The great thing about art is that it’s always evolving. New mediums are born that can change the way we interact with, and interpret, art. And when creative people are willing to embrace new technologies, methods, and approaches, wonderful things can happen. Daydreams can be brought to life, immersive experiences can be created, and that’s exactly what Marcel van Luit is doing with his new NFT art collection.
Don’t be fooled into thinking this is a new thing for the world-famous artists, though. Marcel has a long history of creating unique experiences through his art. The experience he creates in his physical works is about unadulterated quality and luxury. His pieces ooze opulence, from the high grade prints, to the ornate nut-frames they live in. But the presentation of the physical artwork is only one part of his vision; what Marcel strives to achieve is a fully immersive experience that brings people into his world, and invites them to open up their own imaginations.
From a collaboration with a Michelin-star restaurant in Antwerp, where diners ate a menu inspired by the art, to musical overlays during his gallery exhibitions, Marcel has always sought to expand his art into more than static images. His whole mission is to excite something within us, and transport us to worlds that live only in the imagination.
And with NFTs, he has found a new outlet to create rich, immersive adventures for his fans and collectors. We recently sat down with Marcel to find out more about his vision for his work, and how NFTs are playing a vital role in achieving it.
You’re known for creating dreamy scenarios, and beautiful worlds to escape in. Can you tell us a little about your creative process, and what role has the NFT space played in bringing your art to life?
“When I create something, I’m already thinking about how to bring it to life. It’s always more than just a flat image for me, even if it can’t be presented that way at first. If I present it in the traditional way, the only option, normally, is to do it in a static image, but there is always more to it, because in my mind I create it as more. I want to be able to show people what is really going on in my head, and what I see when I look at a piece. It’s funny because I was trying to explore the market to find options for showing and making my art more like an experience, and when I found the NFT space, I wasn’t actively looking to create something that would fit the NFT space. It almost feels like the NFT space was designed to fit my wish to present my work in the way that I’ve always wanted to – as an experience. How to use NFTs to enhance my creative vision is something I gave a lot of thought to, and although it’s different, I think it’s still very authentic, because this idea was already in my mind, and the vision for the work, this is how I wanted it to be anyway.”
We know exclusivity is very important to you, do you consider that to be part of the experience you’re trying to create?
“Absolutely. Of course protecting our exclusivity is good business sense, but it’s also something the viewers and collectors really value. They feel special when they’re looking at something exclusive, that’s not on every street corner, that really stands apart from a lot of other stuff you can find as NFTs or in the physical world. I think my approach is a lot different from some of the images that are selling to make money on short notice, trying to capitalise on the market right now. For me, I really want to let people know that it’s always about the art, and not just about making as much money as quickly as you can. I think a lot of people are here to make fast money through NFT art, but for me, it’s another market to explore and to continue doing what I’m already doing.”
The NFT space is a new realm for you, what have you noticed about this world and has it influenced the way you create your art?
“I think in the past months we’ve been working non-stop to create the NFT works that we’ll be releasing soon and I’ve not had much time to stop and think. But I’ve got more knowledge now, so I can think about it more on a little deeper level. The conversations we’re having in our house are about what we have already in the physical art space, and how it is all driven by passion. It’s all about a passion for art and that is very, very important. Then I learned about this whole NFT space and needed to dig deep into it to try and get knowledge, and wrap my head around it to understand how all of this works. But in the end, I just circled back to my core passion, and that’s art. I’m going all in on this NFT thing because I really believe in it, but I’m still really searching and looking to use the same approach and strategy I have in the physical world, because that’s passion driven. And also I really want people to feel something when we’re releasing this and communicating about these pieces. Everything I do is still based on my passion for art, and NFTs are a way to give people an immersive experience and more than just a flat piece to look at. Creating an experience is nothing new from my side, but I really want everyone to be involved in this same passion for art, and I want them to feel it in the pieces I create whether they’re physical or NFTs.”
