... it is easy to get caught up in just the latest passing avatar fad or one-hit-wonder, and to lose focus of the true humanistic and life-changing value that blockchain really has to offer.
One rapidly up-and-coming application of the technology is the field of NFT photography.
Fine art photography is the next big thing in Crypto art! The Twin Flames project a historic project! and the Blue Twin Flames project a exclusive collectors!https://t.co/ExlbqFmk6T— danpolko.eth (@DanPolko) July 17, 2021
Previously acknowledged, but some might argue neglected for far too long, it seems that the summer of 2021 might herald the beginning of mass interest and adoption of NFT photographic works from both leading lensmen and lens-ladies, as well as exciting new establishing talent, as the cryptographic darkroom doors finally fling open to embrace this emerging industry.
One such trailblazer, who is already way ahead of the curve is Cryptopunk enthusiast, and snap-happy NYC-boy turned LA’er, Justin Aversano.
For the uninitiated, Justin, a former graduate of the School of Visual Arts in New York , first rose to prominence within the world of traditional photography following the release of his Twin Flames works that he initiated in May 2017, and carried out over the course of just over a year.
Twin Flames is a deeply personal work, and a spiritual journey of sorts, that came about as a somewhat unexpected yet ultimately cathartic response to the loss of his fraternal twin.
“For 'Twin Flames' I photographed 100 sets of twins in honor of my fraternal twin, aiming to create a body of work focused on the existence of multiple births and the phenomena of twindom through an immersive portrait survey. Twins and multiple siblings provide a lens on the magic and causality of biology.”
- Justin Aversano
Twin Flames #9 - Zoni & Lowen Smith
Out of the Darkroom and Into the Light (of NFTs)
Fast forward a couple of years to early 2021, and the young Mr. Aversano, 28, found himself becoming part of the interesting and rapidly emerging world of NFTs. Having established himself as an active and much admired member of the punks community, he was mentored and encouraged by certain members to release the digital ‘twin’ counterparts to his physical portraits as NFTs
“In the world of photography, you get to share a captured moment with other people.”
– James Wilson
From the outset, there was great support for the Twin Flames project, and between February and June 2021, there were encouraging sales volumes, although to many it seemed like a sleeping giant that was yet to fully wake up.
And so Justin and his believers patiently waited, whilst the community at large drank their fill of freshly uncovered Ethereum ‘relics’, vacuous voxel-promises, over-hyped MS-Paint scribbles, and endless animal-based pfps. (okay, so I’m guilty too!)
Then the giant’s alarm clock went off...
Twin Flames has exceeded $1 million in total resales 🤯— justinaversano.eth (@justinaversano) July 17, 2021
Never in my life could I have imagined to make it to this point. Everything I do is for healing and community building 🙌
If you follow your heart, pursue your dreams, and never give up. You can achieve anything! 💚🧠💪✨ pic.twitter.com/51lmJnngjT
In the last week alone things have begun to accelerate very rapidly for Justin, and by proxy, the photographic space in general. At the time of writing, over $1,000,000 in secondary sales has been achieved for Justin’s Twin Flames collection. Furthermore, as anyone who has followed his active discord will be aware, he himself has sought to put some of those gains back into the community, either by investing in and promoting other photographers or by the continued development of his SavesArtSpace initiative that seeks to "address intersectional themes and foster a progressive message of social change"
The Wider Lens
Other up and coming photographers and artists who have recently become part of the ‘Aversano’ movement include:
George Floyd Projection by Kris Graves.
There is a warm feeling that comes from being a part of this growing community, and you can almost taste the excitement in the air as bigger and bigger sales begin to take place, not just for Justin, but for many other great creatives.
A Family Portrait
Soon to be ‘literal’ Aversano family member, Nicole Buffet, is proving to be an artistic force in her own right. And as well as being one half of Twin Flames #80, she is the first of the ‘Buffetts’ to venture truly into NFTs. Justin Even traded some of his work up to a Cryptopunk for her. Now that’s a real-life NFT love story right there.
Only time will tell, but it would seem the tide is about to turn. Back to the real artists… with this latest incarnation heralding the much welcomed inclusion of top class photographers.
The recent momentum of Justin’s Twin Flames project has captured the hearts and minds of aspiring photographers everywhere. Finally, a chance to gain the recognition, and the self-determined royalties that so many have craved for so long.
Traditional galleries and exhibits should be quaking in their heavy cement-laden boots right now. Whilst all around the world, people are gaining access to a new, more inclusive medium; Web and Metaverse-based galleries/communities that will never look down their noses at you for crossing the threshold whilst wearing a hoodie, a DMT fur coat, or for bringing your Mooncat along for the excursion. In fact, they will embrace you.
“There is one thing the photo must contain – the humanity of the moment.”
– Robert Frank
What our diverse NFT community is making abundantly clear, is that when we all pull together amazing things can happen, and old-world preconceptions can be erased and rewritten for a bright new future. Opportunity prevails everywhere right now, and NFT photography would appear to be the latest beautiful shiny facet in this crazy crazy world of ‘no right click’.
Full disclosure: I am a Twin Flames holder because I believe in the significance and impact that this collection will have for the future for all aspiring photographers. (And of course, because I hope to one day sell it for 1111 Eth and go live on a Yacht)