PARIS, Oct. 30, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Artprice is proud to present the NFT work Flow by Josh Pierce on the cover of its latest Annual Report on the Contemporary and Ultra-Contemporary Art Market, published just in time for the Frieze London and Paris+ by Art Basel art fairs and available for free.
“Digital creation brings a wonderful breath of fresh air to the art world” enthuses thierry Ehrmann, CEO of Artmarket.com and Founder of Artprice. “This artistic turning point deserves to be examined with the greatest attention by all collectors and art enthusiasts.”
The work Flow by Josh Pierce on the cover of Artprice’s 2023 Contemporary Art Market Report, available in English and French for free on www.artprice.com
Auction result for the work Pristine (2021) by Josh Pierce on the website www.artprice.com
NFT technology not only offers a simple and suitable way to collect digital art – an artistic format that perhaps best represents the age we live in – but it also allows us to establish links between artists, works, and collectors, as well as all the other protagonists of the international art world on the Blockchain. As NFT artworks become more common in museums and auction catalogs, alongside their growth on dedicated platforms, they are writing a new page in Art History.
Artist Josh Pierce talks to Artprice about his work, his technique, his vision of NFTs, as well as his inspirations and his favorites. He invites us to delve into his spectacular work where the human being contemplates a natural world re-enchanted by a mysterious, luminous, fantastic, and soothing presence.
1. Your works celebrate a type of harmony between the real world and the digital world. Do you believe that such a symbiosis really exists, or is possible?
Jpierce: Yes, I do believe that the real world and the digital world can coexist harmoniously. This kind of symbiosis is a theme in my work for a reason. I believe that all things are interconnected. When we are able to tap into that knowledge we can create and share from a much deeper place. We have a chance to make the world a better place, even in a very small way. In my view, everything that is created by human beings is both an expression of this earthly experience and an extension of our own inner worlds. I don’t see work created with digital tools any differently. At one point the paintbrush was invented, and so was the camera, and now we have these new tools for self-expression and for creating art digitally. This opens up entirely new possibilities that we haven’t even begun to conceive of. Even though life is getting more and more digital, I don’t really think that people are generally going to want to live in a futuristic technotopia, completely disconnected from nature. I believe we will always need that connection with the living world because really we are a part of it. With that said I think that audiences will always resonate with natural elements because we have a need to stay in close contact with nature. So it doesn’t matter whether that art is created digitally or in any other way.
2. What is technique according to you when it comes to digital art? Why aren’t creative software apps and their pre-programmed libraries enough to create a work of art? Why isn’t Artificial Intelligence enough?
Jpierce: Technique is something that is honed over time and has as much to do with the eye as it does with the hand. There is a difference in my view of something that is art and something that is simply craft. While craft, or technique, is extremely important, it does not equate to art. Art is about an individual’s expression and their own channeling or interpretation of the divine, via the conscious act of creation. No machine can ever do that. Having access to an amazing array of tools can only modify the level of technique that goes into a work’s creation. It’s like using a stencil, or a screen printing process such as with Warhol. Ultimately it doesn’t have anything to do with “how” the work is made and everything to do with “why” the work is made. This is the key distinction in my mind. Humans can build a machine to spit out any millions of copies or iterations of beautiful images, poetry or music, but without the artist’s intention, the “why” will always be missing. These creations will always lack the soul. Artificial Intelligence is yet another tool that can make our lives easier, handling some of the tedious work, but again will never be able to replace the artist’s divinely guided hand.
3. How would you define the originality of your artistic production in comparison to your job as a graphic designer?
Jpierce: As you might have already noticed, lately I’ve been fascinated with the idea of works of art being channeled from beyond. It isn’t even so much about personal expression as it relates to one’s own life but more about capturing the particular flavor of the signals that are coming to you as an artist. I think in all fulfilling and meaningful work there needs to be this spark of creativity. For me as a designer working on a team, creativity is more involved in concept and technical execution than it is in personal expression. I still find a lot of joy in the creative process of problem-solving and of bringing to life a message through means of visual communication. On the other end, my personal work brings that same inspiration into more abstract modalities such as color, composition, and tone. This kind of inspiration isn’t about solving a problem but about creating a harmony between, space, form, value and emotional resonance. I work much more intuitively when it comes to my personal work, as one would expect, and I think originality emerges as a result of that interplay between inspiration and technique, as well as intuition and serendipity.
4. What relationship do you have with the world of NFTs? Do you feel connected to your collectors, the platforms you use, or maybe even other artists?
Jpierce: I find it very interesting that the world of NFTs has become so broad and has come to encompass such a large variety of projects. This new technology built on the blockchain is capable of so many things and the ability to represent uniquely ownable digital items is only a very small part of what is being explored. As an artist, I am extremely grateful that my work can now be collected and owned by individuals and institutions that want to see work like mine promoted in the art world. Since this wasn’t really possible before, an entirely new wave of artists and collectors have found their way into a crossroads with traditional art markets. It’s a very exciting time. Most of the people who have collected my work thus far have been smaller entities or individuals and almost exclusively have been buying for the right reasons. That is, they connect deeply with the message and have an emotional response to the work, and for that reason I feel very connected. Platforms have also been incredibly helpful, and while they are evolving and changing over time, I feel very connected to the individuals I have built relationships with who may or may not remain connected to those various platforms. The community of artists and tech enthusiasts is the backbone of the NFT world and I feel very grateful to have many wonderful friendships within it, as it positions itself for the next push into the mainstream art world.
