Dolce Paganne has exhibited her art in three continents, but it’s in web3 where the macabre voodoo artist has found real community and technology that she describes as a “spaceship”. She sits down with Georgie Miller to explore her work, the meaning behind it, and her secret weapon.
Ceren Aksungur finds deep meaning in her dreams. Whether fairytales or nightmares, her often startling paintings and macabre drawings explore the sinister and the beauty that can co-exist in our minds.
Known as Dolce Paganne in web3, the Turkish-born surrealist has exhibited her art in galleries in the UK, the US, France, Australia, and others, but has found a welcoming and diverse community in the NFT space to further her creative vision.
Based in Antwerp, Dolce sees herself as a voodoo artist, and her artwork depicts a visual examination of the depth of magic and belief. “I see all artists as the animist sorcerers of primitive times and I locate myself on the darker side of the magic scale.” Through her works, Dolce tries to communicate her broader ideas about life, consciousness, and death. “I believe that death is a part of the joy of life and my works project this idea.”
“I see all artists as the animist sorcerers of primitive times.”
— Dolce Paganne
With subjects that are always captivating, but on either side of the line between discomfort and eerie beauty, her paintings have a vintage and almost psychedelic feel, with smooth brushstrokes and a serene sense of movement and flow in her work that stirs up nostalgic feelings, rendering a kind of comfort amidst the fear. Her complex drawings and sketches carry a whimsical tone in their lightness, despite their often malevolent scenes.
When discussing her process to make these complex, layered creations come to life, Dolce speaks of the deep introspection that her work requires. “I need totally isolated leisure time to focus on the visions inside my head, where I record all my past memories. Sounds, tastes, and touch are all a part of it.”
Without a dime given to social norms and reality, Dolce renders these elusive moments into their uncanny and precise visual form. “When I think of my all-time inspirations, I can locate antique fairytales and myths to a corner, art history to another corner, wild nature, anatomy, horror comics, popular culture, music, death...,” she muses.
Aside from her visions, otherworldly dreams, and the countless artists that provide inspiration from both on and off the blockchain, Dolce shares that her secret weapon is a curated playlist that ranges from electronic music, to jazz, to psyche-trance. “These days it’s Eric Truffaz, Leifur James, La Femme, Vitalic, Ten Walls, Lucien & the Kimono Orchestras, and Weval.”
In her captivating dreamscapes, Dolce explores concepts relating to “life, death, innocence, sex, passion, guilt, fear, and escape.” This ability to encapsulate a plethora of these topics into a culturally emotive piece of work is where her creations transcend. The beauty in Dolce’s artwork is that, within the scenes that she sets, which are often dark or haunting, lie topics we fear, and issues that stalk our society.
Dolce minted her first solo exhibition in the traditional art world, Paradise Inc., on Tezos, and it exudes a thorough exploration of her intrinsic thought process in a layered study of humankind. Based on the famous “Garden of Eden” by Hieronymous Bosch, the Early Netherlandish painter from the late 15th century, Dolce’s pencil and ink linework offers a contemporary update to the old-world masterpiece.
A triptych, with three distinct sections through which Dolce perceives humans as "consumerist, selfish, hedonistic beings", the piece is quite literally layered with fantasy worlds that reflect society. In the three-part story, the left section depicts contemporary paradise, the middle depicts the reasons behind our addictive society, and on the right are the worst consequences of the consumerist world.
Proven to embrace boundary pushing and the otherworldly, the NFT community has been a welcome space for Dolce to continue her creative endeavours. Brought to web3 by the opportunity to “try out the new technology and the excitement to get to know a brand new community, with borderless possibilities to develop projects and making community connections,” Dolce minted her first work, The Empress, in June 2021, and since then has brought many of her existing works on-chain, as well as making new creations.
Currently working on projects that double down on the enthralling and alarming themes within her creative framework of awakening horror, Dolce is excited to have found, within the NFT space, communities that welcome her unusual surrealism. “It is totally like jumping into a new spaceship full of adventure. Web3 and its creative power excites me a lot.”
“It is totally like jumping into a new spaceship full of adventure. Web3 and its creative power excites me a lot.”
— Dolce Paganne
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