Recently launching at the Gabba Gallery in Los Angeles, mixed media photographer and NFT photography advocate Justin Aversano’s exhibition Smoke and Mirrors is the latest iteration of his acclaimed art series.
The exhibition features 78 limited edition silkscreen prints attached to NFTs that reimagine a tarot deck through the medium of photography. The 22 major arcana (gold) and 56 minor arcana (silver) portraits printed on papyrus capture local healers, spiritualists, creatives and Aversano’s family members in handmade analog prints which the artist calls “hybrid photographic neo-hieroglyphs.”
Aversano’s work has sold for record sums at Sotheby’s, Christie’s, and on the blockchain, with the artist perhaps best known for his collection Twin Flames. The artist also splits his time as CEO of Quantum Art, a platform focused on curating digital culture through NFTs, and the Creative Director of SaveArtSpace, a nonprofit dedicated to bringing community art to public spaces.
In Smoke and Mirrors, Aversano marries the worlds of crypto and the occult. The artist’s evocative portraits showcase a sense of community, family, love, grief and individualism exploring memory, history, spiritualism and psychogeography.
Printing on papyrus, Aversano also draws a comparison between ancient Egyptian scrolls and NFT photography. Originally used to document important information from religious texts to legal documents, papyrus scrolls were carefully passed down through generations. Aversano pays homage to this through photography — which documents the world — and NFTs, which preserve digital assets in perpetuity.
Aversano also presents an evocative portrait of his father standing by the grave of Aversano’s late mother on a card titled “Death.” Placed alongside the healers and spiritualists whom the artist has encountered during his journey through grief, further intertwining the private with the public and the past with the present.