‘The Familiars’ by Cody Seekins
Artist: Cody Seekins
Title: ‘The Familiars’
Medium: Oil on stretched canvas
Dimensions: 20″ x 16″
Year of Creation: 2023
About the Artwork:
The central figure of this composition was inspired by a Stable Diffusion AI image generator. AI driven references were then rendered by hand as an oil portrait on canvas.
The evolution of this artwork will include digitizing the oil painting as an NFT animation, to be minted separately on the Ethereum blockchain. In doing so, the art will complete a full cycle of transformations. For The Eclectic Majestic showing only, the buyer of the physical work will also receive the NFT, which Seekins will then build and send to a digital wallet of buyer’s choice upon finality of purchase.
In the image, a young shirtless male is accompanied by a gang of grey aliens. His hair is a luxuriant bramble. His nudity seems to avail itself. But to whom?
The viewer? The greys? Is it a lure?
The young man’s classical pose serves as a nod to Western art history commonly found in Seekins’ oeuvre. However, the boy’s expression seems too comfortable given his company. He cradles one hand, hidden within the other, as if concealing something.
The figures contextual strangeness, given the “otherness” of its alien and AI influences, presents an uncanny valley.
The narrative of aliens within this painting was not a response to the slate of 2023 whistleblowers and congressional inquiries regarding UFO’s. Rather it seems more prescient and relates to a long line of alien symbolisms throughout the artist’s images going back prior to 1997. Thus, the boy with alien framework constitutes a kind of identity.
To Seekins, the greys represent an inimical influence from early childhood; a relationship so old they’ve become familiars.
Chat GPT-4 summarizes, “It stands as a poignant reminder of the familiar, yet perpetually enigmatic, presence of the ‘other’ in our collective consciousness. In this context, ‘The Familiars’ is not just a painting, but a conversation – a dialogue between the artist, the viewer, the familiar, and the alien.”
About the Artist:
Cody Seekins grew up as a nomadic U.S. military brat inspired by the cover art of fantasy novels and RPG’s. His early influences included also many of the classical masters of Europe, while living in Italy and Germany. As a young adult, Seekins discovered a psychedelic process, which he expressed through traditional media as a style of visual surrealism. He further realized his practice while obtaining an MFA in Fine Art Painting from the Academy of Art University.
Seekins has been actively exhibiting worldwide since 2010. His bibliography includes print features by Schön! Magazine, The Encyclopedia of Infernal Delights, and A capella Zoo; and media recognition by Juxtapoz, Hi-Fructose, and Beautiful Bizarre Magazines.
A genuine enthusiast of the crypto art space since 2020, Seekins’ works have been featured broadly across prominent and emerging NFT and Metaverse platforms, including SuperRare, MakersPlace, KnownOrigin, <imnotArt>, and more. Notably, he is a Genesis Artist for the Artvatars project, and his work is also included in the MOCA (Museum of Crypto Art) Permanent Genesis Collection.
Within his studio practice, Seekins has begun to integrate both digital and analogue techniques, producing uniquely curated audio-visual experiences on the blockchain, in addition to his physical oil paintings.