LA artist Devon DeJardin is diving into the world of NFTs
By Ella Joyce | Art | 21 March 2023

Inspired by spiritual allegory, Devon DeJardin’s Guardians series refashioned the supernatural forces outside of human control into large-scale abstract paintings reminiscent of iconic cubist works. Following their success, the LA-based multimedia artist is transitioning into the digital realm with a series of 998 unique NFTs inspired by the original series. Created with the intention to offer a more accessible route into purchasing artwork and a desire to test both the boundaries of technology and traditional thinking, DeJardin is one of many creatives beginning to investigate the possibilities of NFTs.

This new territory mirrors the liminal subject matter at the heart of DeJardin’s practice as he blurs the boundaries of the known and unknown. Mixing techniques of oil on canvas and computer-coded assembly, measured brush strokes and digital detailing, the unique artworks venture into the metaphysical. Underpinned by a continual pull to delve deeper into the mystery of spiritual traditions and the intertwining of human connection, DeJardin’s latest body of work allows for a greater scope of connectivity.

Original NFT by Devon DeJardin, 2023

Ella Joyce: What drew you to exploring NFTs and how did the process differ from your usual practice?
Devon DeJardin: I have sat back for a while now observing and contemplating my approach to entering the space. I’ve been fascinated with the technology component behind NFTs, and the ability to step into a new medium artistically was something that pulled me down the rabbit hole. Being able to create digitally has opened up new doors both in the physical world and digital. There is also a community involvement behind NFTs which creates a positive and supportive platform to express ideas and creation. The process has differed from my usual practice solely based on the technology process side. I’ve approached the creation of NFTs similar to my painting and sculpting process.

EJ: Guardians is inspired by spiritual allegory, what sparked your interest in exploring this subject matter?
DD: I have always been interested in the supernatural and the forces outside of our physical time and space. It seems to me that in humans there is this continual pull towards things unknown and unseen. During my studies at university I recognised a commonality between most humans – the desire for spiritual protection. This desire may stem from a recognition of the interconnectedness of all things. When people understand their well-being is tied to the well-being of others and the planet as a whole, they may be more inclined to work together to create a harmonious and peaceful world. Ultimately this need for spiritual protection can help connect humans by creating a shared sense of purpose, fostering a sense of community and belonging, and promoting an awareness of our interconnectedness with one another and the world around us.

“It seems to me that in humans there is this continual pull towards things unknown and unseen.”

EJ: Can you tell us a little about your influences? It feels like there is a mix of cubism, abstraction and expressionism in your work.
DD: The emotional and muscular abstraction of artists like Picasso, Nevelson, Duchamp, and Krasner has had a lasting impact on modern art and myself by breaking away from traditional representational art and exploring new forms of expression. Their focus on the use of colour, form, and texture to evoke emotions and ideas rather than solely depict physical reality has inspired numerous artists, including myself, to push the boundaries of what is considered art and challenge established norms. The impact of their work continues to be felt in contemporary art years beyond their time as many artists still look to their predecessors for inspiration and a sense of freedom to experiment and express themselves in new and innovative ways. It is fascinating and inspiring to comprehend. 

EJ: Your work exists at the intersection of narrative and pictorial complexity, what kind of story do you hope it tells?
DD: My work, for now, focuses on guardians – entities and forces that protect, guide, and challenge us to grow. But often, our real life ‘guardians’ come in forms we don’t recognise: challenges that force us to learn new skills, losses that teach us emotional resilience and crises that show us our inner strength. I hope my work opens up conversations around these subjects. 

Atlantis NFT by Devon DeJardin, 2023

“My work, for now, focuses on guardians – entities and forces that protect, guide, and challenge us to grow.”

EJ: As NFTs are still a relatively new medium in the art world, what kind of impact do you feel they are having and how do you see them continuing to develop?
DD: NFTs have certainly had a significant impact on the art world since their emergence in 2017. They enable digital artworks to be bought, sold, and traded with the added benefit of ownership verification and scarcity, which was previously difficult to achieve in the digital realm. The ability to own unique, verified, and authenticated digital artwork has led to a surge in interest and investment in this medium. One of the main impacts of NFTs on the art world is that they have opened up a new revenue stream for artists, who can now monetise their digital creations in ways that were previously not possible. This has led to increased opportunities for artists to reach wider audiences and generate income through the sale of NFTs.

NFTs have also disrupted traditional art market structures by enabling artists to sell their work directly to buyers without the need for intermediaries, such as galleries or auction houses. It’s led to increased democratisation of the art world, allowing for a wider range of artists to participate and benefit from the market. Looking ahead, the potential for NFTs is significant. As the technology continues to develop, it is likely we will see new and innovative use cases emerge, such as virtual and augmented reality artworks, interactive digital installations, and other immersive experiences that will further blur the line between physical and digital art. However, it is also important to note there are still many questions and concerns around the environmental impact of NFTs, as well as issues related to copyright and ownership. As the technology and market continue to evolve, it will be important to address these issues and ensure that the benefits of NFTs are accessible to all artists and art enthusiasts while minimising any negative impact on the environment and society.

Devon DeJardin’s full NFT collection will drop April 5th and a 1/1 auction will take place on March 29th. 



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