If you’ve ever found yourself reading a Twitter thread listing the “OG crypto-artists”, chances are you’ve come across the name Barbara Tosti. Born in 1978, Barbara is an Italo-Swiss artist that has been working in the cryptoart space since 2018. Her artistic practice began with drawing, sculpting, painting, and acting, but transformed to include cooking, photography and audio-video “tutto-fare” after the birth of her two children.
One of Barbara’s largest bodies of work in the space is #scarkisses – an on-going project which examines the transformative aspects of human scars. Relying on community submissions, Barbara creates photo-collages focusing on themes of past wounds, growth and empowerment, with the goal of illustrating the healing process.
So what makes #scarkisses so special?
Besides focusing on such powerful themes, it’s one of the longest on-going projects in the crypto-art space. If 2018 doesn’t seem that long ago to you, it’s because it isn’t. But work created in 2018/2019 is now considered “vintage” – and heavily sought after by collectors. Barbara’s first NFT on SuperRare was just picked up by collector @digitalartchick 15 days ago (from the date of this article), after being listed in the marketplace for over two years. #scarkisses was exclusive on SuperRare until November 2020, when Barbara began expanding the project to Ephimera.
We asked Barbara some questions about the project to gain more insight on the concept behind the series.
Ephimera: How was the concept behind this project created?
Barbara: The project is sort of a container for validation. It emerged as an answer to my inner questions that were more or less like: “How can art can be participatory and personal? How can I use my knowledge and skills to be of help? How can my life experiences and my obsession be useful to others? How can my project last long and give me space to evolve inside it?”
Ephimera: You talk about scars like “past wounds, embroidered into our life, experiences that have shaped and empowered us.” Do you think scars have the ability to transform us on more than just a physical level?
Barbara: I believe we are much more than a physical level, even psychology is almost physical compared to the subtle energy that composes, permeates and shapes us. I think the biggest territory is invisible but perceptible. We have a lot to discover there.
Ephimera: This project relies heavily on community submissions, in which your participants “donate a scar” for the photo-collages. It must be a very delicate process, how do you make sure that you’re understanding and representing the stories of others correctly during this?
Barbara: Well it is a matter of conversation, and I keep my artistic responsibility, and I am always as attentive and delicate as possible. Things are layered and we can probably make a work differently depending on how deep we go, but deepness is not a must, just the commitment to play.
You can find Barbara’s #scarkisses project under the “Series” tab in the Ephimera Marketplace. She currently has ten minted in the marketplace, with five works in the series already sold to collectors.