Painting, fashion and NFT: this window display in Fort Worth’s Sundance Square does it all

Painting, fashion and NFT: this window display in Fort Worth’s Sundance Square does it all

Sunflowerman of Fort Worth makes use of every method he can to show his art to the public.

The artist, whose real name is Matthew Miller, is a 33-year-old fashion illustrator who recently moved to Cowtown. He moved to Fort Worth a little over four years ago.

But like many artists today, he uses everything at his disposal, from social media to public art, NFTs and clothing, to make a name for himself in a hyper-competitive media landscape where alternative entertainment currents are at a loss. just a click away.

Miller’s new piece of public art, “Fashion World,” is a multimedia exhibit on display in the front of the former H&M store at 3rd and Commerce streets. “Fashion World” encapsulates the artist’s interest in fashion and technology with a style unique to Fort Worth. It also combines the old with the new: physical art with digital art.

Sunflowerman, world of fashion

On the second story of the building’s façade, Miller used vinyl LED lights to make long winged horns dance through the windows, the faux neon lights flickering to evoke the illusion of movement.

At ground level, the backdrop inside the storefront shimmers like a perpetual sunset. The watercolor paintings hang side by side, each depicting two floating figures approaching each other. A “Fashion World” branded denim jacket hangs on display, hand-painted by the artist.

A display next to the physical paintings It links viewers to the artist’s digital store, where non-fungible tokens (NFTs) of the art in the exhibition can be purchased.

NFTs are essentially proof that someone owns a unique digital image or video. NFTs are bought, sold and use the same blockchain (a public digital list of all transactions made) as cryptocurrencies. You can find a more detailed explanation of the NFT phenomenon here.

Like any other asset, NFTs have value, which can go up or down depending on the market. So why do a project like this? nowwhen the NFT and cryptocurrency market is in free fall?

“That’s a horrible response. [but] Why not now?” Miller said.

“We had the big crash, but technology has already influenced much of society. I think to imagine that. . . crypto and NFTs. . . are not going to affect our lives is crazy. So not trying to understand seems like poor planning. We are still very early in society’s understanding of what blockchain technologies can do for us.”

Like cryptocurrencies, NFTs are criticized for the amount of power they require. Ethereum, the most popular cryptocurrency/blockchain for NFTs, is known for the large amount of energy it takes to complete a single transaction.

Miller wanted to address that concern with his line of NFTs.

“The fear of excessive energy use is concerning throughout society, and that blockchain technologies are exacerbating it is very concerning,” he said. “This is why I stay away from Ethereum.”

The NFTs for “Fashion World” operate on the Tezos blockchain, which uses “by some estimates 99.9 percent less energy to run the programs,” Miller said.

Many see artists using NFTs as an easy way to get cash and their work as another way for the super-rich to accumulate value.

“It’s not unlike the established art world we have today, where artists set up galleries that buy their work at exorbitant prices to increase the value of their work,” Miller reflected.

“It’s analogous to the real-world system we already have. It’s just that now it’s on the internet and it’s made with new money instead of old money.

As much as I despise some of the practices in the modern art world, I still love art. I still believe it and try to make a living. There is value in art beyond the outrageous stored value that people try to use to manipulate their own wealth and taxes.”

Sunflower man portrait

Matthew Miller, aka Sunflowerman, poses for a portrait in his downtown Fort Worth studio.

Miller’s true love for art shows in all of his projects. She used her art to promote mask wearing during the depths of the pandemic. Her positive mask artwork of her was posted all over Sundance Square.

He paints photorealistic representations of watches, commissioned by watch enthusiasts from around the world. She has a strong presence on Instagram, which offers a behind-the-scenes look at her artistic process.

Miller is also starting a line of Sunflowerman coffee beans, a passion project for a man with a deep appreciation for fine coffee. (His collection of intricate designs espresso cups from his travels around the world lives in his studio in downtown Fort Worth).

Sunflower Man, Jacket

Sunflowerman wears a hand-painted jacket outside of his “Fashion World” installation.

Keeping up with the latest technologies can help artists penetrate the public consciousness. While that has always been true, today it can be quite a challenge. And not all artists have to.

“Maintaining an understanding of developing technologies and cultural trends will give any artist the best chance of having a long career, but the opportunities in the arts are huge,” the artist said after the interview, adding that “there is no only one way to do it.”

Ultimately, Miller is undeterred by the challenges facing artists today. He knows what matters most: art itself.

“I want it to be beautiful, first of all. The concept is for me.”

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