5. Are you satisfied with the current functioning of the web3/NFT ecosystem or do you feel it lacks something? For example, would you like to be supported by a gallery or see your work physically exhibited in a museum?
Jpierce: I’m definitely very interested in my work being exhibited in a gallery or museum and can say enthusiastically that the time for this is coming sooner rather than later! Digital artists have particular challenges in displaying work, usually implementing LED screens or projectors. Personally, I really like the option of physical prints and utilizing augmented reality technology to bring them to life. I think this marries the physical world with the digital world much more intimately than moving screens which I always find slightly alienating. It also grounds the work in the physical space, guaranteeing no technical glitches, which would only occur on the user’s device and don’t affect the overall gallery experience. In terms of representation, I believe it’s only a matter of time before the transition to digital art becomes mainstream. I do hope that as the value of work such as mine becomes recognized more and more by the world, that the art scene will begin to embrace it and digital artists will have a home in more traditional exhibition spaces.
6. Two of your NFT creations have already sold at Sotheby’s. How does it feel to see the traditional art market take an interest in your work and that of other digital artists?
Jpierce: Certainly, there are few higher honors than to see my work on display and at auction at Sotheby’s – made even more special by getting to go there in person and see it in their gallery in France in March of 2023. Seeing my work there makes me very proud of myself and the hard work and dedication I’ve committed to my practice over the years. Of course, no matter the outcome, I have, and always will, create purely for the joy of sharing what I believe to be an important expression of human connection with nature and of the evolution of human consciousness. For that reason, any high profile sale or exhibition only draws more eyes and ears to what it is that I feel I need to say. For digital artists in general I think this also applies. We are seeing an entirely new generation of creative minds reach into the collective psyche and hold up these choice findings for examination. Eventually, traditional art markets will have to embrace that just as every avant-garde movement has pushed the boundaries of medium, subject matter, taboos, and even concept itself. In the future hindsight will reveal that this question of adoption in the eyes of critics always had a foregone conclusion. It’s inevitable that digital artists will be seen on the same level as all other widely respected mediums.
7. In your work, we can glimpse a romanticism close to that of Caspar David Friedrich’s Wanderer, or imagine a connection with installations by Andy Goldsworthy. Do any artists or works particularly inspire you?
Jpierce: I can appreciate those comparisons! I have taken to considering myself a spiritual artist, in that what I create comes from and attempts to transmit a connection with a spiritual dimension. In some ways, we might simply consider this the realm of the magical. There is a deep magic in the world, and it can’t really be talked about, measured or captured with concepts and words. So I use art to convey an emotion that is commonly felt and more commonly forgotten, dismissed or deemed irrelevant. As far as inspiration, I have always been drawn to nature and to classical landscape painting and photography. Certainly also, Goldsworthy and Friedrich are powerful inspirations for my work. I grew up marveling at the fantasy landscape work of Roger Dean, and the psychedelic visionary art of Alex Grey. I’ve also drawn inspiration from the neon work of Dan Flavin, as well as the work done with cloud formations by Cai Guo-Qiang. I’ve appreciated at times many other artists who worked within landscapes including Richard Serra and Robert Smithson.
8. Are there any digital artists whom you would wholeheartedly recommend our readers to discover?
Jpierce: There are so many artists that I would really love to speak about, especially friends of mine and artists who I believe are pushing boundaries. I believe Patrick Amadon has become a real leader in the world of glitch art and free speech advocacy. Postwook is another artist whose striking collage work transports us to dreamy memories potent with feeling. Sam Spratt has also become a standout star, painting digitally, questioning our relationships with our own raw animalistic emotional natures. I could say so much more but these are just a few I would love to see gain even greater recognition in all areas of the art world.
9. Finally, what is the best way to view your works and stay informed about your upcoming creations?
Jpierce: I post most regularly on Instagram @jpierce and I make most of my announcements on X (formerly Twitter) @jpierce_art. Also, any major announcement will be made on my website – joshpierce.net where you will also find galleries of my work and a place to sign up for an email newsletter to keep informed about upcoming releases! Thank you again so much for the opportunity to speak about my work and share my thoughts with the world.
Josh Pierce’s page on Artprice: https://www.artprice.com/artist/1097445/josh-pierce
Josh Pierce’s official website: https://www.joshpierce.net/
Josh Pierce’s NFT works on SuperRare: https://superrare.com/jpierce
Artprice’s free 2023 Contemporary Art Market Report: https://www.artprice.com/artprice-reports/the-contemporary-art-market-report-2023
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