Artist name: Justin Aversano
Location: Los Angeles
Date minted first NFT: Feb. 15, 2021
Which blockchains? Ethereum
Unintentionally, the healing process of losing his twin sister at birth sparked Justin Aversano’s career to become the poster child for NFT photography. His most famous collection, “Twin Flames,” has 5,900 ETH in total sales volume on OpenSea and multiple million-dollar sales, including one auctioned at Christie’s.
A multidisciplinary artist with a great eye and passion for photography, Aversano’s journey into NFTs started with a trip to Peru to work with local shamans to try to get over an addiction and depression. It was on that trip that he started to heal and found a spark that would become the initial idea for his iconic collection.
“I never questioned that I was an artist, but you know the feeling inside when you’re grappling with anger, depression, sadness and grief. I was looking to outgrow the grief and become whole. In San Pedro, there was a ceremony run by twins. It really opened my heart to connecting with my twin, who passed during my mom’s pregnancy. It felt like opening Pandora’s box. I remember thinking, ‘Okay, there’s something there, and I need to work on it.’”
A few months removed from San Pedro, Aversano was at an exhibition and photographed a pair of twins who came to his art show. That night, he knew he was ready to take on this new project spotlighting twins.
“I just started with those twins that night. They then introduced me to other twins. It became a whole domino effect of connecting with twins. Understanding the feeling of what it would have been like to have a twin and honoring my twin, and also my mother, because I feel like losing my twin was also part of losing my mom and her getting ovarian cancer,” he says.
“There are so many different elements, and a lot of my art is for my mom, my family and honoring ancestors. I like it when you’re working in healing,” Aversano shares.
Despite putting together the Twin Flames project in a traditional sense, including a book and an exhibition highlighting the work, it wasn’t until Aversano discovered NFTs that things got crazy.
“Another two years passed by. I had the Twin Flames project on my website and Instagram, but then I discovered NFTs. I didn’t see other photography projects online. I minted Twin Flames, and the next day it sold out — and changed my life.”
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