Hybridising nature and the real, New Mexico-based Sara Ludy recently geared her NFT practice towards social justice by releasing her artworks in a fund-raising effort for Ukraine. Born in 1980, the American artist developed an interdisciplinary approach with digital painting, VR, websites, installation and sound. She is already well known in the New Media space, notably for her work Projection Monitor (2011) on the platform Secondlife. Like many digital artists, she decided to break into the NFT market, seeing the opportunities it brought to long under-recognized friends and colleagues.
Her work hopes to produce a utopian dissolution of space and time in the virtual, creating amorphous digital paintings with soft, dark colours that take on a liquid quality, like molten lava, referencing the digital scroll’s fluidity. A recent commission from design house Valentino resulted in NFT work Astral Garden (2021) in which Ludy hopes to bridge the gap between earthly and incorporeal forms. Claiming her inspiration is hybridised material and form between organic and virtual, the slow digitised multi-dimensional scroll is used to display a digitised landscape inspired by the fabrics of the fashion-house.
Ludy sees the NFT moment as a time for artists to reshape and evolve the art market as they gain a new type of leverage in the form of drops and NFT sales. Redefining profit distribution from her sales with gallerists, she broke ground last year when she negotiated the split of profits from her digital work, 50% for herself and 35% to be split evenly between gallery workers, including the gallerists themselves. This was intended to filter funds more equally back into artistic communities.
Earlier this, the artist also collaborated with fellow digital artists Amir Fallah and Ana Maria Caballero on a co-organized fundraiser, Art for Ukraine, featuring 100 NFTs minted in Tezos. This environmentally friendly crypto-currency is priced much lower than ETHEREUM, increasing access. According to the journal, ArtNews, each time a work was purchased through the auction, seven aid charities in Ukraine split the profits.