Artists and the Ever Changing World

Art and science have always had a close relationship. Throughout the Enlightenment period, great thinkers and explorers recorded their findings through text and detailed illustrations. Artists of the time utilized depth, perspective, shadow, and even the golden ratio to bring the images in their minds to life.

Though art and STEM fields may seem to resonate with different parts of the brain, for artists in the computer age, they converge. It is something deeply human that invites us, no matter our background, to play with tools as they become available to us. Is it any wonder that one of the first uses of the computer was to make art? Or that the early internet was filled with bugs, glitches, and slow download speeds that artists transformed into found objects worth enjoying?

The Dawn of the Digital

Victor Acevedo’s career evolved alongside the storied trajectory of PCs and the Graphic User Interface, or GUI period. But his interest in the mystical and the metaphysical nature of art began in his analog period. Having read books like “The Tao of Physics” by Fritjof Capra and Wassily Kandinsky’s book, “Concerning the Spiritual in Art,” he was immediately drawn to the metaphors in Eastern thought that explored the tension between things that can feel simultaneously full and empty. 

“In the book, [Capra] discusses among many things, a metaphor found in Eastern mysticism called the ‘void plenum’ or the ‘void matrix,’” Acevedo told 79Au. “This can be described as a kind of omni-dimensional substrate of reality; a vast ocean of ‘isness’ that is paradoxically completely empty (void) and simultaneously full and brimming over (my words) with physical and metaphysical potentiality (the matrix or plenum).”

“Penance Untitled with IVM v02” 1983-2023, reproduced with permission from the artist

According to Acevedo, this concept spawned his graphic visualization of the so-called ‘void matrix’ as a structural field. Then he read R. Buckminster Fuller’s book “Synergetics: Explorations in the Geometry of Thinking.” There he found the field-like geometrical structures that became a wellspring of inspiration for many of his works. In pieces like “4-Fold Rotational Wasp” or “Penance Untitled with IVM (isotropic vector matrix) overlay,” we see the lines and angles at times penetrating the subjects, and at other times fading into obscure forms. 

In 1983, Acevedo began exploring the digital realm, taking his appreciation for the concrete and the abstract with him. In pieces like “Huichol Ghost” and his video work “Proxima Nova,” a musical collaboration with Igor Amokian, one looks into a prism, experiencing the vastness that stems from looking at a familiar subject with new eyes.

“The use of the geometrical overlay is a way to metaphor the spatial and energetic structures that create a matrix or context for the figurative ‘happenings’,” he said. “It is an aesthetic choice to convey a particular graphic metaphor. For me, it’s more like the human subjects need the geometry.” In his piece “@_The Edge of the Metaverse v03” Acevedo explores the virtual/physical hybrid that has become modern life. “Now almost every human on the planet has their reality altered, enhanced, or impacted by digital technologies,” he writes in the artwork description.

For me, it’s more like the human subjects need the geometry.”

Victor Acevedo

"@_The Edge of the Metaverse v03"

Through geometrical overlay, Acevedo is able to represent the networks that connect all of our lives. Like lines connecting each of our devices, platforms, and versions of ourselves, the geometry reminds us of the invisible webs we weave throughout our lifetime. And with virtual and augmented reality, it is only going to get more convoluted.

Creativity in the Age of the Artificial 

Erika Fujyama is a filmmaker whose freelance work led her to photography. But while looking through her many shots, she found herself more interested in the “bad” photos. “While curating still images, I would find that a few of them which don’t look technically good were interesting somehow. Then I started playing with them, using effects, overlays, filters,” and all of a sudden, what most would consider the scraps on the editing floor became the very materials of her digital art. 

“What I like the most in this journey is that most of my digital artworks and NFTs are made of clips or photos that are ‘creatively reused’ or up-cycled raw materials converted into so-called artworks,” Fujyama told 79Au. “There’s something inside me that wants to transform the boring ordinary reality into something abstract, funny or provocative.”

While looking for webinars or communities that could help her learn how to use artificial intelligence in her work, she stumbled upon the world of web3. After finding AI, Fujyama’s eye, which was trained on film and photography, saw new ways of imagining the world around her.

“There’s something inside me that wants to transform the boring ordinary reality into something abstract, funny or provocative.”

