Greetings to all the CryptoArt fans, collectors and artists out there. This is the first interview article from our new ‘CryptoArt Sundays’ column by me, NiftyHontas of NFTPlazas.com.
For many who appreciate art, getting to know the person behind the artworks is quite often just as important as the art itself, so we aim to bridge that gap and from now on, every Sunday we will be featuring an interview with with various different artists from the CryptoArt world.
For this week’s interview, I had a chat with one of my favourite visionary artists in the NFT space, Sean Allum aka Eloh Projects. His art can keep you captivated for hours on end, and there is so much depth, meaning, and layers upon layers of mystery in every nook and cranny of each of his artworks. Eloh is someone who puts a lot of thought and time into his artworks, and you can tell he is here for the long run and NFTs are not just a passing train for him to hop on, make money, and hop off.
Even the name ‘Eloh’ is loaded with meaning, read until the end to find out what it means. I asked Sean in a follow up question after our interview about it, because I was very intrigued as to whether or not ‘projects’ was verb, as in Eloh is an entity being projected, or ‘projects’ as a noun. 😊
In this interview he shares his wisdom and philosophy around art, his impressions of the NFT space, and what’s in store for the future of CryptoArt. I’m a huge fan of visionary art, and I would love to see more big names from the visionary art world join the CryptoArt space.
Now let’s get to it!
How did you find out about the NFT space, and what attracted you to create your own NFTs?
Eloh: First of all, thank you for this opportunity. So yeah, I was on Steemit back in early-mid 2017. Through sharing my art and building a little community there I was introduced to some of the earliest adopters of cryptoart: Stellabelle, Nanu Berks, AlienHoney, Ferjart, Yusaymon and Vachemort…to name a few. We were familiar with Cryptokitties and the Rare Pepe phenomenon and were exploring ways to bring our art more immediately in line with the blockchain and, specifically, EOS at that time. But it was so early that there were really very few ways to do anything truly significant. Anyway, I mistakenly stepped away after the 2017 coin boom and returned to my business as usual right before the NFT art market really came into being. So I essentially missed the first explosions because I got bored before the fireworks show. It wasn’t until 2019 that Yura Miron reached out to me to peak my interest again. By then I was so wrapped up in trying to keep my head above water that I had literally no time to experiment, and I was still a bit disillusioned by all of it in general, so I passed. Then in early 2020 Glass Crane pointed my attention to SuperRare and at just about the right time for everything to work. So I jumped on it as fast as I could.
How often do you create?
Eloh: As many hours as are available, everyday.
Where do you get inspiration from?
Eloh: A number of things inspire me. Visions, dreams, the process of creation itself. But I’m most driven by the opportunity to interact with and contribute to the great process of unfolding novelty. It’s a true honor to be a craftsman and completely wonderful to be able to make a living from it. I just want to participate in beautifying the world and support my family while I do it. This is what I’m designed to do.
Do you think curation will be a necessity in the future of CryptoArt?
Eloh: Of course. People will always need people. And artists will always need eyes on their work. It’s a bit ironic that so many artists can explore every feasible avenue of self expression but can’t figure out how to tell their stories in a significant way. Combine that with the toxicity of outrage culture and creators end up afraid to take any meaningful risk at all. Curators can help to cultivate and reignite that sense of adventure. Or they can destroy it forever. Really depends on the consciousness of the curator.
Art has become standardized by the legacy institutions. And the pressure to survive in a meaningless culture of trinkets and fantasies has rendered most great stuff impotent to a large degree. Artists have been trying to lead from behind in too many circumstances. NFTs represent a viable path to reclaim lost territory…at least for digital media artists. But the advent of the NFT doesn’t, by itself, represent some massive shift in fundamental consciousness. It’s kind of just a new way to do the same stuff in a lot of cases. So it’s important for us to really use this opportunity to explore our full potential. Curators can bridge the gap between the more self indulgent and sheepish aspects of the artist’s personality and the greater world. They can be a buffer that allows artists to explore the most challenging reaches of our humanity.
Are there any CryptoArtists you would love to collaborate with?
