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Date Minted: June 24, 2020

Artist Description: Have a little spoon of this. 

CohentheWriter’s Commentary:

Oriveda’s is quite the interesting mind. In their Superrare oeuvre, we find a whole host of bizarre images, from babies crawling out of a prone frog’s unstitched womb, to hypersexualized anthropomorphization of pathogen cells, to a strip club populated by provocatively positioned smartphones. Oriveda is quite aware of the oddities within their collected works, saying in their Superrare bio, “In my own world, digital art is a way of creating a dialogue with reality, drawing elements from my dream world into the waking state of observance. I adore following the nature which is at the essence of anything that can be animated, from humans to animals to mystical creatures. It is an exquisite process in finding balance between tangible and abstract things, between dreams and realism, geometric and shapeless objects. Digital art, despite its limitations, is a perfect form of expression.” While that expression takes many forms, perhaps its most benign comes here in STFU, a riff on mid-20th century advertisements. Unlike many of Oriveda’s works, STFU probably won’t turn your stomach, make you do a double take, or spit out the water you’re drinking. However, the artist at their most tame is still the artist demonstrating their playfulness and their adept compositional ability. 

And yeah, it’s pretty funny too.

STFU isn’t the most elaborate piece on the planet, and nor does it need to be. In it, a photorealistic man’s face grimaces tightly, while underneath him a clearly hand-drawn suit of blue and white and soft, seafoam green stretches down to the bottom of the frame. In one of his hands —jutting out from the right side of the frame— the man holds a small spoon downward, a drop of dark amber liquid seductively hanging from its edge. In the other hand —quite a bit closer, larger, and connected to an ambient arm— is a capped apothecary’s bottle, although the prescription is something one needs no doctor to help them acquire. “SHUT THE FUCK UP” it says on its face, and now we turn back to the man’s smug smirk, and it takes on new meaning. Behind the figure, the piece is composed as if it’s an old, mid-century poster, the color palette all mottled greens and tans, seeming almost washed out, while along the image’s edges, Oriveda has added a patchy, burnt-out effect, as if this is an old postcard we’ve found at a yard sale and not a modern piece of art affixed to a hyper-contemporary technology like NFTs. But that’s Oriveda’s ethos, isn’t it? Finding balance between unlike things? Elsewhere, sanctity and irreverence. Elsewhere, the aforementioned dreams and realism. Here, the old and the new, the obsolete and the as-of-yet unadopted. And labeled with a curse word in black and white. 

I want to take a moment to admire this piece’s composition, because while the subject matter is rather fun and banal, the actual technical execution is majorly impressive, if only because of the naturalized compliment of varying artistic styles on display here. The male figure, for instance, is composed quite photorealistically, his skin being absent of visible brushstrokes or markers of drawing, the skin being multi-toned, and look at the hair, at all its many individual strands. This standing in contrast to the man’s suit, where all the aforementioned qualities are thrown away in favor of an overtly-artificial drawing style. Brushstrokes super evident. Textures quite obviously overlaid atop each other. And weird angles to things, like the downcast upper-left corner of the man’s bowtie, or the strange, clipped swooping downward of his hand. And that this is all set atop a rather geometric background, pleasingly composed but apparently unrelated to any of the previous artistic styles. 

Let’s return to a notion from the Artist’s Bio: “It is an exquisite process in finding balance between…dreams and realism.” I hope it’s not too much of a stretch, but I feel that this is what’s on display here in STFU, no matter how esoterically or unconsciously. It’s clearly not explicated like it is in, say, Space Burger, where a rather commonplace subject is presented in concert with wild and startling aspects, but is communicated within the interaction between the three art styles. Because it’s not dream imagery that Oriveda displays here, but a kind of dream visualization. Do you know what I mean? Like when you’re dreaming, and despite the realness, the vividness of the situation there, we sometimes find ourselves stuck with a slightly-odd, slightly-off observational capacity. Colors that are so slightly off. Or how sometimes, even though clocks still display lines in their original hues —the bright red or neon green of digital clocks— they no longer make cohesive numbers; everything is jumbled. We are very quietly aware that the dream around us is, in fact, off. Staring at STFU, I get the same kind of feeling, this sense that what I’m seeing is ever-so-slightly unreal, that there’s something ever-so-slightly wrong with my perspective. Skin that seems just a tad too visceral. Clothes where I can identify just a tad too much artifice. 

As Oriveda says in their Artist Description, “Have a little spoon of this.”

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