Artist Spotlight — Art for Anarchists

Art For Anarchists seeks to bridge the analogue-to-digital divide, utilizing 20 years of his analogue portfolio to reimagine digital layers, unleashing a wave of surreal, abstract strangeness in AFA’s NFT creations. All works focus on mental health awareness and the pursuit of social justice.

1. Can you tell us about your art journey?

I came to art as part of an externalization therapy process in the late 1990’s. I am a Post Traumatic Stress Disorder sufferer and creating art is therapeutic. From day one I saw the process outcomes as psychic state projections. What began as mostly chronological, diary-like works turned outward to what I see as ails the world and the people living through their time and place. Today all of my works tend to be interpretations of the live experiences of others.

2. What is your driving force behind creation?

A sense of obligation to bear witness to the world’s injustices. In particular, how the world and its myriad of pressures and crises agitate and disturb our mental health. I am working long term with the academic world to create a visual lexicon of mental health states based on lived experience.

3. Pick one of your NFT artwork and tell us about the story behind it.

The AFA project for mental health awareness has partnered with Saint John Fisher College of New York to develop a Therapeutic Practice Tool / App utilizing art (visualized psychic states qua lived experience). I interpret narratives around mental health experiences. Therapists provide AFA with their client descriptions of their mental states and offer further contextual basis from which the art is rendered. For example:

Borderline Personality Disorder

Prompt:

“Living with Borderline Personality Disorder feels like falling down a rabbit hole on a daily basis. You find yourself questioning the value of yourself, your own thoughts, and all of your relationships with others. It’s like walking around in a world full of color, but you can only see either black or white — no color, no gray. You change your image like the seasons change colors, but no matter what you do, you never quite recognize yourself when you look in the mirror. You feel angry…angry at the world because there’s no way it’s YOUR fault that you are the way you are. Emotions come in intense, suffocating waves, and you fight against the current to avoid drowning in them. Everyone you’re close to looks like a lifeboat, and sometimes they are — but other times they have no room for you on board because you might sink their boat. Every misinterpreted sentence, side glance, and exasperated sigh feels like sandpaper on your heart. Sometimes it’s easier just to sleep, because at least in your dreams you’re not constantly reminded of how different you are from others.

Visualized response #4 & #5 of 5 to this client:

4. What directs you to the NFT world?

My brother died of a heroin overdose in 2018. At the time I closed my art studio and walked away. I stopped working until Beeple sold his NFT art work at the auction; I remembered the art critic community was insisting something immaterial as NFT cannot hold such values. My first thought was that my brother now is immaterial and his departure had only increased his value to me. So the choice to join the NFT revolution was in large part to honor his memory.

5. Why do you choose Refinable?

My first real exceptional experience of community around an NFT platform was in the Telegram channel for Refinable. I felt genuinely welcomed by the admins and OG supporters. And when Nick Chan agreed to come on my NFT oriented podcast to speak about Refinable all of my faith in the project grew exponentially.

About Refinable

Refinable is a multi-chain NFT marketplace aiming to empower both individual creators and beloved brands to easily and affordably create, discover, trade, and leverage NFTs. Supporting all communities in engaging with NFTs is Refinable’s mission and we look forward to empowering the next generation of digital transactions.

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Media contact: Adrian Fu (adrian@refinable.co)