Tania Rivilis is a Digital Artist based in Germany and Portugal. She started painting to express herself nine years ago. Her inspiration comes mainly from people, their faces, eyes, and gestures. She actualizes the old pictorial tradition in new systems of knowledge, in fundamentally different worldview perspectives. Tania hopes that more museums and galleries will use NFT technology soon.
NFT Granny: „Dear Tania – thank you very much for taking your time. You are minting on different blockchains. Do you have a favourite one – and if yes why?“
Tania Rivilis: Of course, my first platform from which everything started was a foundation and I will always have a warm feeling about this platform that gave me the unforgettable moment of first bids and sales. That’s where my NFT journey began.
But since I started minting on objkt.com and being a part of the tezos community I feel very comfortable and welcoming. I enjoy the spaces, chats and community. I found so many friends and connected with so many artists that brought me to collaborations with amazing Laurence Fuller (although we already had a poetic collaboration on foundation), Val Kilmer, Jenni Pasanen, AD_AD and so many others. I had a feeling that such diversity, collaborations and artists‘ cooperations are more possible in tezos community than in eth community. But nice to see that this tense is changing and we see more collaborations on eth platforms too.
How did you first become interested in art, and how did you get started with it yourself?
Tania Rivilis: I started painting at the age of twenty-seven when I moved to Germany. I was always interested in art, and permanently had a feeling that I want to express myself somehow. But only these coordinated changes in my life led me to art. All started with copies of old masters that I admire – with uncertain movements with a very tiny brush, I learned to convey the look and character. But I learned to be more self-confident and now use big brushes and am not afraid to experiment with bright colors and strange color schemes.
Could you tell us more about the story of your work “Giuliano de’ Medici – The House of Medici”?
Tania Rivilis: This collection appeared as a result of my observation of the NFT art world when I entered it in April 2021 – how PFP projects and traditional/digital art have found a place in the same Crypto universe. I wanted to depict that moment – on one hand, we have a real meta Renaissance and a flourishing interest in arts, but on another hand – popular memes, numerous successful PFP projects, Apes, Punks, DAOs and the destruction of what is called «high arts”. But somehow all this has united different people from around the globe. Of course, I could go further and say that these portraits show the duality of human nature.
Anyway, Guiliano de´Medici is one of 10 pieces of the “Decentralized Renaissance – House of Medici” collection on Foundation. Each shows one of the significant members of the Medici clan in addition to historical memes and crypto details, the collection is a bit ironic as well. Very thankful to @MediciVault.eth for his mentorship and his knowledge in crypto history.
Which of your artworks are you most proud of?
Tania Rivilis: I guess I would say that „Kupka‘s dog“ oil painting is the piece I’m most proud of. And it’s not only because here I worked on analysis and reinterpretation of Frantisek Kupka’s “Selfportrait” (If you remember that portrait- it was painted with absolutely magical vibrant yellow tones that I admire) and hopefully reached a good result in capturing mood and character, but also because this portrait won the William Lock Prize at Royal Portrait Society in May 2022. That was a huge surprise for me and I’m very honoured to get this award.
Is there an artist you would like to work with? Like a collaboration?
Tania Rivilis: Oh, there are so many great and talented artists that I would love to work with. If I could name just a few roughly, it would be generative artist Sofia Crespo and traditional artists Henrik Uldalen and Trevor Jones. I already did numerous collaborations with NFT legend Laurence Fuller – we created several pieces together or in collaboration with other artists, even with Hollywood actor and poet Val Kilmer.
We are curious 🙂 Would you be willing to share any plans of upcoming projects?
Tania Rivilis: Sure, happy to share. Right now I’m working on several paintings for collaborations with Laurence Fuller, and artist Yulia Bas. I am also animating my oil painting for Art Basel Miami curated by The Royal House of Medici. In the physical world, I prepare works for several exhibitions in USA and Netherlands.
Who or what are your biggest influences or sources of inspiration?
Tania Rivilis: I assume that artists are getting their inspiration from everything that surrounds them – it can be music, movie or just the light falling on my sister’s eyelashes, beautiful thin fingers on the phone, an open ankle, and veins on an arm.
But my most powerful inspiration is people, their faces, eyes, and gestures. As well as the combination of colours in nature.
Travelling is one more source of inspiration, people from other cultures, different smells and sounds. Sometimes absolutely strange things can channel my vibe, and I immediately take photos of them for the future because you never know what will come out in handy.
Is there something specific you are trying to express with your art?
Tania Rivilis: In my artistic practice, I explore the limits of the portrait genre. I actualize the old pictorial tradition in new systems of knowledge, in fundamentally different worldview perspectives. The subject of my research is relationships. What matters most to me is the story of the person. In this infinitely extended, frozen present, the way the past and the future collide in a caught moment. The way another self is born in an instant. In the shortest time interval of “now,” the human finds a chance to become but often does not have time to do it. Painting is the only thing that protects them from non-existence. It brings them back to life, to the oscillation between two temporalities: the internal history and the external time of the viewer’s perception.
