturalist about everything together, an impression that I suppose stems from the way all the details seem to have kind of just fallen where they are. Colors dripped down onto the composition without even Jackson Pollack’s instinctual and hairbrained intention. And the shapes don’t seem to display any internal logic, just seem to have shaken out wherever they were, fallen where they now rest. I’m also dogged by the sense that the aspects of this composition are mere suggestions of their fuller selves. Because the color reminds me of a film negative. And the shapes are all outlines, like crime-scene drawings. 

Together, all of Detail transformed hippie happy feels as if it’s half-finished, spontaneously started and spontaneously ended. No, it’s more than spontaneous! It’s almost accidental, like seeing the impression of shapes in clouds. Or like the artist didn’t have a full suite of tools, and so was challenging themselves to create with only what they had around them. I’ve no idea how to connect that impression to a title like Detail transformed hippie happy. Still, I’m fascinated by the sense that the artist picked up and left this image behind unfinished; and maybe it’s we who came upon it by accident, a composition we were never meant to look at. 

Still, it was minted on the blockchain, so there was obviously intention behind it. Which begs the question: Is anything minted ever half-finished? Is finalization a decision of the artist or one of the observers, and how significantly does the specific medium of communication (in this case minted NFT) answer that question on behalf of both parties?

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