Erika Fujyama

Left: “THINKER” by Erika Fujyama

In “THINKER,” she explored the idea of what artificial intelligence would consume if it were a living, breathing being that needed sustenance to survive. Using Midjourney, she tried different prompts along the lines of “if AI was a humanoid metallic sculpture, questioning his existence, reflecting if he could be considered an artwork.” 

“My goal was to pick one good image of an AI being, and to make it process data as we humans process food,” she said. “Information and feeding have the same purpose and mechanism.” As Midjourney only generates still images, Fujyama then had to animate the piece. “I made a stop motion thing and gave some ‘life’ to it. Thinking is a never ending process that’s why it’s a loop.” Finally, Fujyama placed the artwork in front of the iconic New York Public Library on 5th Avenue.

“This world is made of vibrational patterns of thoughts, feelings, memories and experiences,” she writes in her artist statement. “Multiple layers of colors and dynamic shapes come around. I capture the potential of the outcomes and make them shine and coexist through art.” Placing a 3D sculpture in the middle of a busy building, where people may or may not see it, assuming they know it exists, captures this concept perfectly.

An AR rendition of “THINKER” placed in front of the NYPL, reproduced with permission from the artist

Existing In and Outside the Lines

As technology continues to expand far past what even the most far out science fiction creators can imagine, it will be artists who play, create, and ponder. In both Acevedo and Fujyama’s works, metaphor becomes the most precise means of communication. It’s difficult to grasp what is happening in today’s world, both because the technology changes so quickly, and because we may never truly know what lies behind the curtains.

Like with previous technologies, we see artists being the main users of both NFTs and artificial intelligence, and the exploration has only just begun.

Ready to get started as an artist or collector on Mint Gold Dust? Check out our Metamask start up guide to get started. Ready to start minting? Apply to talk with our curatorial team today.


79Au | 3.29 – 4.05

Curations | NFT.NYC | Mint Gold Dust event!

2022 curattion from JenJoy: CU3NTOS

Happy spring from Mint Gold Dust!

As we shed our winter layers, we’re transformed by the thoughts of warmer weather, sunshine, and regenerative vibes as we continue to cultivate and nurture the enthusiasm in the NFT and digital art spaces.

NFT.NYC is coming to New York City next week and we are excited to re-connect with our Web3 community and learn about the latest projects from the far reaches of the Metaverse.

This is an opportune time to experience the upcoming Mint Gold Dust collection, Portal Realms, put together by our good friend, artist, and curator @JenJoyRoybal.

Portal Realms upcoming curation
Portal Realms is an upcoming curation from JenJoy Roybal

JenJoy is the co-founder/CEO at, a woman-led blockchain art organization championing inclusivity, diversity, and accessibility for artists of all types, from all walks.

JenJoy Roybal

Last year, JenJoy curated an amazing collection on the Mint Gold Dust platform called CU3NTOS, six pieces from LatinX, Web3 artists that reflect holding onto slipping cultural identities, recalling fading memories, and the nostalgia for the sights and sounds of our youth. 


JenJoy's "Horse-man, Fire and the Book"

JenJoy admires the viewpoints of futurist Amy Webb, professor at NYU Stern School of Business and CEO of the Future Today Institute.

In Amy’s recent talk at SXSW 2023, she shared the 16th edition of the Tech Trends Report about how signals are mixing in ways that she’s never seen before – there’s a lot of noise, and this can feel very destabilizing. She explained that even with the advances we have made in tech, there are still many biases and oversights to be on the lookout for.

Amy Webb CEO of the Future Today Institute
Amy Webb at SXSW

It’s recognized that new patterns in tech movements take some adjustment, which is a big part of the exploratory theme in Portal Realms. JenJoy believes artists play an important role in making sense of these patterns in much the same way that the artists in the 20th Century helped to make sense of the rise of the industrial age.

“The key is looking at the convergences among, and in between, these technological advancements. In the cacophony of activity is a view of what’s to come. By looking at the confluences, we are able to see a pattern.”

“I like the idea that play, poetry, and art can offer up more perspective about the future, that – with a hint of the absurd – can support this rapidly accelerated transformation we’re undergoing.” she continues, “This show gives viewers a glimpse into that critical activity.”

Look for Portal Realms in the Mint Gold Dust Curated Spaces very soon.


Next Tuesday, April 11, 5:30-7:30PM in NYC:
Our educational and explorative event for artists and art lovers:
“What’s the deal with NFTs?” 