Eloh: Not really. I have collaborated with those who I really want to collaborate with. I mean, I’m definitely open to the idea but I’m not drooling over any one CryptoArtist at this point. Very few of them inspire me to a profound degree, to be completely honest. I don’t mean that to be as harsh as it comes off, I’ve just experienced some really massive stuff in my time and have gone through several mind-altering cycles and steep learning curves.
There isn’t a whole lot of CryptoArt or NFT based art out there that really speaks to me at a core level. That doesn’t mean there aren’t countless artists who are more sophisticated or talented, because there most definitely are, but the content of their art just isn’t all that moving. Again, we are collectively recovering from years of abuse and imposed mediocrity. It will take time to really dig into profound explorations of meaning. I’m into strange traditions, psychedelic visions and the preservation of ancient knowledge. Not many on-chain artists have a strong sense of lineage or the mystical experience. And if they do, I hope to see more of it. But for me, appropriated spirituality, prefab cyber-mysticism and trash art don’t really cut the mustard…As humbly as I can assert that.
I think, if I had to choose an established artist or 2 to work with, it would be Peter Gric or Daniel Mirante. Gric has been an inspiration to me for 20 years and is much more than solely a crypto-based artist. Mirante is just an amazing painter and all-around fascinating person.
I think I’m more interested in collaborating with developers and musicians to build experiences in blockchain metaverses than anything at this point.
What are you currently working on?
Eloh: Yeah, thank you for asking. I presently have a number of things I’m working on. I’m most excited about my long term project named Gods of Hyperspace in Somnium Space. I own a waterfront parcel of land just outside of the city center that will be the permanent home to my future business in there. I will be building avatars of legendary figures that will be minted and sold as identities that people can drop into and experience in a persistent world. Playing with identity is just the beginning of it though. I have longer term plans to build absurd psychedelic objects and instruments that have utility and will help people achieve objectives in persistent virtual worlds. I intend to be a great craftsman of novel digital assets; things that have no parallel anywhere except in the throes of a deep visionary journey.
Where can collectors buy your work?
Eloh: Presently I have one collaborative work with Cullen Hassel available. That’s called Muse and is available at SuperRare.co/Eloh. But I have an entire graphic gallery in Somnium at parcel 4833 with 9 works on display. That is on one of Natural Warp’s estates and accessible here. I will also be periodically selling on Foundation.
What does Visionary Art mean to you?
Eloh: So this is a pretty complex question. The term “Visionary” was originally coined by Alex Grey, if I’m not mistaken. It was meant as a vehicle to kind of legitimize what he and his contemporaries were doing with paint and canvas. But the genesis of what we presently appreciate as “Visionary” can be traced back through Ernst Fuchs and the Fantastic Realists. Really, it could be argued that the earliest geometric explorations upon fire lit cavern walls marks the inception of Visionary or Vision-based art. And that really is what it’s all about. Preserving tradition, passing along arcane knowledge and communicating psychic spaces, kind of all at once, seems to be the essence of Visionary Art. It’s almost a responsibility. I think true Visionary Art should point towards both the roots of our humanity and the culmination of our collective destiny. No one artist seems to be capable of achieving this in total so there is a strong affinity and culture of mutual respect among the Visionary Artists that plays out organically. There is an understanding among the larger group that we are doing something very special. That, to me, is genuinely profound.
What does ‘Eloh Projects’ mean? Is Eloh an entity that projects through you?
Eloh: Eloh is multifaceted. It’s derivative of the pluralized name for God “Elohim”. It’s also an anagram of the word “hole”… implying fullness. But it began as the name of a character I was developing several years ago for a video game I wanted to create. The character Eloh was based off of my son, Rain. Eloh, in this story, was a cyborg boy that went through a number of trials to regain his soul and become a fully realized spiritual hero.
So I started my website as a library or record of the development of the game. Over time my own work became synonymous with Eloh Projects and so I just leaned into it. People just started calling me Eloh and I went with it.
I hope you all enjoyed this interview, and see you here next Sunday for the next interview.
> Read more interviews with other fabulous artists in our CryptoArt Sundays section here
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Ivelina is an NFT and Blockchain lover. She has a knack for putting complex concepts into simple words.