The sold-out collection has captivated tennis audiences and generative art fans alike, sidestepping the well-trodden path of sporting video highlights to pursue subtle abstract artworks.
Martin Grasser, a San Francisco-based artist whose work explores systems and forms of repetition, launched an avant-garde generative NFT collection at the end of 2022 utilizing sporting data for innovative artistic effect.
In collaboration with the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) Tour and Art Blocks Engine, Grasser’s LOVE Tennis Art Project centers around the 2022 Nitto ATP Finals – a prestigious end of season tournament which sees the top eight seeded players face off in a round-robin contest for ranking points and million-dollar prizes.
This year's tournament was held in Turin, Italy across November 13-20, and saw Novak Djokovic defeat Norway’s Casper Ruud in straight sets 7–5, 6–3, while American and British players Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury came out victorious in the doubles.
Grasser is a generative artist, meaning that his work is the result of a collaborative effort between himself and an autonomous system.
In this case, the system is sporting data points, but other examples could include artificial intelligence softwares such as DALL-E, the popular new AI portrait app Lensa, or an algorithm which creates artistic images based upon a code inserted by the human such in the case of Tyler Hobbs’ Fidzena.
Grasser's debut NFT project titled ‘Squares’ was released on Art Blocks in July this year, and depicts a series of overlapping coloured translucent squares in a style aptly described as “Bauhaus meets Blade Runner.”
His second collection, LOVE, retains this simplicity of form and adherence to uniformity, but acquires profound cultural significance through its cultivation of sporting symbiosis.