Artist name: Amber Vittoria
Place: Los Angeles
Date first NFT minted: March 1, 2021
Which blockchain? Ethereum, Tezos
Before she even turned 30, Amber Vittoria had made a big splash in the traditional art world with appearances with Gucci, Google, Adidas, Victoria’s Secret, Apple, L’Oréal Paris, Meta, Snapchat, VaynerMedia, and The New York Times.
Originally from New York City but now living in Los Angeles, Vittoria studied graphic design at Boston University’s College of Fine Arts.
“I think I always knew I wanted to be a visual artist and work for myself at some point, but knew that graphic design would help me get there,” she says.
Vittoria is also the author of a recent book on poetry, painting and femininity called These are my big girl pantsand for her various creative talents, she was named in Forbes 30 Under 30 – Art & Style in 2020.
She didn’t hit her first NFT until March 1, 2021, after hearing about it through her husband and some of his friends. “I remember thinking this is so hard to mint. It’s $500!” she says.
With multiple collections now on Ethereum and a collaboration on Tezos, Vittoria is helping pave the way for traditional artists to transition to NFT land. Vittoria has collaborated on NFT collections including The Hundreds, World of Women and Some Place, as well as a recent collaboration with notable NFT podcast host Carly Reilly through the ‘Overpriced Gin’ project. She was also named MoonPay’s inaugural artist in residence, a program to support emerging female, non-binary and underrepresented artists in the NFT space. Her work has generated 1,350 ETH in secondary sales on OpenSea alone, though Vittoria’s royalties only account for 10% of that.
She says the traditional art world was hesitant to fully embrace NFTs.
“People who are hesitant about NFTs, I think, are just so used to the status quo of how art lives in our world and in our society, and change can be scary sometimes. But I think in this case, the transparency that the blockchain brings to the art world, I think, is a good thing in the long run.”
From left: “Understanding Our Dreams” sold on October 4, 2022 for 30 ETH ($40,857 at the time).
“The End Of The Beginning” sold on September 3, 2021 for 10 ETH ($39,397).
“Why Yes I’m A Gemini” was sold on August 29, 2021 for 5 ETH ($16,126) to renowned NFT collector Pranksy.
She cites contemporary British painter Jenny Saville and painter George Condo as major influences – “they both do figurative work, but the way they apply paint to the canvas is really interesting to me.” She is also a fan of artist Georgia O’Keeffe, known for her paintings of New York skyscrapers and blown-up flowers.
In the NFT world, she likes Claire Silver. “Her work is all with AI. I’ve been experimenting with AI myself, and it’s really fun. I have a small collection in a folder on my computer,” she says.
“With regard to some of the artists who have gone down the path of the larger profile photo collections with their artwork, I really like Sarah Baumann, the artist for ‘Women and Weapons’. As well as Maliha Abidi, the artist for ‘Women Rise.’ Both have incredible styles, and I just love how they bring representation to the space for women as a whole.
Vittoria says her work has evolved over the years, starting with figurative work. “The reason I was drawn to drawing the female figure is because I really struggled to see myself in advertising and in the visual arts,” she says. “I wanted to make visual work that I could see myself in.”
But over time, her work became more abstract, as the “subjects I wanted to cover in my work felt like they were more alive outside of human form.” Her work is now “complete abstraction,” she says.
“The reason I chose to keep my work bold, colorful and abstract is because it allows people to see elements of themselves in that piece. I also usually combine many of these abstract works with poetry. Not everyone looks at abstract work all the time. Sometimes it can be a bit intimidating, so I always like to give people a starting point with a poem attached to a painting.”
“For client work, I usually start with a short assignment, but with personal work, which can be painted or digital, it starts with an idea written down in a sketchbook,” she says.
“Depending on whether I paint traditionally or create digitally, the process is a little different. Hitting the blockchain, I personally love using Manifold. It’s free for artists and it’s very easy to use.”
“You can teach yourself how to create a contract, fill in the contract and how to save the contract.”
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Which artist should we pay attention to?
“Terrel Jones. There’s something about his work that appeals to me. I feel like he’s definitely going to be a name floating around.
How do you see the NFT space evolving?
Vittoria hopes collectors in space learn a little more patience and focus more on the art and less on the short-term financial games.
“It’s interesting because NFTs can represent so many different things. Some are digital collectibles that people want to speculate on and turn around at short notice,” she says. “As time goes by, there will be other types of subcategories for NFTs, whether it be works of art like mine, rewards, redemptions, or authenticity cards. I think at the moment because it’s so new, it’s all kind of mixed together.
“There are people who are collecting art for the first time, which is so exciting, but they come from a background of speculation and flipping physical or digital objects.”
“Not financial advice, but if you expand your knowledge base and understand that investing in art historically in many cases takes a long time to come to fruition financially, and that may not always be the case. Patience is something we could all have a little more of in this space.
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