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This is no Magic - PRPL

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Date Minted:  September 23, 2020 (Happy Birthday, Dad!)

Artist Description: 360° artsphere / VR background inspired artwork at 4K resolution ( 2160p ) - © 2020

CohentheWriter’s Commentary:

Describing Natural Warp’s visually-stunning art is a tall order. This artist, possessed of such an intense and unique style, creates art that’s like a kaleidoscope come alive. Shapes that defy description, and the illusion of movement when there’s not actual movement, and colors so densely-layered and integrated within each other that any attempt to ascribe nomenclature to what we see before us feels false, or, even worse, pathetic. This is gluttonous artwork. This is really sprawling stuff, and it extends to nearly all of Warp’s art, whether that be pieces made specifically for the Metaverse, objects themselves, or pieces like This is no Magic - PRPL, which strikes me as (somehow) a full encapsulation of Warp’s style in one intensely-colored, all-consuming, and absolutely mesmerizing piece. From the seeming happenstance of the color composition to the gentle suggestion of so many possible source inspirations (the human body and its cells, ocean currents, galactic interaction in the far reaches of space, acid trips, ecstatic spiritual experiences, computer nodes and circuits, peacock feathers, etc.) to the ever-changing nature of how we interact with and interpret the piece (as an effect of, you know, the allness of it), this is an all-consuming and all-devouring kind of artwork, almost enough to foment anxiety (especially if you have trypophobia). But despite its title, that’s This is no Magic - PRPL’s magic. There’s so much of it that no two of us will have the same experience with it, our eyes naturally drawn to different places, our attention settling in different pockets of bright color. I don’t know what you see, of course, but let me tell you what I do:

I see worlds within worlds and shapes within shapes. My experience with This is no Magic - PRPL begins at the bright, flying-saucer of a circular spot towards the upper-right corner of the piece. But that’s only because of its unique brightness, the propulsion-system-like eruptions of white light that not only fail to reappear elsewhere in the piece, but seem in large part responsible for how the composition itself unfolds. Each of those five white quasi-thrusters spits out a brightening stream of light which paints the peacock-feather-shaped polygons in their wake a slightly paler shade of pink than the many, many, many, many others that populate all the otherwise-empty spaces herein. In some spots, these peacock feathers become smaller and smaller and eventually dissolve into black holes. Elsewhere, they pass over an invisible threshold and indelibly change, stretching and taking on new colors —neon blues and purples— which themselves form defined chains of shapes within the background soup of so many other similar ones. There are a few more spots where these kinds of shape and color changes occur. In one area, near the midsection of the image, all color dissipates other than a dark, forest green, with bulbous germ-like circles connected by thin green arms. In the bottom left of the piece, and again in the upper-left quadrant, are two much larger pockmarks of shining blue and purple, almost like some utopic alien city seen from above. The piece itself is gently split into two rather separate sections: the first contains the peacock feathers and the initial propulsive circle, while the second is occupied by all the other markings I’ve mentioned. It’s hard to pick up on when described linguistically, but there’s quite a dichotomy present here. It’s almost as if we’re seeing two worlds merging. That, or ripping apart.

Of course, in a piece that is so overruled and overwhelmed by abstract shapes, the meaning or motivation behind it will be equally abstract. Even the compositional style eludes me. Was this piece lovingly assembled, each polygon by hand? Was it the product of algorithmic generation? I’ve seen plenty other of Natural Warp’s work, and none of it ever eases up in terms of how much visual information is present, and none of it is ever more forthcoming in how the artist actually came to create the pieces in front of us. 

I do also happen to know that Natural Warp got his crypto art start making 360 artwork, immersive pieces that you could move around and within. Thus, I can’t look at any piece of his on a flat screen and not imagine it like a sphere all around me, that this isn’t just some piece of art I’m looking at, but something I’m being actively interred within. He has works like that, actual giant spheres in Metaverse worlds that one can stand within and look all around. It’s stunning. It justifies the Metaverse in a way I think it’s otherwise very difficult to do. But that’s what Natural Warp’s artwork is primed to do, to perfectly complement all the most extraordinary ways of viewing it. The unfortunate truth is that This is no Magic - PRPL just pales when seen on a flat screen in comparison to what it could be: Blown up and huge on some billboard, in some VR Goggles, pasted as wallpaper in a Metaverse building. That “allness” I mentioned before, it’s only anxiety-inducing and overwhelming when we’re seeing it altogether like this, every bit of the piece within our field of view. Let it consume you, however (as it seeks to do), and it becomes almost calming, like laying down under a night sky full of stars. 

When we can walk right up and focus in on one section of the piece at a time, the artwork’s abstractions begin to morph before our eyes. They begin to speak in a language we can just barely understand. They begin, almost, to tell stories. 

kleintonno.eth and naturalwarp.eth have reacted to this post.

Oh my God, Cohenthewriter you make me blush. You don't know how amazing it is to read such a description on my piece, or perhaps you do - since to me, it feels like you are exactly in the center of the kind of audience that truly gets my work.

Now I get similar questions on how I create my work and explain them each time in a similar way but since indeed this is no ordinary workflow I assume not much of it sticks with the ones who ask.
So let me go for another attempt here, I'm sure you can visualize what I'm about to say.

First of all, none of it is generated content, everything is created by hand.
I always start in a dark and empty space and use a VR tool to start some freestyle sculpting and obviously here already I take into account which direction I'm gonna go further along the process.
Secondly I create a 360° videoloop from this work, with the with emphasis on it being seamless in every way.
Which means , seamlessness in both the kaleidoscopically constructed sacred geometry, as in time.

This kaleidoscopic mirroring process - both for stils and video, while working with the equirectangular map - took me 2 years to perfect ( give or take ) and obviously now I have automated a huge chunck of it so that the basic actions needed to be done - which I created by hand - can repeat themselves to save time and effort.

Now from here is where the fun can begin, of course the freestyle VR sculpting is a lot of fun as well, but now that I have all these video elements and separate frames added to my library I can start with my search for new patterns, time based shape morphing changes and specific color combinations and throw them together in a new combination. This is how I construct a 2D equirectangular map, select elements throw them back together and have a result which is a 360° sphere.

Now artworks like "This is no Magic - PRPL" are born out of some photography sessions within such a 360° sphere.
After going in with my camera and a bunch of different lenses I select the best results and make sure they look the way I want, which often means adding some 2D painting techniques to get them the way I want.

And it's exactly like you said, these 2D results pale in comparison with the actual 360° experience in VR, but hey I feel like it's my task to draw to the screen those that get inspired by such amazing technology.


kleintonno.eth and CohentheWriter have reacted to this post.

Wow, that's literally so freakin' fascinating. You VR wizards continuously amaze me. Appreciate your opening up about your process like this 🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏

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