Seneca: A Surreal Beam in The NFT Space

Seneca Feature Image

What equality is to democracy, the emerging female talent is to the crypto space.

The NFT space, which was initially written off as a male-centred world, is now the perfect platform for the female artists who are taking the crypto space by storm with the thunder of their strokes!! 

And we are celebrating Women’s day with the artworks of one such thunder, the NFT artist Seneca!!

About The Artist

Seneca, who is currently based in NYC, is an illustrator and creative strategist. She is a visual storyteller with particular experience in NFTs, branding, concept art, character design, and editorials.

Graduated with a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design, Seneca was also celebrated with the most prestigious design title, by the Art Directors Club with a Silver Cube in their 100th Annual Awards.

She has had solo shows in Shanghai and Wuhan. Her most recent collaborative project with Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT was sold at Sothebys for 24 million.

Later on, she debuted her first five pieces 1/1 NFT collection at Art Basel Miami Dec 4th, auctioning off 4 out of 5 in a total of 100k in sales. 

NFT Artworks

Her NFTs are works that bear human emotions and issues and thus, connect to everyone. Interestingly, they are a testament to what happens when arts and technology meet!

Bored Ape Yacht Club

Seneca’s most famous professional highlight is her being the lead artist of the iconic Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) artworks which are a collection of 10,000 unique Bored Ape NFTs. 

This famous collection that also includes Mutant Apes and Bored Ape Kennel Club has generated over $1 billion dollars in total sales. The ape collection emerging as a pop culture souvenir has found buyers in the bigwigs of Hollywood including Paris Hilton, Snoop Dogg, Gwyneth Paltrow, Eminem, Jimmy Fallon, Post Malone, Justin Beiber and many more ..

Seneca brought the ‘existential boredom’ to life with her ape concept sketches and so, developed the final artwork for the collection. 

Personal NFT Artworks 

Seneca’s lucid nightmares, childhood fears conjure up picturesque images in her artworks, painted with soft hues, taking shapes of pop-surrealist figures, faces and features. Her NFTs exhibited in Dfinity’s Iconoclast gallery event which was held at Art Basel Miami caught attention and heaps of appreciation for her gentle ethereal style quite contrasting to her rather cool and cartoonistic apes! 

The NFTs included in the Iconoclast V2 collections are:

  1. SleepParalyzed
  2. Evil cute rises
  3. Delirium
  4. Can I be M0ther.
  5. Little One
  1. SleepParalyzed
SleepParalyzed

SleepParalyzed by Seneca is set up in the mellow backdrop of soft pinkish hues. (and quite noticeably has been the recurring peculiarity of her artworks)

The artwork depicts a typical Pop-Surrealist girl’s face with bulged up eyes with starry bubbles gleaming in the eyes hinting of abstraction; surrealism.

While the artwork is themed on sleep paralysis, the heavy cold sweats in the highly distorted face is a testament to the theme. It does refer to the subtle notion of iconoclasm in the way the destruction of dreams and the destruction of reality converge to conjure up the experience of sleep paralysis.

Again the soft murmurs in the eyes are highly symbolic of fine crystalline fragments of the breakaway of dreams, of reality, of fear and of chills!

And perhaps when the artist talks of ‘iconoclasm distilling down to its barest essence- ushering in the new, you must eradicate the old,’  the artist makes use of sweat as being the iconoclastic symbol being the catalyst of the transition into something hopeful from something dreary.

2. Evil cute rises

Evil Cute Rises

It is always a surprise what mortals in the abstractive body of Seneca’s dreamscape would look like.

The popping pastels Evil cute rises,  just give a candy-like feeling to the audiences but represent the insanity of psychedelic in an exaggerated yet restrained manner.

The enlarged bulging eyes which now become the window of the artist’s imaginative world are the recurring trait in all of Seneca’s paintings.

But what stands out here is the Lovecraftian horror(cosmic horror) with thunder, starlets, celestial bubbles of wonder, limbs emerging out of the eyes; the wings taking the shape of horns on the head looks like a teasing extension of angels.

