Jonathan Rosen’s background in marketing taught him the power of words.
“I started my career working in a sneaker store seeing how Nike rose with advertising and the hype of it, that’s what inspired me to go into that profession,” Rosen (b. 1974) said.
This inspiration would take the native New Yorker to undergraduate school at the University of Florida where he earned a marketing degree, a master’s degree at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, then posts making commercials all around the world including London, Amsterdam and Sydney.
His appetite whetted, he returned to New York’s NYU Film Director’s Intensive program so he could begin directing commercials.
Why transition from this successful career into art?
“I needed to express something more of myself,” Rosen said of the move, which occurred gradually, beginning around 2010.
What started as dabbling quickly became a professional career that has reached new heights this year with displays of his text-based work on view now at two of the most high-profile locations in the world: London’s Oxford Street (May 24th – June 6th) and The NASDAQ Stock Exchange tower in New York’s Times Square.
W1 Curate’s presentation of Rosen’s text-based work on its state-of-the-art, 36 screen, 3-story LED façade in London will be upped by what has been billed as “The Biggest Drop in Times Square since New Years Eve,” where Rosen will “drop” his NFT collection on Nasdaq’s 7-story-tall, curved digital tower which will subsequently be auctioned off online (June 15th-16th).
With COVID-19 vaccinations rising and mask mandates lifting, New York and London have sprung back to life. After more than a year of pandemic restrictions, the two global hubs are beginning to reenergize, making the timing of Rosen’s two ultra-visible exhibitions ideal.
“This last two weeks in New York has exploded with life,” Rosen said. “I have this same feeling of this digital art exploding to life out on the streets. It’s an amazing feeling for it to spill out to people and begin this conversation about digital art and where it fits among more traditional art forms.”
Rosen’s four NFT pieces titled, I WANT, BIG, DROP and FAMOUS continue his career exploration of human possibility and desire.
“I’m in this world of human possibility where we have all these possibilities – to be good, to be brilliant, to be bad – and every single day we can make a new choice,” the artist said.
For these projects, he’s emphasizing our universal need to be seen, to be successful, and for many, to be a star. 65% of Gen Z aspires to be famous compared to 14% of Boomers.
Rosen invites collectors to join in on the fame game. The five winning collectors of his 1-of-1 1000+ phrase pieces, will be given the opportunity to have their face, name and/or crypto wallet address displayed on the Nasdaq tower, next to their newly minted NFT.
Jonathan Rosen NFT
In collaboration with Treum, the innovative minds and blockchain technology behind the wildly successful NFT art-project EulerBeats; Rosen will create four site-specific and on-chain NFTs using his trademark flashing phrase mechanism that fits appropriately into the illuminated backdrops of these two iconic locations.
Friends in the crypto-blockchain world badgered Rosen throughout 2020 to take advantage of the NFT space and with no text-based artists in that market, he’s bullish on its possibilities.
“The year of the pandemic cancelled exhibitions, cancelled sales, made us really connect with the digital world when we couldn’t be outside and making and conversing with people in the same way so these digital NFT’s gave me the ability to create,” he said.
Rosen’s art project uses the Treum NFT platform to create, list and sell generative art NFTs. The platform provides end-to-end services for art, media, gaming and sports companies to launch tailored NFT drops and deliver unique experiences at scale for fans and collectors.
In addition to the five traditional auctions, collectors are invited to purchase a unique, single-phrase piece through a fixed-priced democratized drawing. Inspired by the similar mechanics of Rosen’s interactive digital mirrors, tilted DREAM MACHINES, the NFT generator randomly draws a phrase for the collector. In this chance-based minting mechanism, the NFT acts like a tarot or fortune reading for the collector. Once minted, the ownership of the one-of-a-kind artwork is instantly transferred to the buyer, and the single phrase NFT can only be bought again on a secondary marketplace.
“The generative aspect of the project felt like a natural fit for the Treum platform” Treum’s cofounder Tyler Mulvihill said. “This art collection uses the Ethereum blockchain to store artwork ownership and provenance data. The media is stored in decentralized storage sowing the seeds for eternal artwork existence.”
As a member of the LGBT community, Rosen is teaming up with Nasdaq’s Purpose Initiative for Pride month and will be auctioning off an additional NFT titled, I WANT(Nasdaq). The piece features all 4000+ listings on Nasdaq’s exchange, with all proceeds supporting the nearby charity, Broadway Cares. Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS helps men, women and children across the country and across the street to receive life-saving medications, health care, nutritious meals, counseling and emergency financial assistance. Closed during the pandemic, the charity auction will provide funds to mark the return of Broadway through innovation, inclusion and purpose.
About Jonathan Rosen
Jonathan Rosen is a language-based visual artist who works with interactive digital technologies through which he explores human desire and possibilities. Rosen has exhibited in NYC, Sydney, Taipei, Paris, Hong Kong and participated in museum shows in Shanghai, Beijing, Chengdu, Shenzhen and at the Smithsonian in DC. He is currently exhibiting at the Museum of Sex in NYC, and The Cornell Museum in Florida.
His work lives in collections around the world – including pieces in the permanent collections of The Museum Kitchener in Ontario, The LiveStrong Foundation, Bloomingdales, Pandora Music and Colette in Paris. Rosen is also the founder and CEO of Artsparkr, an art-tech startup that helps artists of all disciplines find sought after creative opportunities.
After living overseas in London, Amsterdam and Sydney, Rosen pursues his passions in NYC, the city in which he was born.
Find Rosen online at www.jonathanrosen.com and follow him on social media, Instagram: @jonathanrosen_art, Twitter: @jonathanrosen_1.