We had the absolute pleasure of hosting lesCogumelos at her first ever Twitter Spaces. The Brazilian-born artist is FINALLY getting the attention her work deserves after starting her web3 career in August of 2020… while that was nearly three years ago, our talk went a lot deeper.
gm 😸— lesCogumelos 🍄 (@lesCogumelos) April 24, 2023
Curious Spirit (2022) pic.twitter.com/kKt7gG00Nd
As a nine-year-old, lesCogumelos became a “digital native” artist because “Software was easier to get than art materials.” Later in life, at nineteen, the artist had an experience that brought her entire artistic purpose into focus. During a psychedelic experience, lesCogumelos described that she “was in a waterfall… that moment was the first time that I really felt connected with something. It was SO special! I even remember touching a tree with moss on it, the texture. I was like, wow: there’s so many things happening, so many things are here in our world and we don’t pay attention; like, so many ecosystems happening around us and we just are focused on our own experience… we don’t feel connection because [Humans] are putting ourselves in this position of being above everything else–it was a very important experience for me! I haven’t had many others like it.”
This moment served to inspire the artist’s pseudonym–lesCogumelos is a French and Portuguese mashup meaning “the mushrooms.” It also explains the prevalence of nature her artwork.
2023 so far ❤️🔥 #PortfolioDay pic.twitter.com/J3Gh0nOgZO— lesCogumelos 🍄 (@lesCogumelos) April 11, 2023
One of the fascinating things about lesCogumelos’ work is how a digital collage can have an entirely organic feel. This probably has to do with the artist’s jungle-hopping process. LC travels constantly and creates from the road, “ I like to go to those places that are very far away, hard to get to places… And in Brazil, there's so many beautiful places.” And after an initial “seven months backpacking” trip “with almost no money in my pocket,” lesCogumelos “found a way” to keep her trek going–”because you know there's a lot of kind people in the world that help you.” She describes how recording her journeys helps her art because “visually it's easy to do something with [her travel photos and videos]. Things are growing inside me and they are growing and dying and growing and dying all the time, an infinite cycle of changing.”
We are never alone 🔊— lesCogumelos 🍄 (@lesCogumelos) April 22, 2021
Happy #EarthDay 🌱 pic.twitter.com/aoD0ZrkJ7R
One of the big changes that lesCogumelos is currently experiencing is a surge in popularity–but it took three years to get recognition! There were dark times where social media was a lonely place, “I felt like I was feeding it, all these social games and popularity and things like that… a lot of moments that I tweeted my heart and I got very few likes, it was like, ‘Oh my god, I think maybe [my work] is not good enough…’ now the same artwork is getting so much love and it just confirms my theory that [social media numbers] are not about the quality. In the end we have to trust and be confident, to love what we do and at some point people will connect with it.”
Speaking of connection, lesCogumelos considers her Redlion Artdrop as “one of the most personal [pieces] to me.” Down-to-earth is a lovely, minimal, canvas-textured collage showing a woman’s inverted, soaring silhouette reaching down for a flower. “I am a very grounded person, very realistic, determined.” Without that part that keeps her tethered to the world, “I would be floating around because I feel it’s so easy to… it’s so easy to not go out for four days, not interact with people and just focus on the art. I think it’s important to have something, even if it’s the flower; it’s just a metaphor because it’s so fragile. It can’t literally hold you to the ground, but you have something in your mind that helps you stay grounded.”
I'm finally ready to talk about the process & meaning of Instinct for love & freedom ❤️🔥— lesCogumelos 🍄 (@lesCogumelos) December 28, 2022
A thread 🧵 pic.twitter.com/tFqeN6V7OJ
The future is bright for lesCogumelos and she hopes to give back. She expressed an interest in promoting art therapy because “the state that we enter when we are so focused on making art, it’s spiritual to reach this part of ourselves… it’s the same as being lost in nature, very healing, and maybe people need to find a better way to heal themselves.” Thus, despite being known as ‘The Mushrooms,’ lesCogumelos contends we “don’t need psychedelics” (lol). So what does the world truly need? We need connection, culture and more thoughtful artists like lesCogumelos!