Cosmos, A Collection by Jen Stark Merging NFTs and Art

Whirling and vibrant artworks fill the screen—a collection of shapes bouncing off the bounds of their frames and flashing in a hypnotic trance. The imagery undulates and vibrates as the viewer takes in the array of artwork in the collection. If these images seem familiar to you that is because they are. In the spring of 2021, Jen Stark made her debut by setting records with the sale of her kaleidoscopic animation, Multiverse. The piece was collected by 3FMusic for 150ETH ($343,000 USD), which made Stark the first female artist to enter Foundation’s top 10 selling creators.

With the recent launch of her newest NFT collection on Foundation, Stark brings a new set of mesmerizing patterns to the platform. Kicking off the new collection called Cosmos, Stark dropped 12 new artworks on Wednesday, September 29th. Selling out within 24 hours, the collection is off to an exciting start. Over the next several weeks Stark will be unveiling eleven ‘micro cosmos’ and one ‘macro cosmo,’ for a total of 60 artworks in the collection. By bringing this vibrant set of artwork to Foundation, Stark also shows off the new collection feature that the platform will soon roll out to all creators. Stark has made her mark on the contemporary art scene with works in the permanent collections of the Smithsonian American Art Museum and MOCA Miami, as well as group and solo exhibitions across New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Chicago, Thailand, and Canada. 

I had the pleasure of speaking with Stark about her recent move into NFTs and how she feels that it is allowing the artist to take the power back.

What inspired you to begin making NFTs?

“I was born in Miami and went through art school, and then I went to an art college in Baltimore, found myself back in Miami, and started my art career. I moved out to LA about nine years ago. And I was able to meet like-minded artists and creative people to start a community here. 

My art is mainly inspired by nature,  color theory, math, Fibonacci sequences, fractals, psychedelic mathematical designs in nature and science. 

I heard about NFTs in February and it seemed mind-blowing to me how the artist had so much autonomy and power with their work. In the traditional art world, you sell your artwork to a collector and that’s it, you don’t see any other profits usually. I thought it was cool for the artist to take the power back, and always be connected to the work. You get royalties if it sells which you don’t in the art world usually. The community around it intrigued me as well, and it’s been really cool. I have met so many new people on Twitter, and mostly virtually through the NFT world.”

How has joining the NFT community/creating NFT art changed the way you view community/art/creativity?

“The thing I love about this community is that it is very open and there is a lot of helping each other. The NFT world is very open and welcoming and I loved that above it. And it’s kind of a bunch of technology rebels that are trying to pave a new path, and can be a new avenue of art history. I think the art world looks down on it a bit, but they are opening their eyes a little. But I think they have to look at it because it’s happening and they can’t control it, and I think it is already this fork in art history.”

Since launching on Foundation's marketplace, what has your experience been like and how is it different from traditional gallery spaces?

“I chose Foundation initially because I loved the look of their site, it is super clean and it is super easy to navigate and beautiful to look at. A lot of other platforms are still missing the user experience, and Foundation had that from the start. I dropped on SuperRare a few months ago and that was really fun. But Foundation’s support really helped me and guided me through the process.”

Has working with NFTs opened up new possibilities in your creative process?

“It’s definitely a natural progression, I am a hands-on building stuff kind of girl—painting, and sculpture. In college I started to learn a little bit of animation, starting with stop motion, cutting paper, sculptures, and creating animations with that. I dived a bit into the animation world and then I started teaming up with a few collaborators years ago. 

Personally, I am more of a painter sculptor—I have an animation brain but I usually team up with people to help me execute my vision.”

Do you feel that there is a separation between the NFT art you make and your other artwork?

“The cool thing about the NFT world is that the collectors are visible, and you can directly connect with people so much easier. Also, the NFT element of art is interesting, and I am trying to think of it as more of a utility. Like how can this NFT benefit the collectors, and trying to think about the future of that. It has become a lot more thought out as far as creating private discord channels for my NFT collectors which have been really fun. 

I see the whole NFT metaverse as another material an artist can use. A material that opens a whole new universe for the artist to express themselves and create a whole new community around their work. I want to dive into all the crazy web3 experiences. Everything about it is so open, and there are so many possibilities it is a little bit overwhelming."

Are there any artists working in the NFT space that inspire you?

Some of the artists that inspire me are @ix_shells, @Mad_Dog_Jones, @kyttenjanae, @badmocap, @newrafael, @rich_lord.

Has there been friction with traditional artists joining the NFT space?

“Yeah, I’ve seen a little friction with it, and there was this moment at the beginning of the year where everyone was learning everything together. Me and most of my artist friends all dove in and we all learned it and became obsessed with it. The artists that did not do that are a bit behind, and it is harder for them to jump in and learn about it. I think it is always possible and if they are willing to jump into it I think it’s a really fun world to be a part of. 

I think a lot of people don’t understand what NFTs are, and once they do understand that they have ownership of their work, autonomy, and direct royalties I think they will jump on board.”

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