Constantin Prozorov is part of a handful of artists within the NFT space who minted successful collaborations with the likes of Moncler and Louis Vuitton. Being a fashion insider has helped Prozorov’s cause. His previous experience as a designer who assisted Wolfgang Joop, and stints at Vogue Germany along with his fashion and graphic design background, have primed him for dream projects such as #LOUIS200 for Louis Vuitton. Here, the Berlin-based artist takes Brytehall through the process of how he works with these international brands, and what lights his creative sparks.
When did you become a creator of NFT art?
Constantin Prozorov (CP): NFT art is not an art style like surrealism or impressionism; it is much more a certificate for an art or [a] collectible on blockchain technology. I consider myself a digital collage artist, who creates the bridges between photography and CGI (3D rendering), between art and fashion, and also between reality and virtual reality. I started with this about four or so years ago, first creating digital collages for premium fashion brands in Italy, and later the luxury labels joined. I studied communication design and fashion design in Munich, later gaining professional experience in Parisian haute couture houses, and at Condé Nast Germany in Paris.
NFT art is in reference to animations, video, and sound files, all of which ‘traditional’ fine art creators or photographers don’t work with. In a way, it’s not a style in the general sense of art history or visual culture; it’s rather the mediums used to depict NFT art that makes it so different from two-dimensional print form. Would you agree?
There are many fine artists and photographers who are working with all these mediums such as animation, video and sound, including the brilliant photographer Nick Knight or the artist Takashi Murakami. Where I can agree with you is that when people say NFT art today, many primarily associate it with the 3D graphic aesthetic of Beeple or Bored Apes. In the coming years, however, this will also change. Many artists will also offer their physical artworks as digital assets, and for this, blockchain technology in the form of NFTs is the perfect verification for a digital work.
In terms of the creation of NFTs, how do you approach collaborations with luxury brands?
In all my collaborations with luxury brands, I always get the artistic freedom to express my vision of the artwork. In collaborations with Moncler and Louis Vuitton, I have been inspired by their collections.
For example, with Moncler, when I saw the collection for the first time I immediately had the inspiration to create a world beyond the universe. The models are taking the viewer on a journey of discovery into space, in which we become explorers of new worlds, where nature is still untouched and mystical creatures rule the worlds.
At Louis Vuitton, it was about celebrating the 200th anniversary of the founder Louis (#LOUIS200). The artwork unites in itself the three essential aspects that inspired me to create it, namely the past, the present and the future. The trunk represents the past and the innovative genius of Louis Vuitton. The current collection by the late Virgil Abloh allows me to reflect the present of the house and also to create a surreal Louis Vuitton world. The animated technique of the collage reflects the future, and the desire to take us on a virtual journey of discovery. In other words, the trunk is an object that comes to us from outer space to show us the beauty of our planet and then to absorb it and to project it onto its surface.
From these successful collaborations, how do you work with luxury brands that would like to enter the metaverse?
Most of the big fashion brands are already well positioned without my help, as they have recognised the importance of metaverse and NFTs, and are already investing a lot in the new technology. My job is more to create a unique piece of art that combines my vision and the identity of the house in the most creative and innovative way possible.
What have been your biggest lessons in relation to this?
I know exactly how to get into each luxury brand’s codes in a subtle way, and understand how to highlight through my art what might be important to that particular house. [This is because I] worked in the luxury industry with multiple brands prior to my career as a collage artist. For example, my three animations for Moncler (which came out in September 2019 and have generated over 30 million views on my Instagram to date) playfully explore the theme of sustainability and love for nature and the environment. During the creation of those animations I could already see, without being communicated to me, where the house is going; today Moncler is one of the leading fashion houses in terms of sustainability and the environment. (Note: Moncler tops Dow Jones Sustainability Indices.)
What would your advice be to other NFT artists and creators who want to work with fashion brands?
Soon we will also see many analogue artists digitising their art; you don’t need any special knowledge for NFT much more the right partners to help you bring your art to the blockchain. Right now the fashion world is thirsty for new ideas and is very open, so there is no magic formula for it.
In the future, which directions would you like to take these collaborations?
In future I will bring my art more into the physical world. I have been focusing on digital spaces so far. I have already started with my first exhibition in China, which recently opened in Guangzhou and will now go on a big tour through the country. I find the experience between [the] digital world in connection with the physical world as very important. Also in the future, I will move more towards film and television (streaming) as a director; there are already talks for the first projects.
How did you develop your visual aesthetic? What are your past and present inspirations?
My inspiration comes from film, photography and art. I have always been inspired by photographers like Tim Walker, David LaChapelle and Erwin Olaf, artists such as Andy Warhol, Salvador Dalí [and] Takashi Murakami, and directors like Tim Burton and Wes Anderson. My aesthetic is a combination of collage-realism with surreal and Dadaistic influences, brought to life through CGI (3D elements). Many times this makes the viewer wonder if it’s real or just fantasy; I love to play with mixing reality with virtual reality.
What would be your dream project?
My big dream would be to direct movies some day, that I can combine with the latest technologies like blockchain. In terms of NFTs, there is already something in the pipeline that I can’t talk about yet.