The Yard at Herald Square

Mint Gold Dust Founder, Kelly LeValley Hunt, will address what to consider before creating an NFT, proven provenance, further opportunities for royalties, and helping to restore power to creators. 

Tuesday, April 11th from 5:30 – 7:30PM (ET).
Location: The Yard @Herald Square, 
106 W 32nd St, NYC. 

Artist Laura Umaña at The Yard Herald Square

We’ll be revealing the first NFT by current artist on display at The Yard: Herald Square, Laura Umaña.

Observe and engage in a step-by-step conversation about creating crypto art.
We would love to see you there!  RSVP here!

Check out last week’s 79Au to get a closer look into the thoughts behind some of our artist’s creations and their take on the importance of digital art. Read here.

Ready to get started as an artist or collector on Mint Gold Dust? Check out our Metamask start up guide to get started. Ready to start minting? Apply to talk with our curatorial team today.


79Au | 3.22-28

At Mint Gold Dust, we invite you to get a closer, more personal look into the thoughts and energies behind the artwork. We look for ways to bring artists and collectors together by appreciating creative vibrations in common.

We spoke with some of the artists from our platform and from our 79Au Interview Series and asked them to share thoughts about their process, how they got into digital art, and how they use NFTs as a form of expression.

Here are some of their insights.

Le Lapin Mignon “Anatomie d’Une Poussière d’Or"

In the beginning, LeLapin Mignon felt so out of place in the digital art world that she was hesitant to even use an iPad to create. When a friend from art school told her to look into NFTs and digital art, she thought it would be a difficult endeavor as a non-technical person. It ended up being wonderful, life-changing advice.

She soon realized she could reverse her usual color palette and turn up the vibrancy in ways that were unexplorable with traditional watercolor. This experimentation opened a whole new dimension of creation. This daringness was only possible with the help and support of the growing NFT community.

She now helps other artists create traditional works with embedded animation and music, exploring playful and creative digital possibilities. 

Anatomie d’Une Poussière d’Or is my very own interpretation of Gold Dust. It shines, it explodes with dreams and hopes, it sparkles with joy, while being delicate and ethereal.” Lapin is one of Mint Gold Dust’s eight Genesis artists who created digital art pieces centered around the theme of ‘gold dust’. 

Listen to the full interview here:

VanDi "Avacado's"

I grew up the only son of an artist and a single mother. Art was served up daily, and even though we lived in a New York apartment, we rented a basement studio on Perry Street in the west Village. I painted and made collages up to my first year of art school.

Since 2001 I began thinking of myself as a Digital Artist. One of my first shows at the Agora Gallery in New York was titled “Pixel Perfect.” Back then, I made collages out of my photographs by mixing painted elements and individual splices from my photography. My work was unique, and most people didn’t understand Digital Art. 

NFT Art is just another extension of tech’s relationship with Art to create something new. The space is most exciting because it’s a level playing field. It brings well-deserved recognition to a new group of programmers and digital artists who the art world had yet to recognize in the past.


Read full interview:

Arabella "Smoking Section"

My future is precarious having terminal cancer, and after all of my paintings sold when the news was out, I was left with no inventory. NFTs were, in a way, a solution to a problem both in regards to my digital legacy and the future of my artwork.

I had an idea to delete any trace of me online after I am gone, with the exception of my website. But many people seemed to object to this. Instead, having a little ecosystem of collectors that carry my legacy in the digital space is a pretty cool concept. And my most recent work has all been digital, not oil paint.

The thing is, most people do not understand they are leaving behind a digital dossier of their life online, so why not make certain what happens to it? 


Read full interview here:

Rakkaus Art "Leaning Into the Light"

Many of the stories that live inside us can only emerge through creative expression, whether you mean to or not. Oftentimes I don’t even realize I’m telling a story until it’s finished. Painting is very meditative and a kind of intimacy with your soul that only shows up when it’s ready.

I’m working on a lot. I will likely start sharing more of my VR creations this year, just thinking of fun ways to bring it into the space. 

Otherwise, I continue to work with the human figure, abstract portraiture and digital experimentation. I enjoy discovering ways to emulate the feel of my IRL pieces through texture, brushstrokes and layers. 

-Rakkaus Art

Read full interview:

Goldie Gold "From the Ground Up"

As a digital artist I’ve always had art on the web. Once I learned how to actually upload and post, I added my art on multiple platforms. Especially when I was blogging heavily to promote myself and other people’s content.

