Artist Invite: Jimmy Edgar & Pilar Zeta

The collaborative artistic force connects the dots between their individual practices.
Published on
3 March 2022
Written by
Samantha Ayson
Artist Invite: Jimmy Edgar & Pilar Zeta

Artist Invite is a series where we connect the dots between creators on Foundation. Electronic music producer and visual artist Jimmy Edgar is finding a new rhythm in NFTs. His surreal works are front and center, and he shows no signs of slowing down. In the interest of bringing more artists and friends into the fold, he invited Pilar Zeta to join Foundation. The two met in 2011 at Monster Ronsons, an LGBT Russian Karaoke bar in Berlin. They quickly became friends and collaborators, travelling to Egypt together in 2012 to start NEW REALITY NOW (formerly known as ULTRAMAJIC), an art and music label bridging the worlds of 3D art and electronic music. 

Pilar’s distinct visual language is inspired by her interests in magic, metaphysics, neoclassical sculpture, and time travel. Much like the worlds that Jimmy creates, her works are also populated by objects that float in 3D virtual landscapes. On Foundation, the pair collaborated on an NFT, Think For Yourself, combining their unique perspectives and practices into one.    

For Artist Invite, the two interviewed each other about their creative processes. 

Pilar Zeta: You’re known as an electronic music producer at the leading edge of visual/digital art. How do you go about connecting the two mediums?

Jimmy Edgar: Visual expression always felt to me as my foundation. Music came so naturally to me that it seemed to be a means for me to be involved with visual media. I’m driven to creatively and technologically innovate within the harmony of both. I really love how you can create an entirely new visual domain simply by implementing sound. They can be totally unrelated but when they are presented in a certain way, you cannot help but feel they are one. I love this effect!

What is your process when creating visual art? When is sound and music integrated? 

Jimmy Edgar: My process for visual creation is a highly organized and meticulous process overall, yet I always make space for intuitive processes because I feel it’s very important to leave some things to chance and spontaneous manifestation. My works usually start with one main object, archetype, or symbol—and from there I start to research available 3D objects and symbols to accompany that main idea.

Once that is established, I use iPad drawings or vector sketches to lay out the composition. This part of the process is vital so it can live as an amazing 2D image on the feed. I consider the representation on social media, since this is typically where it’s consumed the most. I use hidden geometrical guidelines to connect the objects, much like Renaissance masterpieces might have. Then I will create a harmonic color palette. When this is done, I build the image in 3D space and this is my favorite part of the process because it really feels like the work starts to come alive with all the reflections and interactions that my 2D work doesn’t have. Animation, movement, and editing always goes at the end. 

Sound and music are the only wild cards in my process, sometimes they can come at the end or sometimes they can start a new idea. Either way, I sit with the sound and visual and pay attention to how I feel. I’m constantly revising and that feels a lot like sculpting in a way, and requires a lot of patience and awareness.

If you need to describe your work with three different subjects that somehow all relate, what would they be?

Jimmy Edgar: My recent piece OBZERVVER is all about quantum physics and how its theory attempts to explain how observing something has a direct effect on reality. I do believe this to be true!

HEAD IN THOUGHTS is a visual representation of all of our random thoughts. It features a digital rendering of my first physical sculpture, HEAD. I’m very interested in the parallels of science, technology, and metaphysical ideas since it stimulates the mind to consider things not often thought about in our reality. I play with unusual spiritual teachings as a way to kind of rebrand New Age thinking, since the ideas are quite fun and fantastical because personally, I feel a lot of them never had a great visual representation. I’m obsessed with all things related to oil…color, texture, and scents, so you can find this in my work a lot. It’s symbolically related to ideas like energy, abundance, healing, creating a smoothness in movement, and even obscurifying the vision.

Jimmy Edgar: Can you talk about the symbolism in your pieces?

Pilar Zeta: I use symbols as a blueprint to reality and manifesting. It’s like dreaming—it takes some thought and understanding to translate it. I often like to use metaphysical symbols to create an intention for my art. For example, a sphinx or a pyramid. They are strong because they have a subconscious connotation in our collective. Pyramids can symbolize wealth and power, a sphinx can symbolize challenge and mystery. Colors are symbolic, too. Pink can symbolize love and playfulness. I feel like the combinations can have profound effects on our psyche. That’s why a lot of times when we are creating, we are subconsciously using symbols that feel right, and we are expressing some sort of energy without being totally aware.

I notice your pieces always feel complete and proportional with the colors and the objects. How do you find balance in your work?

Pilar Zeta: It’s a very intuitive process. I just have to “feel it.” For me, when it’s balanced, it feels complete. There is a level of pure satisfaction. It usually happens naturally. As soon as there is something bugging me about a piece, there is a subtle energy that guides me towards a feeling of perfection. I started creating digital graphics over fifteen years ago, so I feel like I’ve trained myself to find a way to identify balance naturally.

You’re known for creating intriguing commercial work too. What would you say are the biggest differences between making NFTs and commercial work?

Pilar Zeta: NFTs are a more pure medium. There is a level of freedom that feels very nice and calming, and I find flow easier when I am creating for myself. When I work on commercial projects, I collaborate with other people and there is usually a deadline with an added level of pressure, but in a good way. I love doing both, they are totally different feelings. I do have to say that creating NFTs is really good for my soul. I feel more excited. I am grateful that I am able to find freedom and balance in both. 

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