Home » Painter Loie Hollowell, who is launching an NFT series to support abortion funds, discusses politics, motherhood and her market

Painter Loie Hollowell, who is launching an NFT series to support abortion funds, discusses politics, motherhood and her market

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“Motherhood never leaves you,” says artist Roy Hollowell from her studio in Brooklyn. process.” she speaks ahead of the launch of labor pains, Her first NFT series consists of 280 generative digital works and a limited number of physical paintings. Today (October 28th) she drops on sales platform Art Blocks, in collaboration with Pace Verso, her web3 division of Pace gallery, where the artist has been represented since 2017.

This series is one of many by Hollowell based on female bodily processes. In this case, she gave birth to her daughter Juniper in April 2020. Head and vagina during labor. Several of these orbs are depicted with varying degrees of open center in relation to her ten stages of cervical dilation necessary to initiate the “pushing” stage of childbirth. The black-and-white bisector, she says, indicates the “strong pain and subsequent calmness” that occurs during and between contractions. In recent years, she has made a name for herself in the art world, with her vividly colored geometric compositions reminiscent of tantric paintings and the structure of light and space.

Roy Hollowell labor pains280 unique generative NFTs of Mint #0. © Roy Hollowell.Courtesy of Pace Verso

Hollowell, who remains “somewhat skeptical” of NFTs, was approached by Art Blocks to create the series. U.S. Supreme Court Overturns Roe v. Wade DecisionArt Blocks encourages artists to donate 25% of profits above list price to charity. For Hollowell, the timing helped overcome hesitation and clarify the choice. She donates her quarter of her sales to her two non-profit organizations in the United States. Midwest Access CoalitionMidwest-based Practical Abortion Fund, and ARC-Southeastprovides funding and logistical assistance to individuals seeking reproductive care, including abortion services, in six southern states.

That an artist should take such direct action on the issue of reproductive rights should come as no surprise to those familiar with her practice. Some of Hollowell’s early works were “essentially biographical paintings” of the abortion she experienced at the age of 28, portraying the turmoil, freedom and other complex emotions she experienced at the time. I’m searching “All of my work directions for the last six years came out of the fact that I had an abortion,” she says.

Still, she was advised by gallerists and advisors early in her career not to mention abortion for fear of alienating collectors, instead focusing on the “more abstract elements” of her work. It was only a few years later that she felt comfortable discussing the “conceptual thesis” behind them. However, she says her language is still “mostly whitewashed.”

Roy Hollowell split orb (2022). © Roy Hollowell.Courtesy of Pace Verso

Speaking of control and autonomy, Hollowell says the NFT series can also help regain control of the burgeoning secondary market. At auction, her paintings regularly beat her six-figure estimates and sell for over $1 million. The highest price for her sculpture at Sotheby’s Hong Kong in 2021 is her $2.1 million, with 8 of her top 10 auctions sold in Hong Kong.

“It was really frustrating to see my work on the secondary market,” says Hollowell. “Especially since I’ve met many of these collectors, it feels like a little bit each time. The resale rights built into the NFT smart contract are therefore a huge bonus.” It is also useful for later tracking. This is something she said she was not good at before signing with Pace. This proved to be a problem when she attempted to source many of her early works for her first solo exhibition. Manetti Schlemm Art Museum Until May 8, 2023 at the University of California, Davis.

The NFTs will be offered at 5 ETH (approximately $1,555) each via a Dutch auction process. This means that the initial price will be reduced until a buyer is found. Several paintings from this series will also be on display at Pace’s booth at the WestBund art fair in Shanghai next month, offering $10,000 each.

Despite denouncing certain market forces, Hollowell expresses deep appreciation for the support she has received from large galleries such as Pace, especially regarding her own reproductive choices. increase. “I waited until I had a safe gallery to have kids,” Hollowell joked, noting that her last pregnancy at 37 was “basically an elderly pregnancy.” rice field.

Her husband has been in the primary caregiver role for several years. As a result, Hollowell says it has become easier to deal with parenting and a career than some of her friends, who “had to sacrifice a lot of time in the studio.” It states that it depends on gender. in a career as her female counterpart. “

But even with help, the pressure on mothers to rush back to work after giving birth still needs an important conversation, at least in the West, she said. “Even with the security of the pace, I was still feeling the production pressure. Only a month after giving birth, I was back at work for my next solo show.”

These conversations are just as important when discussing reproductive rights, she said, and hopes her work will spur a wider conversation. It doesn’t matter,” she stresses. “It is equally important to talk about women who want to have children but lack adequate care, and who will need financial support once they have children.”

Hollowell cites many factors that make raising children an adversarial proposition in the United States. From the lack of equal pay between men and women to meager childcare pay. These issues are being debated among women and their communities, but they are not a priority for politicians, she says. She points out that they didn’t provide it.

“This conversation needs to cover all kinds of procreative and non-procreative bodies,” she says. I have.”

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