The deranged red hair reminds one of the incandescent phoenix all ready to shrug off the tied arms of the girl. The shredded green sprouts budding out of the figure’s face evokes the ‘rise’ that the artist wants to convey. Also, this artwork forms a preceding sequential image of her other NFT SleepParalyzed. 

3. Delirium

Delirium

As the name pretty much gives away, Delirium is themed upon the mental disturbance that results in confused thinking and reduced awareness of surroundings.

This one is a slight breakaway from Seneca’s ‘coral’ backdrop. 

The gaping eye socket of the little girl opens up a ‘reel’ of her confused thoughts which is rather a collage of juxtaposed ‘expressionist’ images.

Thus, the dazzling tender eyes show pop-surrealist images of flowers with smiling faces; birds, sun, naked blue limbs, and a kid ducking searching for something, green distorted trees(or rather mushroom-like trees), green creeping tendrils. The striking feature that expresses child-like wonder in the picture is the ‘slightly parting lips’ Quite contrasting to her customary features, the black torso sets the tone for the disturbing yet important theme of ‘delirium’.

4. Can I be M0ther?

Can I be M0ther?

This artwork too portrays the same Delirium girl but this time as a mother. Her enlarged eyes drip off thick, gloppy tears. 

Something like veins/wires sliding out from her bulging eyes. While she cradles a malfunctioning toy ape describing this particular work, she says “as a commercial artist, she sees herself kind of a surrogate”. Can I be M0ther is very much saying ‘Can I reclaim my work?’ 

This could also be the manifestation of doubts that every commercial artist goes through with regards to their work; that they can’t claim as being their own. The separation of creation from one’s own self in fact, with little to no recognition attached whatsoever. It is a pain that is hard to endure as a metaphorical mother and is depicted so well by Seneca.

Although she is tight-lipped about her next projects, she did reveal she will highlight mental health and the power of strong women in her upcoming works.

5. Little One

Little One

Little One is the latest single edition NFT from Seneca’s genesis collection. The NFT is up for sale.

In a customary surrealist style, a little girl is portrayed with oblong eyes and has a melancholic look on her face. A cartoonish dead bird, a sleeping rabbit is sliding off her neck. As is her style, we can also see tendrils, flowers creeping off her torso. All this, as she gazes upon the embryo ape, mesmerised by its monstrosity and vulnerability.

Growing Pains

Growing Pains

Growing pains is a strikingly connecting illustration by the artist centred on the mental health of children. The mental health of children is often neglected saying that the kid will eventually grow out of it.

The illustration depicts a kid with feet metamorphosed into roots that gives one a feeling that the kid must be trapped and tied with the mental trauma. The colours used here are soft (fitting to children’s world) but contrasts well with the devilish, grinning of flowers(again a tender object). 

However, this artwork has not been made available as an NFT on any marketplace.

Tears Not Shown Till Now/Stop Asian Hate

Tears Not Shown Till Now/Stop Asian Hate

Tears Not Shown Till Now/Stop Asian Hate is an illustration(not an NFT) centred on the subject of ‘Asian Hate’. As the name suggests, the face of a girl is hidden and her tears camouflage with the rainfall, indicating the ‘prevalent and yet under-talked issue of Asian hate’.  Seneca won the highly acclaimed  ‘ADA awards Silver Cube’.

Motifs and Style

Seneca has always conveyed expressionism through ‘surrealist’ figures and objects. Thus, comes swaying all the pastel tints, the girl with oblong eyes, tendrils creeping out and other intricate details.

Her works give visual impact of emotions that are as profound as the subject itself. Thus, her illustrations have underlying themes of mental health, belongingness, hate crimes all with the stroke of feminism. The focal point of emotion is canvassed on a girl’s face, giving her works the touch of femininity.

The enlarged eyes, therefore, become a door to her psyche with bizarre gnarled images fusing up the train of thoughts that either has gone haywire or represents the ‘back of the mind’. Her works are an expression of the subconscious. 

She is one of the most sought after female artists to watch out for NFT. Although the nuanced feminism forms one of the undertones that gets manifested through her artistic intellect, her works are in every stroke, every drop of tint, something bigger- they are universal, humane!

Her works are faces that you don’t see but read!!

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