Barabeke’s Mona Lisa and her curious adventures

by barabeke

With my transmutations series, which I presented at VRAF (Virtual Art Festival), I get down to the skeleton of my technique by creating my visions out of just one photo and nothing else, blending and mirroring it on itself wildly.

The essence of my quest is: can I transmute any photo, even the most ordinary and dull one, into art? Can I do it by using just that photo, without changing its essential forms, without any hand-drawing or other images involved, but only through photographic post-processing?

My first 4 transmutations were all based on real-life photos. Post-processing have varied from heavy to extremely heavy, but in all cases I preserved the “material” essence of the source photos (as to say the forms they portrayed in their original proportions).

In some special cases, I only need a small intervention to make a big difference. This is one of those cases.

 

Barabeke’s Mona Lisa

For my 5th transmutation I used for the first time a photo of a painting, a very significant one for me: Mona Lisa (here is why). The transmutation I did of her was minimal, you can recognize it’s Mona Lisa… and yet she’s different!

My first impression was that she looked like she just had sex. From this, the initial title Mona Lisa after sex. She looks charged with eros and thanatos to an extent that you cannot see in Louvre’s Mona Lisa. This was achieved without drawing anything new, I used only the image of Mona Lisa, post-processed using mirrors, blending, and color filters. Nothing else.

Enough introduction: here is the artwork, in its video form, with my signature/QR as watermark.


Barabeke, Transmutation 5: Mona Lisa (video loop), 2020

As you can see, through a minimalist use of my transmutation technique, Leonardo’s masterpiece has found a new expression, which appears to me as not less powerful and haunting. While I didn’t paint her, she could only manifest in this form through my magic mirror (as to say: my phone). I caught her like a prey in the wild. She’s my game, therefore she will be known as Barabeke’s Mona Lisa 😎

 

Mona Lisa in the toilet

My Mona Lisa is going places! 🥳 She was last spotted inside a monumental toilet located in cryptovoxel’s virtual world. This iconic toilet was built by El Geko, an Austrian cryptoartist whose help was invaluable in preparing this installation. That’s how the scene looked…

Visitors were able to hear Mona Lisa’s angelic voice delivering a message of hope and liberation about our current society…

I believe in this installation, I think it would be very cool to have it permanently hosted inside the restroom of a virtual museum/gallery. Unfortunately it appears all architects of VR buildings forgot to build restrooms, so in case you are interested in it you’ll need to add one. On my side I can provide the toilet as vox file (which El Geko kindly transferred to me) + my Mona Lisa as animated/framed gif.

I found that people either love or hate this installation, which I take as a sign that this is art worth exhibiting 😊

 

Barabeke’s Monolith

In the end I consider my Mona Lisa almost as representative of my art as my main act, the 2kTenCom. She deserves more than just ending inside a toilet. After debasing her, I think I found a way to ennoble her…

Lately I have been thinking about the mysterious monoliths that appear on Kubrick’s 2001: a space odyssey. They symbolize a message from the sky, a cultural transformation. I thought their form would be an ideal vehicle for my 2kTenCom, and my Mona Lisa could help attract the attention of people passing by….

Here’s the prototype of what I would like to build.

Me presenting the prototype for my monolith

Such monolith would be the most powerful manifestation of my art, which would help me achieve my ultimate goal: make the 2kTenCom survive digital obsolescence.

I can’t afford to build 3 meters monoliths that can last thousands of years, plus I would first need places willing to host them… But I can start by placing them in VR worlds, outdoors. If you own virtual land and you think my monolith is cool and the message on it worth showing, you can have it for free as long as you place it on your land.

I am still working around the technicalities. Ideally the monolith would look like it’s made of metallic reflective black stone, the text in it would look engraved, the font crisp but not too easy to read. My Mona Lisa would appear in its animated gif form you saw above (without QR/signature that would be placed at the bottom of the monolith).

Here is the font I chose. I was looking for something ancestral, mysterious, and alien at the same time.

Any technical suggestion or help from builders of VR objects will be appreciated 🙏🏻

 

Owning Barabeke’s Mona Lisa

The final version of my Mona Lisa is a full resolution 4K image, which you can collect in unique 1/1 edition on Rarible for just 1000 ETH (that’s less than your average Lamborghini, and only one can have her!).

It’s Mona Lisa manifesting with a new look, after all. A new look that was dormant in her own image, existing as potential which I awakened through my magic mirror. She’s either a luxury or she’s free.

Investing 1000 ETH in my Mona Lisa is like investing them in me. That would enable me to keep going for years, develop my art further, and create a real life monolith. Without that kind of money my message is likely going to die with me, therefore I must knock on the doors of fate. I must be an artist, do all I can to inspire a world that is better than this one, and I need your support to keep going and leave a mark.

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