Do you remember the first time you heard about NFT Art?
Tania Rivilis: Oh yes, I won’t forget how surprised I felt when my art fella Ivan Loginov (traditional artist from Repin Academy) told me something like, „Tania, did you hear about NFTs – there are people who pay for JPEGs“. But since I love everything about technology, I decided to dig deeper and find out what are these strange people who pay for JPEGs. And as everyone loves to say in the NFT world: I came to earn some money but stayed because of community.ight now, I’m not featuring anywhere. But definitely this year in December I’ll do an exhibition in ART Miami, which I like. Hopefully, this pandemic situation will finally get better.
How do you enjoy the NFT Art you have collected? Do you have a way to display it for example at home?
Tania Rivilis: I collected physical art before, but it was more like some small paintings by artists‘ friends or some affordable pieces I bought from artists I like. But It was always something that was a bit out of my budget, so I was delighted to collect artists that I like almost every week. t’s also possible and easier thanks to objkt.com.
What would be your biggest wish for the NFT Art scene? What is currently missing / not fully developed to reach full potential out of it?
Tania Rivilis: I honestly hope that more traditional art galleries and museums will use this technology to display art and control sales so that artists will have fair conditions according to royalties and secondary sales. I believe that the traditional art scene will soon see NFT not as PFP projects and scams but as an instrumental technology that can help us upgrade a bit outdated system.
What is the most disturbing thing when it comes to NFTs and cryptoart in your opinion?
Tania Rivilis: Maybe I will touch a very sensitive subject now, but In my opinion, it’s that NFT and crypto art often brings us to the question, „what is Art after all, „and I guess we won’t have an answer for that, as history shows this question will never have a final answer.
What I mean is – in my own example – at the beginning, I didn’t get what AI Art is. I had a classical image in my head that Art is something you create with hands using physical mediums (even if it’s iPad and iPencil). But since I started my NFT journey, I have seen so many brilliant pieces created with AI’s help that I couldn’t say it was not Art. It was Art! After all, we use our imagination as the primary medium. But I would say I still have some weird feelings when I think about AI. If artists created something using imagination and the help of AI – it’s great, but what if an artist has just a temptation to choose from the options offered by AI – is it still Art or just a display of artists‘ taste?
Art still means some deep thinking process behind each piece, even if it’s just a provocative Duchamp’s Fountain or a few lines on the wall.
Which tools do you use to create your art?
Tania Rivilis: I paint with oils on OSB. To create an NFT, I do a digital copy of my paintings. Then it depends on the purpose – for simple animation, I use AfterEffects or edit colors with DaVinci Resolve.
What does a typical day for you look like, and what do you like to do when you’re not busy with NFT Art?
Tania Rivilis: I try to wake up at around 7:30-8 am so I have more daylight hours to paint. I start with my breakfast and yoga. Then I prepare OSB or make a sketch of future painting or paint till the evening when I go to training or jogging because sitting or staying all day in one position is pretty damaging for the human body. I go to bed at around midnight before reading a book or watching cat videos (LOL!).
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
Tania Rivilis: I was always pretty sensitive about what people think about my art or anything I create until I saw a funny quote by Jerry Saltz „Artists: you often wonder what people think about you. The Truth is NO ONE is thinking about you“.
That I saw at such a perfect time when I needed it. After that, I care less about what people think because we usually overthink everything, and people have so many things to care about – definitely not about my paintings.
Another excellent quote I like is by Willem de Kooning „Flesh is the reason oil paint was invented“ – indeed, this a lovely quote, especially if you paint human portraits.
Is there something aside from art or NFTs you collect?
Tania Rivilis: I collect moments like many of us. I try to remember some special moments with my loved ones or unique feelings I have at a particular moment. Before, I was collecting vintage frames – but then there were no walls left, so I decided to stop my collection.
What do you feel the moment a project you’ve created dropped?
Tania Rivilis: I feel very excited anytime I have a drop. But it won’t compare with that first-ever NFT I minted. And especially that crazy mind-blowing feeling when I got my first-ever bid and sold my genesis. It was in April 2021, but I still remember that day.
Last but not least: Where do you like to travel?
Tania Rivilis: I love to travel in general. It’s such a vast source of inspiration and a collection of moments. Honestly, I prefer some warm places, although I plan to visit Norway or Iceland one day soon. Birma was something special that I visited – that forgotten, abandoned place with pagodas
and ancient temples, and I felt like in an Indiana Jones movie. I would love to see Japan soon – such an enigmatic country.
- Full Name: Tania Rivilis
- Date of Birth: 20th July 1986
- Current hometown: Germany (Aachen)/ Portugal (Setubal)
- Languages she speaks: Russian, Ukrainian, English, German
- Education: Moscow Art Industrial University: Media design, TV advertisement
- First Job: Media Designer