Interview with Ikaro Cavalcante (Occulted): Mixing the Organic and Synthetic

Ikaro Cavalcante

Intuitive Freedom by Ikaro Cavalcante

Ikaro Cavalcante (Occulted) (b. 1995) is a non-binary person and a transdisciplinary artist, having gone through design, tattoo, performance and digital art. Occulted works with 3D and sounds that reconstruct common spaces with their affective memory, be they virtual or physical. The periods of their life that remain vivid in their memories are childhood and adolescence, and because of personal traumas that led them to discuss these relations, today, besides exploring spatiality in their works, they also proposes what they calls digital healing through the ongoing series Blood Connection (2021). The materialisation of a prospective scenario of their autobiography in the format of notes on occulted things - this being the substantial of their artistic production. Consequently, of their own cosmogony. To vulgarise the marks of mind, Occulted produces attempts to take themselves back and their experiences in subjectivity, trying to build a place for the plenitude of existence, since they are not allowed such a place in the construction of their own world until then. For this reason, the Brazilian artist creates unruly images and sounds in a place of disobedience and makes their works a counter-hegemonic fissure, liberating themselves in subjectivities.

How would you describe your artistic style?

I believe it’s like a mixture of organic and synthetic, with gleaming textures that makes us be more contemplative of simple things like the way the light interacts with the 3D shapes.

What do you think the importance of Art History is in the NFT space and your work?

I think that in any situation it is always important to look back and examine the facts that helped us reach nowadays. Art History is also a history of the artists’ relations with their means and mediums of communication and work, so it’s a path that can help us analyze our current relations and the constant shifts in perception, furthermore reminding us of the similarities between traditional Art and NFTs, beyond only the audio/visual aspect. As for my work, as I didn’t come from an academic trajectory, my access of art was slightly limited specially thinking about public brazilian education, but beside that I always had a strong connection to videogames, since my early ages, that enriched my visual and conceptual references, helping me to also understand the digital space as a contemplative place and not only a passageway.

Who and what are your key influences?

I love to experiment, I believe this is the key to evolution, but everytime I catch myself in a creative process I’m remembering moments from my childhood or from the games I’ve played, of images and art I saw on Internet, and besides I always had a good perception of the materiality of things, so I can be influenced by the plastic texture of my computer’s mouse to the translucency of the flowers I see when I go out.

Could you talk us through the process of making? What’s going on in the image?

With “Intuitive Freedom” we are presented with a landscape slightly bathed by the light of a central figure, a fountain-like fissure between desire and free will, mixing shades and shapes inviting us to release the grip which we tightened ourselves.”

What’s the overall idea/concept that you try to get across in this NFT and also in the rest of your work?

When creating “Intuitive Freedom”, I wanted to express a shift in my own perception of my process, to capture a moment when I felt my own judgmental grip being loosened and revealing to me that my intuition is one of my strongest allies when making my art. For me, whatever I create comes from my affections, from memories and feelings afloat that guide me to experiment with virtuality, as with my last body of work “Blood Connection”, where I revisited traumatic experiences to bring forth a work filled with my most inner connections.

What’s the relationship between the subject and the aesthetic style of your work?

What I create are landscapes and pieces from my inner worlds, that belong to a flow of energy that I imbue my art with, that are born from the collision of my conscience with my subconscious. The shapes and relations I build are based on another side of life, a side present on dreams, for example.

How did you get into NFTs?

One year ago I found out what NFTs are, and even though at that time I had no way to afford the current gas fee on Ethereum, I didn’t give up and started making connections with the community. Since 2020 I've been part of digi.gxl, a collective of women and trans non binary artists that work with 3D, and it was through them that I discovered the Mint Fund, a project that aids LGBTQIA+ artists from the Global South to mint their work as NFTs. After applying for it and being selected with 20 other artists world wide, me being the only latin american there, and being able to get in and mint at Foundation, I gained enough space to start inserting more Brazilian artists close to me.
Only a few months later I was already with many works as NFTs, and I was curated to be part of Sotheby’s Natively Digital exhibition and to showcase my work abroad, which made me the first ever Brazilian digital artist to sell an NFT at this auction house.

How do you see the relationship between NFTs and concept art and the traditional art world developing over the next few years?

For years the traditional art world has ignored the impact and importance of natively digital productions, and has poorly mixed the potencies of traditional and digital in their market. NFTs came to break all this down, it’s here to open the market wide and give digital art a platform that functions in conjunction with the logic of the Internet and the virtual realm. It’s also adding new praxis to the concept of Art, opening more possibilities to register this History while managing the financial aspect with a simple and more direct interface, giving autonomy to artists, being them traditional or not, in constructing their value and their marketing. The relationship between the old and the new is about to get more and more interdependent.

Who are your favourite artists in the NFT space?

I think there is a lot of incredible artists exploring the NFTs as medium and as away to amplify their voices and researches on digital or physical art, with this in mind I would like to mention artists that I admire such as Nicolas Sassoon, Cibelle Cavalli, David Rudnick, Carlos Marcialt, Varkito Garcia and XCOPY.

Find Ikaro Cavalcante's newest NFT here.

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