So entering the Web3 realm was familiar to an extent. It was just learning the new rules of the land that was actually in my favor as a digital artist. I’m still learning though. Things change in a blink of an eye with time online so it always feels like I’m playing catch up.

Life is definitely a big book of inspiration, and how you see it and gain from it will reflect in the world you create. I just so happen to see it digitally with a lot of extra colors and thick lines. So it actually works hand and hand with doing NFTs. New world on familiar grounds.

-Goldie Gold

Read full interview here:

Check out last week’s 79Au, written by one of our long-standing staff members who volunteered with ETHDenver and offers an insider’s view of the recent event. Enjoy!

Ready to get started as an artist or collector on Mint Gold Dust? Check out our Metamask start up guide to get started. Ready to start minting? Apply to talk with our curatorial team today.


Genesis 8 Artist | Lily Honglei

A duo of prolific multi-discipline artists of Chinese descent, Lily Honglei’s art explores the duality of opposing forces and the ensuing result as well as their experience as immigrants and Asian Americans.  Their work remains consistent and ripe with humanity as they explore and sample a variety of mediums, from AR art, to VR art, to video art as well as more traditional static mediums.  

Lily Honglei has had their work shown in museums around the world as well as countless exhibitions and presentations.

Lily Honglei, The Butterfly Lovers (still)

Artist duo Lily Honglei present The Butterfly Lovers, a painting series and animation that depicts the complex cultural identity of Asian American immigrants pursuing the “American Dream,” for Genesis 8. In this piece, Lily Honglei symbolically highlight the dichotomy of having dignity and pride of their heritage while also experiencing the profound loneliness and isolation that comes with deep seated prejudices against the Asian American community.

“As part of this marginal group, we have witnessed many tragic life and death stories of our friends who pursue American dreams. They have been struggling to be accepted and adapt to the new society tainted with prejudices against immigrants and minorities. The Butterfly Lovers symbolically reflects these spiritual struggles, cultural identity dilemmas, as well as resiliency in the Asian American community.” — Lily and Honglei

Learn more about the Artist Duo and The Butterfly Lovers by listening to our podcast with them below.


Genesis 8 Artist | Giant Swan

Giant Swan sculpts stunning, exquisitely detailed, ethereal creations.  However he does not chip away at marble or mold clay; instead he plies his craft with a headset and controllers in the multi-dimensional medium of virtual reality.  The pliable fabric of virtual reality allows for his conception of movement and form a freer reign than a static medium ever could and produce eternally memorable work.

Giant Swan, Metamorphosis (still)

Giant Swan’s creative process really is a dance, the artist guides the brush with his body movements, accompanied by his biggest influencer that would always impact how he makes art in VR: music. Giant Swan’s latest work, Metamorphosis, is a personal reflection on the powerful relationship between hurt and transformation.

“In a moment of growth, I watched you sit and birth the most beautiful of spirits, It was you and your hope.

In a moment of hurt, you were so still and alone, I watched your spirit try, again and again, your hurt was stretching glass, these beings were you, they were tears and they were your fear, they comforted you and then quickly flee, their time seemed short and would illuminate around you, I think I was in awe.

But your spirit is a loop, It reaches out from a garden into the wood where it burns out into ash and wind. At the center of this herd is you, so full of love and care, so much more distant than I remember.

This loop is a cocoon look out at you from the center of this garden and I wake up before anything emerges.” — Giant Swan

Check out our conversation with Giant Swan below. 


Genesis 8 Artist | Stuart Ward

Stuart Ward shines a penetrating spotlight on the world of repetitive form in his works.

A lifelong artist, he ran a successful experiential design studio in Canada collaborating with the world’s largest brands who sought out his unique aesthetic. However, with advent of the pandemic and large brands shuttering their operations, he rediscovered, amplified and augmented his own personal artistic voice through the platform of digital art. His immediately identifiable style resonates with artists and collectors worldwide and he continues to create mesmerizing, deeply personal pieces.

Stuart Ward’s Transformation at the gates of eternity expresses a duality between denotative and connotative messages to create a sense of tension.

MUEO, Transformation at the gates of eternity (still)

The image is a visually captivating, deconstruction of Baroque architecture. Re-investigating Baroque style through a NeoBaroque lens, the artist has animated ornamental forms to complement the architectural backdrop. Experimental architectural forms were created in a way that was impossible when Baroque and Rococo flourished. The artist is using an animated form of expression to enhance their original vision.

