In this week’s next up, we speak with an artist whose foray into the Web3 world is a natural evolution of their existing artistic expression, which is driven by their deep immersion in the art realm as a digital artist, woman, and advocate for creative freedom.
During a candid conversation, shared in detail below, the artist expresses how the landscape of art is dynamic and constantly evolving alongside the progress of technology and society — identifying NFTs as the gateway to a digital renaissance that is radical, unpredictable, and ruthlessly transformative for the art world as it stands now.
Every week, nft now’s Next Up unveils a new artist from our curated list of ascendant talents who have been making significant waves throughout Web3. This week, we’re excited to feature dear nostalgia and her story.
Adra Kandil better known by her artist moniker dear nostalgia, is a Lebanese-born multidisciplinary artist who is known for her hybrid worlds that boast alternate realities — achieved through the use of photography, collages, typography, and digital montages. Her objective, blend modern-day truths with the romanticism of collective nostalgia.
What’s more, dear nostalgia was recently selected as adidas second RESIDENCY artist, joining MonkeeMoto, who was featured in last week’s Next Up release.
To understand what brought her to the Web3 world, how she views her art, and the process behind the creation of these surreal alternate realities, we spoke directly with the newly minted adidas artist in RESIDENCY, dear nostalgia.
nft now: How did you first become interested/involved in NFTs?
dear nostalgia: My journey into the world of NFTs was a natural evolution driven by my deep immersion in the
art realm as a digital artist, a woman, and an advocate of creative freedom.
When we ponder the concept of art, the quintessential image of a masterpiece by a renowned Renaissance artist
often comes to mind, hanging gloriously in a museum. While this portrayal isn’t inaccurate, it’s essential to recognize that:
“The landscape of art is dynamic, and evolves in tandem with the progress of technology and society.”
As I delved further into the art world, I found myself drawn to the vibrant pulse of innovation. The digital realm offered a canvas unbounded by traditional constraints, allowing creators to harness the power of technology to express their impulses, instincts, and authentic emotions. However, it was my encounter with NFTs and blockchain technology that truly revolutionized my perspective.
NFTs brought forth a paradigm shift in how we perceive and engage with art. They dismantle the traditional barriers, eliminating dictation, restrictions, and censorship that often stifled artistic expression. NFTs empower artists to create with uninhibited authenticity, driven by their innermost passions and sentiments. This breakthrough has created an open avenue where art flourishes as a pure and unrestricted representation of creativity, and authenticity.
For me, NFTs signify a digital renaissance—a radical, unpredictable, and ruthlessly transformative narrative. It’s a revolutionary movement that has shattered conventions and offered a platform where every individual can contribute their unique creative voice. This is a community of credibility, belonging, and boundless freedom—a place where every artist aspires to be and create.
nft now: How would you describe your art?
dear nostalgia: My art represents my voice and serves as a solace to dreams, tragedy, nostalgia, and euphoria. It’s my love letter, signed, sealed, and delivered to the past, present, and future, intricately fueled by emotion. A unique hybrid of retro and contemporary images, I cut and paste scenes from my dreams, constructing collages from collected archives and encompassing experiences.
A romance of memories lived and unlived. The result is a fusion of encompassing nostalgia, home, identity, women empowerment, culture, a yearning for community, and culture over clout any day.
An homage to my alter ego, ‘dear nostalgia,’ encapsulates the very sentiment and words I longed to hear as a woman growing up, as well as the intense emotions I’m compelled to express in today’s world. I blend dreamy and cosmic images, with pastel hues, bold typography and culturally relevant cues, delving into controversial discussions through powerful visuals and thought-provoking mediums.
At first glance, my digital art exudes an ethereal reverie. However, upon deeper reflection, viewers uncover its profound resonance and grasp the message my work endeavors to convey.
nft now: What’s your process like? And where do you usually find inspiration?
Dear Nostalgia: It’s strangely organic; it began when I lived in Barcelona and started collecting magazines and newspapers, cutting and pasting them on my living room floor. Back then, I was also writing a lot of poetry and using analog cameras to capture memories or things I found beautiful. My creative process is anything but linear – I feel so much, so intensely. Jean-Luc Godard expressed something that perfectly encapsulates my inspiration:
I draw inspiration from old films, new films, my obsession with indie music, as well as books, paintings, photographs, poems, dreams, random conversations, heartbreak, romance – the list goes on and on. With old magazines and collected archives, I use digital tools to explore my inner world through digital surrealism, creating a world of my own as a result.