Olive Allen’s artwork, symbolic in nature, is fueled by the urgency of the present moment. That social commentary on the culture of NOW is what makes her art special. You find new perspectives every time you look at her art. I had the privilege of sitting down with her this past week to talk about her latest art piece released on Async, Hallowcracy.
Hallowcracy has a bid of 3 ETH currently and ends on Friday, the 13th (of November)!
Sam Brukhman: Tell us about your background and how you got to be an artist.
Olive Allen: That is always a difficult question for me to answer because I feel like I’ve been an artist all my life. It has always been very natural. I'm Russian and have been living in the states for more than 10 years. I worked in tech, I was an early adopter of Bitcoin and Ethereum. Right now, I’ve gotten to a point where I’m taking my art career a lot more seriously. Of course, NFT and crypto art is a very big part of my life. It encouraged me to start making art again and grow as an artist.
Sam Brukhman: What brought you to the United States from Russia?
Olive Allen: It's hard to remember the exact moment when I decided to move to America. I’ve always been fascinated by the energy of New York. There is no other place like the city. It's the center of art, finance, and so much more. I was watching Gossip Girl growing up, and perhaps that is when that idealistic vision of New York got embedded in my mind. New York is my home now.
Sam Brukhman: Hallowcracy isn’t your first piece of art. You’ve previously created a collection called The Unbearables. Can you talk a little bit about them and how they play into your latest piece?
Olive Allen: I love The UnBearables. It's my first serious NFT piece and people connect with it because the bears represent the present moment. I created them during the pandemic when it first hit. The UnBearables are cute bears at first glance, but on a deeper level, they represent the unbearable aspects of our world. They are also a part of myself. For me, art is very autobiographical and bears can be viewed as fragments of my being at different times.
Sam Brukhman: I’m looking at Media Bear. Tell us more about this Unbearable.
Olive Allen: Well, that's my frustration with media which became so toxic. It's about what we see, hear, and believe on a daily basis, be it liberal, or conservative, or outright fake and misleading. Media is what we consume for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You are is what you "eat".
I love the movie Social Dilemma. After working in Silicon Valley I was aware that social media uses algorithms to show people more of what they want to see and hear based on previously collected data, but not the full extent of it.
Sam Brukhman: Lets bring this into Hallowcracy now. You have these two juxtaposed bears. One is with swirly eyes with and looks menacing. The other is comfortable sitting on a counter with Halloween candy. What do these bears represent?
Olive Allen: They are the manifestations of fears that keep me up at night. They also represent my own duality. And ultimately the dual nature of everything around us.
Sam Brukhman: The painting includes a carousel and skeletons below it. Donald Trump, the 5G towers, and an alien head represent this idea of media trickling down into society and this duality between truth and untruth. Am I on the right track to understanding this correctly?
Olive Allen: Yes, the carousel represents the four years of Donald Trump's presidency. It's been a very weird time. The alien head symbolizes the mistreatment of immigrants and the alienation of the entire nation. The sceletons are the COVID deaths that could have been avoided if the administration wasn't in denial for so long.
Sam Brukhman: The artwork is split into a day and night Master. During the day, you see a roller coaster with text. At night, you see this chaos we were just describing.
Olive Allen: The daytime piece is meant to be a motivation. If someone has this in their home, they will see a daily reminder — “Nothing to see here”, meaning it's time to focus on what matters. The “Go vote instead” can be taken literally or figuratively. It's a motivator to go out into the world and do good. Do at least one little thing that will make the world a better place.
Sam Brukhman: Olive, if people want to follow you and see your art, where can they go?
Olive Allen: My website (oliveallen.com), my instagram (@olive_allen), Twitter (@IamOliveAllen), and Async!