Hi Megan, could you tell us about yourself and your background?
My name is Megan Laurent, I live in France. I am an artist photographer, I also write, make installations and digital paintings. But my main medium remains photography, I studied visual arts at university, and I'm a self-taught artist. I exhibited my art in France and abroad.
When did you start making art?
I started in my early twenties, I had some breaks, but I have never stopped for the past 10 years…
"It is not necessary for example to know how to code to make NFTs and to sell them."
What is the story behind your artworks?
I work on different subjects but my artistic practice revolves mainly around self-portrait.
My main concern is how to build up a “photographic body” when you are both photographer and subject? I am my own subject of study, my only raw material. I control my entire image, I reconfigure my body and face according to my moods. I think self-portrait as an artistic project is existential. It is also a work on the “female gaze”. (This work has not yet been minted on the blockchain I am still thinking about what form it could take).
I also work on funeral rites through installations or images. I have for example a series of pictures available as NFTS on Foundation: “The water flows, the stones remain”, is a photographic series made in 2019. Each photo shows a statue of a funerary monument at the Fiumei út National Cemetery, Budapest, Hungary. Through an elaborate composition of my images, I try to give "life" to these statues. The title of this series "The water flows, the stones remain" and my photographs are an allegory of the brevity of our lives.
I am currently working on a series of digital landscapes called Pixels on earth, I create enigmatic colorful landscapes, to represent a digital utopia. These are colorful images with psychedelic and futuristic aspects. They are available on Objkt.
I also have a small PFP (profile picture) project in progress that I will be minting when it is ready…
A few months ago you started making NFTs. What made you decide to start this journey into WEB3?
In fact, this past year I have been quite immobilized at home due to health problems and cycles of operations or medical procedures. My boyfriend who works in the digital industry had been telling about NFTs and advised me to check-out the space. He knows I’m a curious person. At first I was not very excited. But then I discovered the richness of the art and all these new aesthetics, and I changed my mind. It was also a time when I was getting tired of the rigidity of the traditional art environment despite my background and my hard work to make my work visible. In the traditional art world in France, it's hard to exhibit photographs if they are not part of the documentary register.
"One may suffer a bashing of the traditional art world that does not yet or not always understand that digital and physical art are mutually supportive, no need to choose sides."
Did you find it difficult to enter the world of crypto art?
No I didn’t find it difficult, I first did my own research and attended masterclasses that helped me better understand blockchain and NFTs. At first I thought it was difficult because of the technical aspect but not at all. It is not necessary for example to know how to code to make NFTs and to sell them. What can be difficult is to give visibility to his work as in the traditional world of art.
What were the PROs and CONs of entering this space as an artist?
- PROs: A strong community, direct interaction with its collectors, much lower commissions, (for example in the traditional art world, gallery owners can take up to 60% commission), the diversity of marketplaces to sell NFTs.
- CONs: The small social codes or the vocabulary of NFTs on Twitter. It’s a bit hard to get it at the beginning, you also have to be on Twitter, that’s where everything happens and you have to speak a little English… Another problem that concerns the cleavage of the traditional art world/ and the world of NFTs. One may suffer a bashing of the traditional art world that does not yet or not always understand that digital and physical art are mutually supportive, no need to choose sides.
"Meta Dreams was my first exhibition in the Metaverse and it allowed me to sell my first NFTs."
Megan Laurent, Pixels on earth (Meta Dreams), 12 Tez
Recently, you participated in the Meta Dreams exhibition organized by Art From Future DAO. Can you tell us a bit about your experience?
It was a very rich experience for me, I was able to participate because I had joined the discord of Art From Future a few months before. Community members had access to voting rights to the entire process and theme of the exhibition. I had basically voted for the “female gaze” theme because it was more related to my initial work on self-portrait, but it had not won the majority. Meta Dreams was the theme chosen by the DAO. I created artworks based on a photographic series I had taken in Iran, on the island of Ormuz, in the Persian Gulf. These landscapes for me had everything that appealed to the imagination of the dream: colored rocks, lunar landscapes, bright lights… Therefore, I decided that these photos would be my starting material. I reworked them on photoshop, like digital paintings, with bright colors, spirals and while working the sense of composition that is fundamental, in each of my pictures whatever its theme and that is how Pixels on earth was born. This first creation was very well received, in terms of criticism and visibility. It was displayed on the front page of Objkt and I sold 5 NFTs in less than 24 hours thanks to the team work of Art From Future community.
Meta Dreams was my first exhibition in the Metaverse and it allowed me to sell my first NFTs. After that I created other images in the same vein as Pixels on earth, with the same pleasure and other sales followed. I feel that this exhibition has allowed me to put a spotlight on my work.
If you had one advice to give for artists who are curious about NFTs, what would it be?
To be curious, to do your own research, to attend masterclasses, to engage with others online and in in real life. But above all to observe the new aesthetic forms that the WEB3 allows to discover. It is this discovery that I personally appreciate every day.