Oxen's 'After Arcs' and Creative Expression On Decentralized Platforms

*This article is part of our editorial series, Gallery Selects, where we showcase the diverse artists, collectors, and curators who are creating and sharing their NFTs on Gallery.

**Get your free mint of 0xen’s After Arcs collection via the Gallery mobile app, or mint it for 0.006 eth on Highlight.

Last week, we teamed up with artist 0xen and Highlight on a new series of artworks titled After Arcs (anagram of Farcaster). The collaboration’s unveiling at FarCon 2024 was a deliberate curatorial choice by the Gallery team, marking a momentous occasion in the digital art community, as well as reflecting 0xen’s connection to the Farcaster ecosystem. The series serves as a continuation of the artist's ongoing exploration of Farcaster arcs, solidifying his active role within the crypto art landscape.

0xen is a self-taught, anonymous artist whose artistic journey has been molded by a diverse range of experiences, from working with art institutions to creating art while balancing other jobs. His work at a major museum was crucial in his informal art education, where he absorbed influences from world-class art through a process akin to osmosis. With a broad appreciation for various visual art genres, 0xen’s work traverses the spectrum from conceptual to outsider art, and from baroque maximalism to austere minimalism. This exposure, coupled with his enigmatic persona, adds a layer of intrigue to his narrative, as much about his background remains shrouded in mystery.

In the digital art and Web3 space, 0xen has carved out a distinctive identity with his NFT collections, including FarCats and Castaways. Both have garnered significant attention within the Farcaster community. His FarCats collection is notable for being the first AI-generated animal mascot collection, setting a precedent in the space. Meanwhile, Castaways has risen to become a coveted symbol among early adopters of Farcaster, reflecting a deep connection with the platform’s culture. These artworks are acclaimed for their exploration of genre and composition at scale but also for pioneering new forms of artistic expression and distribution on decentralized platforms.

We reached out to the artist and asked a few questions.


Hi 0xen. Could you describe the moment or experience that captivated your interest in the NFT and Web3 space, and detail your very first encounter with Gallery?

Early on, I noticed that many successful NFT artists already had substantial Twitter followings before the NFT boom, which explains a lot about why the NFT world is as it is. Most visual artists had previously overlooked Twitter in favor of platforms better suited for images, such as Instagram. Because of that, the NFT space felt like an alternate dimension—ahistorical and detached. Who were these people? Why were they selling so many seemingly low-effort works? Posters rebranded as artists. Marketers cosplaying as creative directors. Embarrassing PFPs were being hailed as the next Picassos. AI-generated creations were lauded as 'masterpieces.' Platforms like Gallery, Art Blocks, fx(hash), etc., became havens for the weary aesthete amidst the chaos.

As an artist who has been building his reputation and following through Farcaster, could you explain the significance of launching this series during FarCon?

It has been quite enjoyable observing Farcaster's growth and transformation over the past few years. I had the opportunity to create the artwork for last year's FarCon, which felt more like a casual gathering. Therefore, collaborating on a special collection with Gallery feels like a natural next step in this progression.


Your exploration of the arc shape in your Castaways series for instance has garnered significant recognition within the space. How have you integrated or evolved this shape in After Arcs?

That's simply the Farcaster logo. Before Castaways, there had been very little exploration of that image as the memetic essence of Farcaster. I aimed to create a collection that solidified its role as such. It’s a strong shape and has a lot of potential as a memetic germ, I think we’re just beginning to see all the ways it can be remixed and reimagined. Hopefully collections like After Arcs stretch where it can go even further.

Regarding the mimetic aspect of this series, can you elaborate on how it reflects or imitates cultural or artistic elements?

The arch motif serves as the central meme of the collection. Additionally, there's a fantastical, futuristic angle that I'm exploring, which I've dubbed 'dusk punk.' Farcaster feels both futuristic and organic and that’s something I tried to capture here.

Thank you for these explanations. Now, concerning Gallery, which aspects do you find most beneficial for enhancing your artistic expression and deepening connections with your audience?

When I first started creating in this space, I was searching for a gallery platform similar to Instagram or Web2, something different from OpenSea, which didn't meet my needs for various reasons. I was surprised to find that nothing quite matched what I was looking for. I was drawn to Gallery’s let-the-art-do-the-talking aesthetics, and when the 'created' feature was introduced, it was a significant breakthrough. Finally, I found a place where artists can effectively showcase their work.


Are there any features that you believe could be helpful, missing, or have the potential to be game-changers for Gallery? In your case, for example.

Creation comes to mind. If I could create and showcase all in one spot that’d be the dream.

Last question before we sign off. Are there any approaches, narratives, or sources of inspiration you’re excited to look into for your future projects? How do you foresee your art evolving in response to the ever evolving tech, digital, and Web3 platforms?

Typically, I don't know what my next project will be once one wraps up. I find myself starting from square one each time. However, a trip to a museum or a long walk often sparks new ideas and gets the creative wheels turning. I also enjoy experimenting with AI and pushing its boundaries. It's essential to challenge AI to go beyond its typical outputs; otherwise, it's just more noise in the mix.

Thanks for your time!

You can follow Gallery on X (Twitter), Warpcast, or here on Mirror to stay updated on the latest articles and interviews we publish. You can also join our Discord server to chat with the artists and other community members.


Twitter: https://twitter.com/0xen1

Farcaster: https://warpcast.com/0xen

Gallery: https://gallery.so/Oxen

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