Artist and photographer Gisel Florez is bridging the gap between the conventional fine art world and the cryptoart space with her newest initiative: OFF/ON Gallery.
In her conceptual practice, Gisel works with manual camera and video techniques to create stunning still and motion artworks, often encompassing themes of light, energy, and time. A Rhode Island School of Design Alumni, Gisel holds 18+ years of experience in the NYC photography scene; working as a commercial still-life photographer for brands such as L’Oréal, Revlon, ESPN, NYTimes, Disney, and many editorials such as V Magazine, Surface & The Knot. Prior to this she dedicated her time assisting professionals such as Greg Kadel, Alexi Hay, Fabio Chizzola, & Richard Pierce as they moved their practices into the digital realm. In 2018, inspired by her son who loved trading game assets; she searched into developments of blockchain that were starting to form a new space for artists. SuperRare was an immense facilitator in helping her onboard the technicalities of Web3 & KnownOrigin where she tokenized small editions on Ethereum blockchain. As well as selling her digital artworks, Gisel has been generating a community of support as co-founder of WOCA (Women of Cryptoart), a RISD Photo Affinity Leader, and participated in a number of exhibitions crypto & traditional such as NFTNYC, ETH Denver, PROOFOFART Museum, Grooks VR Metagallery, CADAF, Winkleman Gallery, NYICG WallSpace, Museum of Crypto Art, “She Art” & “Mothers of Ethereum” VR exhibition in the virtual world Cryptovoxels.
It was during Gisel’s time at the Rhode Island School of Design that she was introduced to Henry Horenstein – her professor overlooking her independent thesis at the time – who she describes as being a “muse and mentor”.
Henry Horenstein is a legend among photographers – working not only as a documentary photographer but also as a filmmaker, teacher, and author. His works have been collected and exhibited internationally at institutions like the Smithsonian Museum of American History, the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, the J. Paul Getty Museum, and more. Henry has also published over 30 books in his career showcasing his own bodies of work such as SHOW, Honky Tonk, and Shoot What You Love (a memoir), and authored educational material such as Black & White Photography, Beyond Basic Photography, Digital Photography, and more. Recently, Henry has been exploring filmmaking, with his film Partners now available to watch on Amazon Prime.
Henry will be the first artist represented by Gisel’s OFF/ON Gallery – a gallery built directly into Ephimera. Ephimera Galleries allow the opportunity for curators to mint work on behalf of the artist, representing non-crypto-native artists looking to get involved in the NFT space. The goal of OFF/ON Gallery, which carries the motto of “eternal artists lighting the world”, will be to transition the work of groundbreaking photographers to the blockchain, beginning their journey on a decentralized internet.
OFF/ON Gallery presents Henry Horenstein’s SHOW, a body of work exploring the burlesque, drag, sideshow, and fetish subcultures captured from 2001 – 2009. A historian of sorts, Henry is motivated by a desire to document subcultures in case they may vanish in time. In 2001, Henry was introduced to the neo-burlesque movement in New Orleans’ Shim-Sham Club, catching their first annual Tease-O-Rama event. During this visit, Henry captured a few pictures of Dita Von Teese and Catherine D’Lish – legendary figures in the classical striptease and burlesque movements. This would be the beginning of SHOW.
SHOW is now a black-and-white documentary work with 65 images illustrating portraits of performers and artists, and rich with detail shots that deeply encapsulate the neo-burlesque subculture – stockings, swings, and swords are just a few of these intimate details that reveal the life of this time. “Prince Poppycock”, “Flambeaux” and “Fishnets” will be the first three photographs of this series to be auctioned in the Ephimera marketplace as NFTs.
Gisel’s vision behind OFF/ON Gallery resonates with Henry’s mission in his photographic practice: to create a visual archive of culture. By creating OFF/ON Gallery, Gisel is immortalizing the work of photographic artists on the Ethereum blockchain, helping them transition into a digital world with care for the art form.
“These cultures and places might vanish, but it is a historian’s righteous duty to make sure that they leave a trace.”Henry Horenstein
We will be speaking with both Gisel Florez and Henry Horenstein live on our YouTube channel at 4:00PM EST on June 4th 2021. Click below to tune in!