Who are you?
I’m José Gasparian, a Brazilian designer-photographer-artist based in San Francisco, California. I work as a Senior Designer at Elephant, a design agency and worked with brands like Apple, Twitch and Netflix. I’m a music and art lover; and Apple and Nintendo fan. I’m a very detailed oriented and visual driven person. I grab references from minimalism, nature and good design to apply on my art pieces. My favorite music artist is Nicolas Jaar, my favorite director is Wes Anderson, my favorite designer is Dieter Rams and my favorite artists are Andy Warhol and Yayoi Kusama.
When did you start making art?
That’s a though question cause I’m making art since I was a kid. haha I’m grateful that I come from a family where poetry, music, photography, painting were all around me and my passion with drawing and painting started right early. Yes, I was that kid at school that had drawings on books, notebooks and over the desks. But I started effectively selling my photos, paintings and drawings in 2015. I graduated from college and didn’t have a job yet so I focused on making art to expose in art fairs. I was fortunate enough to being called to expose my pieces at a lot of indie art fairs around Rio de Janeiro, my hometown, that year. Since then I’ve been constantly making digital art and posting on my Instagram. Until last year, when I discovered about the beauty of the NFTs and finally found the right place to publish/sell my art.
How did you hear about Tezos?
Back in October 2021 when I started minting NFTs. I decided to start minting my art on Ethereum first but I regret doing that haha. I should have started on Tezos cause you have so much liberty since the fees are so low, you can keep experimenting new stuff. I few like I have to create my most impressive artwork every time I think on minting on Ethereum due to the amount of cost you have to spend. Tezos = freedom. I don’t worry if it’s gonna sell or not. I just want my art out in the world.
Why are you obsessed with music and circles?
Music for me represents so many things. Music represents feelings that I felt when I was listening to an album, when I was in love with someone, or I was doing something, or I was traveling… Music represents specific eras of my life, you know. I listen to this song and I’m teleported to that day, to that feeling. And it’s since 2010 that I started to do research and listen to new things every single day. I even have a playlist called Fresh New Music that I do since 2018 cause I only listen to new stuff haha. I have a MIDI keyboard with me that I used to create the ‘𝄞’ series on Foundation and the ‘SMALLBEATS’ series on Teia. And of course, music inspires me when I’m creating my art. I need music as my partner when I’m developing something.
My obsession with circles started when I went to a Yayoi Kusama exposition that was happening at a museum on my hometown. I don’t remember the date specifically but I think it was either late 2000s or early 2010s. There was a room filled with sticker dots that you could access and paste your stickers. I remember this day like it was yesterday. Since then, Yayoi has been one of my biggest inspirations. Circle is the perfect shape and represents cycles as well. Lives are made of cycles right? After so many good things happened in 2017, a cycle was closed that year, so I decided to get a circle tattoo to represent that time. I’m very perfectionist so it was a good experience to have someone trying to draw a perfect circle on my arm. Everyday I look at it to find its imperfections to remind me that no one is perfect.
What was your first mint on Tezos?
‘SMALLBEATS001’ on October 31st, 2021. The ‘SMALLBEATS’ series which used beats that I created in order to sync with the colorful shapes. I will probably do more stuff like this in the future.
Cíclicos is one of your OBJKT collections designed to mimic breathing exercises. Can you tell us more about this?
Yes! In 2020, I had my first panic attack. Not only pandemic was on its highest peak but it was also wildfire season during the summer here around San Francisco. So, I couldn’t go out, I couldn’t open the windows, I could do basically nothing. Since then, I invested on therapy and I learned about a bunch of hidden things that were inside me. One big thing that I learned from my therapist were breathing exercises to calm me down on anxiety inducing moments – and that’s where the ‘cíclicos’ series was born. I asked myself: what if I could do a visual reference for these exercises? With that I tried exploring with calm colors, subtle movements and always the same rhythm. ‘Cíclicos’ mean ‘cycles’ in Portuguese which represents the completion of moments in life that I talked up above. I think this is my favorite collection as of now and I dream one day to have them exposed on like really big screens and people laying down watching them move.
Do you have any advice for those reading struggling with anxiety?
Please, go find a therapist! Or just talk with someone honestly. By the time you express your feelings, you are removing something from you and throwing at the universe. There was a time of my life that I was really hesitant to even think about doing therapy. But the day has come and now I’m a better person. I’ve learned how to react with old/current/new feelings and found resources that could help myself. It’s not easy living on another country far from your families and friends and starting a new life, but I’m happy I have someone I love with me here. And remember, everyone is on the same boat and everything will be fine.
Flow is a 1/1 series on OBJKT focused on the blending of shapes and geometric structures. How did you create these works?
Each ‘flow’ piece was handmade – no generative art here. It took me a month and a half to complete all 100 pieces because when I put something on my head, I will make it no matter what. I wanted to embrace the contrast between solid and organic shapes through circles and random drawings. The process was super fun cause I didn’t know how the final input was going to be until I pressed the Blend action, and then I spent a couple of minutes just refining the curves cause I wanted them perfect. I did all 100 in black lines first and then I added colors later, since I wanted to focus first on the drawing. People told me I was insane to mint 100 pieces manually on OBJKT but again, if there’s a goal/objective in front of me, I will pursue it! It took me a whole weekend to do so. It came to be my most successful collection. Sold 70 of the 100 pieces. I was completely in shock.
How do you know when one of your geometric works is “finished”?
When I show to my wife and she says it’s beautiful. haha She is my guide, has an eye for this and gives me strength to continue working and exploring, so what better then having another point of view.
What adds value to your art?
Back in March, 0x3y3 wrote something about me that represents everything I am and they saw it through my art: ‘I’m loving the softly muted elegance of @josegasparian’s work – explorations of color gradients and stacked shapes. Vaguely organic forms hint at printmaking processes and the spatial volume of collage… Natural in a stochastic sense, not hard and generative, there’s some whimsy and playfulness in the mix, and the hues and color compositions make my retinas dance.’ If you meet me in person, I’m playful, I’m natural and I’m not hard, I’m soft as fuck. And I am Brazilian. I was born in Rio de Janeiro – the most colorful, dancing and full of curves city in the world. So I will bring these values to my art with a mix of minimalism and elegance which come from my background in Design; and I hope people like 0x3y3 can absorb all of this through the pieces I create.
What are your plans going forward?
My plans for this year is to have at least one series per month released. I will also try different blockchains like Stacks and Solana in the near future. But first and foremost, will continue exploring different processes and will continue sharing with the community. And a dream (not a plan) is to have my art exposed on a NFT art fair. (I like to manifest to the universe).
Anyone you want to shoutout?
Glauber (@glauberxyz) who is an incredible generative artist, introduced me to the NFT space and helped me so much throughout the process. Carolina (@407Atelie) who became my friend to talk about all things NFT related. And other brilliant artists like Max Drekker (@MaxDreeker), Ciput (@chiquitaputri), Ryan(@platformmmm), Rich (@BilndArt), Kato (@TrofimovaKato), Æther (@aetheresovereign), Bruce (@StudioYorktown), MCHX (@MCHX17), Matheus Leston (@matheusleston), FEELS (FEELSxart), 0x3y3 (@0x3y3) Leander Herzog (@lennyjpg) and Zinnea (@_zinnea_) who inspire me everyday.
Just wanted to thank you for the opportunity and the support. Keep up with the amazing work! Obrigado!