Illustrious artist Lynn Mara will be the first artist exhibiting her “Barcode Ponies” celebrating the Grand Opening of the soon-to-launch “Oasis Digital Gallery”, A virtual, 3-D experience that will feature 208 of Mara’s pieces available to purchase as NFTs. Oasis Digital Gallery is an extended reality experience created by Oasis Digital Studies Limited. Users will be able to walk through and immerse themselves in the essence of a real art gallery experience but will have the ability to view and purchase NFT artwork directly from the gallery displays.
Lynn Mara is a Long Island native who captures the spirit of America through her visions and creativity. Her captivating artwork screams bold, big, layered, and is always a conversation starter. Coming from an artistic heritage, Lynn packs her artwork with various media, historical context and spiritual truths that reflect on popular American issues and topics in a whimsical way. Her “Barcode Ponies” is a vibrant interpretation regarding the beauty of zebras. “I’ve always been drawn to the beauty of zebras. But as beautiful and big as they are they’re also very vulnerable. It’s hard to tell one from another. Yet no two are alike. We need to think beyond the black and the white”…..Lynn Mara
I think what you are doing is so cool….
I think it’s so cool too. We’ve got four sons and I think they think it’s cooler. They range from 23 to 33 and they think that mom is kind of cool doing this NFT thing. This is meant for kids not me. But I’m very, very excited.
What inspired you to get into art originally?
I’ve been painting for as long as I can recall. Both of my grandmothers were artists, and they grew up in Southampton out on Long Island and they used to sell flowers from the garden in front of our house. When I was about 12, I quickly realized that I could sell my paintings there too, and I did. People would stop by, pick up some flowers and often pick up some paintings. It started when I was very young, and I’ve been painting my whole life, and it’s been one of the greatest joys of my life. It has evolved a lot. The style has evolved. I’ve learned these past two years about this NFT experience, and it’s been really one of the biggest and most exciting periods of all. This is really the funniest and most challenging.
Why do you feel it’s important that your art is represented in the metaverse?
Even metaverse is a cool word. Honestly, they approached me. A friend introduced me to David ,and I thought in terms of art you always have to stay relevant and you’ve got to keep changing and readjusting the way you work, the style, and keep adjusting to the clientele and what they need. So, I’ve been changing all along. So this was really just one more kind of curve in the road. It wasn’t anything tricky and it was really fun and very exciting. It’s very new. I’m working with other people for the first time in a long time while doing this. Usually, I just work alone at my studio. I’ll paint like 14 hours a day, but with the NFTs you’re really collaborating with other people. That’s one of the most exciting and fun new aspects of this type of work.
How did you get started with the Oasis Digital Gallery?
I was introduced to David back in November by a guy named George Zell. No, George I met about three years ago. I was invited to a luncheon with eight men and I knew very few details about the luncheon except that they were all deeply spiritual and they wanted to brainstorm about blending spirituality into moviemaking. Now I’m not in the movie making business, but I am very spiritual and I love to brainstorm and as an artist my friend Michael thought I could lend something to the conversation. But then Covid came along and that was three years ago so here we are. But that friend George called me again back in November and told me he had an idea. He said “all this NFT stuff is so hot, how would you like to try and produce the first NFT art.” I told him that I would love to. I’ve been dreaming of it but, really I’ve been spinning my wheels. People keep telling me my work is perfect for it and we would spend a week or so on it and then we would just hit a brick wall. They really didn’t know enough about it. It’s complicated, a very complicated business. But George did make this introduction to David back in November and he was delightful from the first moment. He was just gentle and honest. He explained everything to me, and he is an absolute expert in the business. It was really a very significant meeting that should have taken place three years ago, but it led me to this moment. You think something that happened years ago may have been a lost cause but you find out in hindsight it actually was setting you up for something possibly bigger and better. And here we are.
Well, it’s a very “beyond” thing. You’re going to be showcasing your “Barcode Ponies” at the Grand Opening of Oasis Digital Gallery. Tell me a little about your exhibition?
The Barcode Ponies…do you like the name first of all?
You know that the subject is Zebras. When I first sent David some images of my work, one of them that I had just finished was a very colorful silk screen of a zebra. But I do lots of different genres of art. I do pop art, I started out as more of a landscape artist…. But anyway, one thing led to another and David immediately gravitated to the zebra. So, I could see that he liked that so I decided to research them a little before we really dove in. I discovered something interesting. To me they are the most exotic and beautiful of the African animals. But there is something about zebras that I think everyone would maybe agree. What I discovered is that their coat, which looks like a barcode, is very much also like a human fingerprint. It’s unique, it’s one of a kind and it’s like a barcode in that it can be read, traced and tracked. So it was kind of a no brainer to go with this, but as our conversation unraveled a little more one of David‘s team members said “Lynn you are in this football family”… now you might wonder why I’m going off into football but zebras as you may or may not know is a term that we use in football. So, we were kind of just brainstorming on how this thing could take shape. How would it evolve and what might come next from it? This will be a segway to something else. So that’s how the thought pattern went. The word barcode came to me while we were brainstorming and then had to be in the name of the collection. I probably sent them two dozen suggestions of names for the collection. I told him to look at the words and I told him that this would spark a thought in them. So Rob, one of the team members came up with “Barcode Ponies.” So that was it, the perfect name. I don’t know if you have seen any of the pieces, but they are really eye-popping. They are so cool and colorful and diverse. Some of them have graffiti in them, some of them have all sorts of layers and textures and colors that vibrate against one another. It’s a small collection but I think that’s going to make it kind of fun and hopefully it will sell out quickly.
Are your kids artists as well?
We’ve got four sons and they were all very artistic growing up. At this point they have all finished college and now they are into business. They really have an appreciation for all because of me, and I think they are very creative. They are creative and artistic in their own right, but no they don’t actually sit down and paint unless I come out and suggest that we do a little graffiti or something. But they are all in the finance world.
What’s next for you?
Well David has got me thinking of what’s next… what we will segue into so I’ve been giving some thought to that. It may possibly be a sports piece next time. I am also working on four NFTs with another group. All of these by the way, everything that I do, either all of it or a portion of it goes to charity. I have four charities for the four NFTs that I have partnered with and made them a beneficiary. That’s one thing. I have really been working on my own personal brand and working on my line and my website. I really have some neat slide shoes and some handbags that I’m working on as well as some silk scarves and things like that. But my everyday bit bread and butter is just big canvases, having fun, helping people and trying to do good. It’s not about the money ever to me. This is a gift from God that I get to paint and then I can use that to help somebody else, and I just think it’s fabulous. It’s the gift that keeps on giving. I can no sooner give it away and it keeps replenishing. There’s a lot to this and it’s been going on a long time and I’m very confident in it. I really trust the process. I really don’t worry about anything. It’s been a real joy and a gift to have art be when I get to do for a living. I love it.