Eleonora Brizi, Breezy Art's Founder, on FORBES
Federico Morgantini interviews Eleonora Brizi, critic and curator of Crypto Art, about NFT artworks and the boom of crypto artists.
F.M .: Eleonora I would like to start with a reflection. During the many in-depth meetings that I have had the pleasure of organizing on the subject of Blockchain, I have always found a predominance of male names, while what you want to tell us today is a new story, a reversal of which this technology, in the world of art, it has become a precious vehicle and tool.
E.B .: I find this clarification really interesting. In fact, thanks to the possibility of maintaining anonymity, Blockchain technology has recorded a considerable increase in the presence of women in the world of art and, specifically, in Crypto Art. We women have the task of assuming this responsibility as ours and bringing forward this commitment.
F.M .: Going through your history and your experiences, what I want to ask you is: how did you arrive to Crypto Art?
E.B .: My story begins in 2012 in China. Graduated in Asian languages and civilizations, I embarked on my first professional experience as assistant to the artist Ai Weiwei, for four years, and to curator Jerome Sans, for two.
A turning point in my life was the meeting in France with the sculptor Wang Keping, whom I had the honor of interviewing, photographing and filming for two weeks in his studio in Paris. My thesis was the first monograph written about him, a member of the group "Stars", the first Chinese contemporary art collective born in the late seventies. It is thanks to Wang Keping that I was introduced to Ai Weiwei, with a letter of introduction and a one-way ticket to Beijing.
Six years after my arrival in China, I felt the need to move towards a new reality. I chose to move to New York in 2018, where I had access to Blockchain technology and its application in the world of art. Here I learned of an emerging phenomenon of significant interest for the artistic landscape of the moment, Crypto Art, that is "art on Blockchain", by participating in a conference at the National Art's Club in Manhattan. What I hear there is shocking! Blockchain technology cuts through any intermediary: there are no more art galleries, curators, banks ...
F.M .: However, you teach me, in reality art curators are playing a fundamental role for Crypto Art.
E.B .: In reality, this is a fairly recent turnaround. In my first approaches to this reality I found strong resistance from the artists but, obviously, with the amplification of the phenomenon and an ever greater echo, even more traditional figures such as curators and galleries have found their place in the universe. Crypto, telling the stories of artists and art. I would say, therefore, that these initially forgotten figures have returned to play their precious role, even though they are aware of having to reinvent themselves and find their place in virtual space.
F.M .: New York has also seen the birth of your gallery ...
E.B .: Yes, Breezy Art was born in 2018 following a chat with some members of the Crypto community, with unexpected implications. In fact, I found myself talking to them about a project based on Matt Furie's comic, “Pepe the frog”, a collection of digital papers. It immediately arose spontaneously for me to ask if there was a catalog, documentation relating to the project and, as a response, I found myself working with them on the publication of what will later be called "The Rarest Book", also tokenized on the Blockchain. With 1774 digital cards produced for the first time in 2016, this was the first art project on the Blockchain. The consecration comes in 2018, with the arrival of Rare Pepe in the world of auction houses, with the sale of Homer Pepe at an incredible $ 40,000 for those times.
This is where Breezy Art was born, with the intention of laying the foundations for a bridge between contemporary art, from which I came, and new technologies. Breezy Art is a gallery that has totally rethought its role, focusing exclusively on the curatorial aspect, organizing physical exhibitions and telling stories.
With my gallery I then landed, in 2019, in Miami, for CADAF - Digital Art Fair, the first entirely dedicated to digital art and Crypto.
2019 ends with my return to Italy and the organization of a small virtual exhibition with Hackatao, which we decide to call "Cr (y) ptaly", precisely because it was born with the aim of probing the state of acceptance and participation of artists Italians to the world of Crypto art.
F.M .: You mentioned the Hackatao, certainly among the most renowned artists at this time and promoters of a particular expressive choice, that is to maintain the physical canvas while also developing animations in augmented reality, tokenized on Blockchain and usable through a particular App available for electronic devices.
E.B .: Exactly. Our collaboration, which began in 2019, was particularly consolidated in the last year with the "Renaissance 2.02.0" exhibition, which I curated in Rome in October 2020 in the museums of the church of San Salvatore in Lauro.
F.M .: From there, further important collaborations followed, among which we cannot fail to mention “Promised Land”.
E.B .: This project, which was proposed to us by Alessandro Mescoli of the Crack space in Castel Nuovo Rangone in Modena, was an opportunity to make Guercino's Mosè dialogue with a work by Hackatao specially created for the exhibition. It was a real challenge through the centuries, imagining the awakening of a Moses who, turning towards the Mediterranean, discovers that after three thousand years the migratory flows not only have never ended, but are even devoid of a guide. . The work that Hackatao creates is a siren that enchants migrants in search of their "Promised Land". A "promise" that is realized, however, only for those who have already landed on dry land and not by those who are still traveling by sea and may never reach it.
The message we wanted to convey, this time removed from any reference to Blockchain and Crypto Art, is that art constantly changes in its languages, but his voice never changes.
F.M .: I still have a question for you. Can you tell us about your collaboration as CAO - Chief Artistic Officer at the Italian startup Reasoned Art?
E.B .: I was contacted by the founder and co-founder of Reasoned Art (Giulio Bozzo and Andrea Marec) and I immediately saw enormous potential in their curating project. From the first moment it became clear to me that it would be something totally different from the other digital art and Crypto marketplaces, that is the tool to create that bridge between art and new technologies I was talking about. The startup, in fact, will not only have a virtual gallery, but will also curate physical exhibitions, creating a new collection that accompanies artists and collectors to the world of the Blockchain.
It will be about art, curatorship, contents, a manifesto will be created and Crypto Art will be considered for what it actually is: an artistic movement.