Bestselling NFT artists Jen Stark, Shawna X and Ix Shells pick their favourite NFTs

The artists tell us about the type of artwork you can expect to find in their Worlds on Foundation, and choose three of their favourites.

3 September 2021

Foundation is one of a number of marketplaces – much like Rarible, OpenSea and SuperRare – where artists and digital art fans can list, sell and collect NFT artworks. In this increasingly busy and very-hyped sphere, the platform is looking to stand out using serious cultural cachet, enlisting top talent from the best museums, galleries and record labels to help build its reputation and creative community. One of its most exciting new features is Worlds, which are essentially galleries, collections or “visual playlists” curated by individual users. Minted artists and collectors can create a World around a theme, and showcase their favourite works around that theme – ones they’ve made, own or just simply enjoy.

Though the creators of Worlds are still only a select few chosen by Foundation, if and when it opens up to the masses, it will give Foundation an edge. It encourages artists to not only try to sell their own work, but to celebrate other artists’ work, and in turn express themselves through the collections they curate. “Worlds is our approach to decentralised curation,” says Foundation’s head of community Lindsay Howard. “There are so many interesting communities and genres forming organically on Foundation, in part because of our peer-to-peer invite system. We’ve seen photographers bring on other photographers, meme creators initiate meme-themed collective releases, and emergent categories like concept art, dance, and performance art. We highlight a lot of these communities on our homepage and across our social media, but also want to give a spotlight to the individuals who are deeply embedded in these networks so they can promote artists they love.”

Some of the artists who’ve created Worlds include some of the highest-selling artists on Foundation: Jen Stark, illustrator Shawna X, Eric Hu, Nicolas Sassoon, Ix Shells, even Nyan Cat. We asked Jen, Shawna and Ix to tell us more about their Worlds and pick out some of their favourite pieces.

Jen Stark: Dimensions

“My world is called Dimensions because I wanted to showcase artists with more sculptural work, who create their own universes. The artwork in the collection typically has an emphasis on 3D modelling, sculpture, ceramics, VR/AR, rendered environments and animation. Each artist is creating their own fantasy world through their art.”

Some of Jen’s favourites:

Deep Gradient by Emilio. (above) “I love how he transforms such a common action (closing a computer window) into a gorgeous piece of artwork. It turns a common, everyday task into something extraordinary.”

Candid Spirit by Lloyd Wright. “Lloyd creates beautiful fantasy worlds that he sees in his dreams. This one is inspired by magical realism and the ancestral representation of spirits. I love how mysterious yet beautiful it is.”

Going to the Store by David Lewandowski. (below) “Dlew is such a creative artist and animator. His work is at the same time magical and sublime. I love how quirky and creative his worlds are.”

Shawna X: Animation

“I’m drawn to sensitivity and works that come from an intuitive space. I approach these works in the same way I approach living – by feeling. The variety of animations evoke various sensations that feel free-flowing, easy, and dynamic.”

Some of Shawna’s favourites:

Nikita: The Boschgel Experience (below, top)

Bray Kevin: It is going against the wind, 2021

Yoshi Sodeoka: Wetware - Mutation (below, bottom)

Ix Shells: Net Expressions

“My world is called Net Expressions. In the beginning, it was going to be called net art, which is a term that more people know, but we decided to change it to Net Expressions, because I not only added net art, but I added some art and people that inspire me, including their illustrations, and 3D art. I started by identifying the people that are really talented, but who aren’t able to get as much visibility. I call it ‘net expressions’ because it’s work that makes me feel something.”

Some of Ix’s favourites:

Pixlpa: Undefined Crushes, vol 2. (below, top)

I love Pixlpa’s work. I collected one of his, and they look like paintings or stills where you can identify so many different shapes, and humanoid patterns, or patterns of nature. I really love it.

Also, illustrations, like Léna Mačka’s. She’s an artist from France that I’ve been following since I started my Instagram account. I’ve shared her work every now and then, and I thought this was a great opportunity to introduce her to the NFT world and for her to get real compensation for what she does. Her art talks a lot about the comparison between two different states of mind or many differences of mind in one person. For example, she uses silhouettes that reflect just one person, but at the same time, it shows there’s a whole group or a world inside of us. Sometimes, we are just in harmony with ourselves or fighting with ourselves. There’s a lot of contemplation in her work that I thought would be nice to share with the world we are building.”

“I also need to mention Kaoru Tanaka. (below, bottom) She’s been constantly making art ever since I met her two years ago. She shares output almost every day, and I feel that’s become more than a discipline. This is a way for her to say, ‘Hello, I exist.’ I love her output – it’s so bright and colourful. The liquid simulations that she makes are just really amazing.”

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Emilio: Deep Gradient (Copyright © Emilio, 2021)

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Jenny Brewer

Jenny oversees our editorial output across work, news and features. She was previously It’s Nice That's news editor. Get in touch with any big creative stories, tips, pitches, news and opinions, or questions about all things editorial.

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