This month, Los Angeles-based nonfungible token (NFT) artist Ellie Pritts is celebrating “In the Screen I am Everything,” her first solo show in New York City — and her first time taking over the new art gallery bitforms.
Eight animations from the technicolor exhibition are available to mint as NFTs on Ethereum, displayed on screens alongside a few physical prints. The multilayered process Pritts used for all three series on view unites them across media.
Pritts broke onto the NFT scene in 2021 when she tried minting a few existing video artworks — and watched them take off.
“I had this cache of video art,” Pritts told Cointelegraph. “I’d put it on Instagram or in different projects, but I certainly didn’t think there was any way I could ever monetize it.”
Her video practice had been mostly therapeutic, but suddenly the blockchain boom made her work valuable enough to fund the acquisition of new tools, which Pritts used to make more sophisticated video artwork.
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She’d shot concert photography before the COVID-19 pandemic and performed as a professional cellist — until 2021 also forced her to confront medical issues she’d been avoiding, like her newfound inability to hold her bow. Pritts made a New Year’s resolution to begin painting portraits in early 2021 but couldn’t use a pencil to draw preliminary sketches.
“I went to the doctor, through a lot of testing, and found out I have this degenerative neurological condition,” Pritts recalled. “They had no answers or comfort. They said, ‘You’re losing these abilities, they’re not going to come back, we don’t know how much worse it’s gonna get. Sorry.’”
Introducing artificial intelligence
Pritts began leaning into artificial intelligence (AI) upon receiving her diagnosis. Her show at bitforms opens with “Relative Minor” (2023), a trippy animation mounted alone in the entryway’s tangerine alcove. In the work’s foreground, a feminine…