Your new collection includes collaborations with Scott Lipps and John Ewbank. The piece with John Ewbank is a very immersive, experiential piece isn’t it. Can you tell us a little bit about how that came about and what inspired it?
“I was talking with John a lot about different options. Then we were on a Zoom meeting together one day and we’re just throwing ideas around, and he, on the spot, just plays this beautiful piece of music. It was just perfect for what I wanted, so we talked for a few more hours and more things popped up and the idea just kept growing (and still is). At the same time, one of my friends, Don Diablo, released an incredible drop and made it a whole experience, and it opened my eyes really, and made me realise that this is the way to create a whole experience around an NFT drop. So after that I started looking at how we could really use John’s music and other creative elements to bring the piece to life in a completely new way. And I think what we’ve achieved is a really exciting demonstration of this.”
How would you compare your work in the physical world with what you’re creating as NFTs?
“For me, it’s not about comparing, but actually combining and joining up the two worlds. For all my NFTs I’ve also got the physical pieces, and those always come first. For example, for The Lion, we’ve got 7 pieces of it, and some of these already have a home but no NFT linking it to this limited collection. My focus is on integrating NFTs in our usual market. We don’t want to separate these two worlds. I think a lot of people are separating it now because they worry that these two worlds will bite each other, that the traditional world and this new space can’t coexist. But I would like to prove that’s not true. I think this NFT space works very well for me because of what I create, and it will help me grow more in the physical space, but it will also work the other way round. Ultimately, it’s all still my work, but just a different medium. I did a little drop back in March, to the people who are subscribers to my newsletter. We told them first, as people who bought a physical piece from the gallery collection, and we rewarded them with an NFT of their piece, to say thank you for supporting me along the way. So we integrated the physical into the NFT space with this reward. All of the people who bought a gallery piece over the last couple of years, we’re going to mint their piece, and I think that’s really special and it’s never been done. So for me, this whole thing is about how we can connect the physical world with this NFT space, and build a bridge between the two.”
Is there anything else in the NFT world that you’d like to try in the future?
“There are so many things I’d like to try. There are already so many crazy things in the pipeline to be honest. It’s incredible, but it’s mostly based on really cool collaborations, and that’s funny because it’s really something we experienced early on. I was already collaborating with very cool people before this NFT option was here, but I think since the NFT space exploded, there are so many creative people coming to me, and that’s very exciting.”
Based on the inspiration and ideas you’re having now, do you see your artwork changing in the future?
“Maybe in terms of making more animations and making it more come to life, but in the way my art has the classic styles and warm tones, I don’t see that changing, because it’s in my DNA. I think it makes it more super rare. I made a flamingo version with some bitcoin elements on it, but that was just a 1 of 1 and after that I said ‘no more crypto art’ because it’s just not my style. I think it’s very important for you to stay very authentic with your style because people really recognise an artist’s work, and that’s so important for your brand as a creative person and for the work. Yet, my work is always evolving and growing. If you look at work from three years ago, compared to stuff now, you see differences of course. You see that it’s changed. I can tell immediately whether it’s a recent piece or if it’s 2 years old, 4 years old, and every art collector that followed my work from the beginning will tell you this, because you can see changes in my style. But that’s just because I’m always growing as a person, every day, every year, and my work is a reflection of who I am, it’s my DNA, that’s everything. And when we’re talking about the smartest move for the future it’s to find ways to experience something bigger. I think in a year from now there will be a big event around an artwork, more than an exhibition, because creating experiences is so important to me. My signature needs to be the same because I need to stay authentic to myself, but of course, everything around it, the whole experience around it, that will grow.”
We are so grateful to Marcel for sharing this amazing insight into his world, and we are incredibly excited about the Flower Series collection that is dropping next week. As you can tell from our discussion, Marcel is keen to push boundaries and explore new creative possibilities, and we’re sure you’ll agree that his new collection does just that.
If you want to hear more from Marcel about his creative process, and what inspires him, be sure to join us on 2nd June at 4pm BST on our Twitch channel for a live exhibition and Q&A, and the official unveiling of this awesome collection.