Versus is launching their first Versus auction on Flow on April 29, and we got a chance to chat with the amazing artist they’re featuring for their Genesis drop: Ekaitza. Ekaitza is no stranger to NFTs having been in the crypto space since 2013, and we are excited to share his story.
Who are you?
I am a digital artist living in California inspired by futurism, innovation and design. My background is in technology, and I have a lot of respect and appreciation for classical art. I try to blend both worlds via illustration and 3D designs. Mostly, I’m known for my skull pieces.
How did cryptoart get on your radar?
I’ve been in crypto since 2013 buying and trading assets, so I’ve experienced this space mature and grow before my eyes. In 2019 I met Coldie, Crypto Graffiti, Trevor Jones, Josie and several others at a Bitcoin conference in San Francisco, and we started talking about things we could do to take crypto art to larger audiences. From these conversations the Curating Crypto podcast was born, and the level of engagement we started to receive grew exponentially as some of the crypto art platforms started to draw in a larger number of collectors.
I guess I was just fortunate to be at the right place and know the right people. I had been illustrating for years at that point, and I figured a good way to get into the space would be to explore a new medium (3D models). I wanted to be able to join without leveraging existing relationships. This is how the Ekaitza pseudonym originated.
What's the inspiration and story behind the skull's in your artwork?
I was brought up in Mexico where we have a very unique relationship with death as an inevitable stage of our lives. We have a day to remember those who have parted, where we write poems and rhymes making fun of the grim reaper while eating traditional food and candy that we share amongst friends and family. This without a doubt changes your perspective, and you see a skull for what it is, just part of our anatomy.
Beyond any philosophical meaning I've always really been drawn to skull proportions and aesthetics and it's been a recursive theme in anything I do, so it just made senses to use it as a medium when moving to 3D work where you can really take advantage of materials, depth, light and reflections to create incredibly well detailed designs.
Why Versus? Why Flow?
In the collectors circles I am part of, everyone started talking about Flow being a real contender in the collectibles space. When the early adopter invites for NBA Top Shots started going out I was fortunate to get invited to their Discord server. Early on it was only a few people attending Zoom sessions, and we would receive regular emails from the Dapper Labs team as the development continued.
I think everyone can attest to the growth and incredible success they’ve had even in beta, which has created a lot of interest and in turn developers exploring Flow. As Top Shot started to gain traction, I was also fortunate to find out about Versus as it was being developed.
In this industry a lot of technical terms get thrown around, so when I started to hear about the server-less, non-custodial and on-chain characteristics of Versus, I knew I had to dig in.
Only a few months later I found out about the premise of Versus, which I think came up with a brilliant offering by giving collectors the chance to determine if a 1/1 or a set of editions will be minted. I think this is an incredible twist for both artists and collectors by allowing the market to decide the future of an artwork with their bids.
This gives artists an awesome opportunity to get the most out of the artwork they share, and collectors a unique way to collect crypto art in the way they want. If they love a piece, they can bid to be the only owner. If that price gets too high, they can join the group of collectors on the edition side to still try to get a unique NFT.
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