The central figures are a pair of humans wrapped in a struggle.

On the surface, it is a colourful and visually playful panoply that pleases the eye using iridescence and gloss, but under the sheen is a message that reaches into dark mythology to ask questions about fate, struggle, and responsibility.

The connotative image represents the abduction of the goddess Persephone by Hades at the gateway to the underworld. The central figures are a digital representation of the sculpture ‘Ratto di Proserpina’, masterfully carved by Bernini.. It depicts Hades abducting Persephone, his brute strength overpowering hers as she fights to escape him.

The sculpture can be interpreted as a transformational story for Persephone, who goes on to marry Hades and become the Queen of the Underworld. Despite being dominated and carried away against her will, she is the hero of this story in a monomythic sense. Prior to her abduction, she lived an idyllic life. But after Hades spotted her picking flowers one day, she was pulled from a life without responsibilities, forced to marry and given a position of power. The reluctance to leave a life of ease and meet a destiny of responsibility is a theme frequently explored in coming-of-age ceremonies. That Persephone faced her hero’s journey reluctantly exemplifies the universal transformational experience that brings a person out of innocence and into adulthood.

The majestic scene surrounding the figures is both an architectural deconstruction and abstraction of the gates to the underworld. It is a hypnotic portal to an unknown spirit world that Persephone is bracing herself against. The viewer knows she will ultimately be pulled through, and the artwork attempts to evoke Persephone’s and the viewers’ feelings about this unwelcome and difficult transformation.

Coming back to the point of the connotative and denotative discord, the bombastic visual spectacle and the troubled inner meaning create a sense of tension. From a denotative perspective, the piece is glossy and beautiful to look at, while from a connotative perspective, the artwork shows an intense moment of struggle and transformation of incomparable magnitude.

Learn more about Ward and his piece for the Genesis 8 series by checking out our podcast with him below.


Genesis 8 Artist | Hackatao

In Hackatao’s creation process, the stream of consciousness takes the shape of a stream of drawings. In the perpetuous and unstoppable flux of drawings that come to life from the unconscious, our inner demons and unspoken thoughts come to visit us and manifest in the form of art. In this artwork, the artists duo Hackatao goes even further, beyond the stream of visual manifestations, until reaching the matter itself.

Genesis 8 Artist | Bard Ionson

Bard Ionson’s piece Mysterious Value was created by training an AI model to create its own version of a Challenge Coin. In the US, these coins are given out as a reward for working on special projects or being top performers and have taken on a life of their own as collector’s items. The coins themselves held no material value, but the riches and mysticism lie in the stories they tell.

Bard Ionson, Mysterious Value (still), 2021

Mysterious Value is one possible output from millions of different versions that was created. This particular coin appears abstract in composition, like a dream or a memory — a contrast to the physical coins that use American iconographies such as the US Flag or the Bald Eagle.

Just like a treasury would have minted these coins, Bard Ionson has poetically minted them on chain. This process was Inonson’s way of taking a forgotten piece of metal and giving it a second life.

Check out our conversation with Bard below:


Genesis 8 Artist | Ben Snell

Ben Snell is a creative force whose works explore the meeting ground of technology and humanity while revealing the act of the creation as much as the production of the actual piece itself.

Ben Snell, Ritual Nature (still), 2021

Snell’s Ritual Nature intertwines the observer and the observed. The piece uses a sculptural interpretation of image-making that strips away the light and color of a photograph, leaving something raw and wild in its place. He was inspired by the ephemerality of digital artifacts as defined by code and how that contrasted with the beauty of an object’s physicality and natural decay.

With a newfound aura, Ritual Nature revels in the inherent value and humanity of digitally scarce objects, yet paradoxically consists of dispensable elements. The work exists not as a copy or a symbol of the physical, but as an entirely new object. While it’s reminiscent of the tangible world in form and substance, it speaks for itself with its own unique integrity and presence.

Snell writes, “Like a swirling cloud of gold dust suspended in moments of shimmering clarity, the piece points to our entropy, once stardust and soon to be…Following a year of trauma and despair, the process of going into nature in order to find my nature is an act of self-care in nurturing my creative flame — a metaphorical minting of my inner gold dust, ready to shine again.”

We talked with Ben Snell while he was creating Ritual Nature about his process and his connection to Gold Dust. Check it out below. 

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