Megan Laurent, a photographer in the NFT space
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, but I'm a self-taught artist. I have exhibited my art in France and abroad.
When did you start making art?
I started in my early twenties, I was able to have breaks in my practice, but I have never stopped for the past 10 years…
What is the story behind your artworks?
I have different series of work, but most of my artistic practice revolves around self-portraits.
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 in a subtext a work on the “female gaze”.
p.s: (this series of work has not yet been minted on the blockchain, and I am still thinking about what form it could take).
I also work on funeral rites through installations or images, and 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 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 digital had been talking to me for a while about NFTs and advised me to look into this new space. He knows I’m a curious person. At first I was not very excited. Then while discovering the high quality of the artworks on the blockchain, and many new aesthetics, I was finally conquered. 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 french traditional art industry, it's difficult to exhibit photographs if they are not in the documentary register.
"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."
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 and 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 online community, direct interaction with collectors, much lower commissions (for example in the traditional art milieu gallery owners can take up to 60% commission), and the diversity of marketplaces to sell art NFTs,
CONs: The small social codes or the vocabulary of NFTs on twitter, it’s a bit hard to acquire 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 allowed me to sell my first NFTs."
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 voting rights on the process and the 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 didn’t know what to do and propose. I thought about this expression of Meta Dreams and I thought about 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 artwork 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. This was made possible thanks to Art From Future's team work.
Meta Dreams was my first exhibition in the Metaverse and 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 meet through the web and in IRL people passionate about this phenomenon, 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.
Thank you so much Megan