Using his acclaimed Tree of Life (2020-21) series as a source of inspiration, David Salle has created his first NFT–an animated video that brings the unconscious of his paintings to the fore through a dynamic choreography of moving objects, painterly gestures, and narrative elements.

David Salle’s NFT has been minted and is available for sale on SuperRare. It is being exhibited for the first time at the Brant Foundation in Greenwich, Connecticut until April 1, 2021.

American artist David Salle has worked across mediums for decades—making photographs, integrating photographic imagery into multi-paneled paintings, directing a feature film, writing astute art criticism, and designing for the theater. But he is primarily known for his psychologically searing paintings that juxtapose incongruent forms of representation, from the erotic to the art-historical to the flux and flotsam of everyday life. A classic David Salle painting sutures such stark contrasts together while deploying the dramatic chromatic opposition between dark and light. The traditional chiaroscuro used for centuries by painters to render volume provided Salle with the compositional means to create noirish atmospheres practically vibrating with psychosexual tension. Paintings, Salle once explained, “do everything except move.”

Embracing the recent opportunities for artists to produce digitally based artworks on the blockchain, Salle has created his first NFT in collaboration with DMINTI.

Embracing the recent opportunities for artists to produce digitally based artworks on the blockchain, Salle has created his first NFT in collaboration with DMINTI. And for that inaugural NFT, Salle has quite literally made his paintings move. The leap into the new world of digital art backed by cryptocurrency made total sense to the artist, who shared that he had always wanted to make animated images, since he thinks of his paintings as already animated. And, ever aware of shifts in cultural trends, he was captivated by the idea of reaching audiences beyond the relatively narrow confines of the art world, a reality offered by the potentially epic scale of online audiences.

Salle’s NFT, is a richly layered digital animation premised on his recent Tree of Life paintings, many of which were on view at the Per Skarstedt Gallery (September 17-October 30, 2021). This painting cycle is, perhaps, Salle’s most explicitly narrative, invoking a Garden of Eden populated by male and female characters adapted from Peter Arno’s iconic cartoons of New York City’s decadent café society from the 1930s and 40s. Fueled by martinis and a sense of existential crisis, Arno’s protagonists were always in pursuit of or fleeing from elicit romantic affairs, the result being endless misunderstandings and domestic arguments. This is the world of screwball comedy, which the artist complicates in unexpected ways.

In Salle’s rendition, these actors perform their (prescribed heteronormative) roles on a painterly stage bisected by the archetypal tree of knowledge, which in biblical lore sprouted the consummate object of temptation, the ever-alluring apple that insured mankind’s expulsion from a mythical place of true knowledge or pure psychic integration. In other cultural traditions the Tree of Life is a generative symbol, connecting the subterranean realm to the heavens. Both connotative possibilities are activated in Salle’s paintings since the roots of the central tree often reach into a lower panel, a predella, suffused with gestural abstraction and floating objects culled from his earlier canvases. This panel suggests the unformed and the unconscious—a subjective past informed by cascading images locked into distant memories—a profound starting point for Salle’s animation.

'21 Tree of Life #20_new 2
The NFT begins in a nether region of swirling paint from which recognizable items partially emerge, including a ladder, suggesting ascension.

Vision is drawn upward as the tree emerges from the ground, reaching toward an imagined sky against an abstracted background. Leaves grow on nascent branches while emblematic objects from Salle’s painterly repertoire–a flying sandwich, Kleenex box, set of suitcases, Maidenform bra, hotdog with mustard a deep sea diving bell , pack of cigarettes, ice cream bar, green olive with pimento, vintage car, inverted glass of milk, work boot, punching bag and mannequin—glide in and out of view like so many flashbacks.

Two pairs of Arno’s characters enter stage left and right respectively while a worm squirms out of the apple that has materialized on the tree. The couples alternately flirt and argue while that incriminating apple succumbs to gravity. One of the women takes note of the fall. The worm, now of enormous proportions in its perch on the tree, turns a bright green.  The narrative elements are then swept away; the screen is wiped clean by one of the men’s Fedora only to start again in an endless loop that is emblematic of a creation myth that also and always projects a notion of original sin. The Tree of Life, in Salle’s animated universe, projects the eternal return of the same. An apt metaphor for an artist who has claimed that “the Garden of Eden is still with us. We’re still in it: the conundrums it presents and the liberation it promises remain unresolved.”

Artists' Projects

DMINTI partners with contemporary artists to bring their vision to the Blockchain, creating innovative and relevant NFT projects and Web3 experiences with wide appeal and expansive points of access.

French-American conceptual artist Sarah Meyohas was one of the first artists to explore the intersection between cryptocurrency and art with her formative, feminist Bitchcoin project (2015). Working across multiple mediums including performance, film, photography, and AI, her work investigates how value is created and sustained in art and economics.

Since his early career, Brendan has blended abstract and figurative forms to reveal meaning with deeper contemplations through his sculpture and painting. Brendan believes it is in art’s potential where we can most universally transmit positive energy. He recognizes the effect this energy, when experienced as a collective, can have on society as a whole. His commitment to process and true craftsmanship is the unifying thread throughout his body of work.



Zoë Buckman was born in 1985 in Hackney, East London. She studied at The International Center of Photography (GS ‘09) and was awarded an Art Matters Grant in 2017. Working across different mediums such as sculpture, photography, embroidery and neon, Buckman’s work investigates cultural norms, intersection feminism and identity in modern society.



Josephine Meckseper, born in Germany, holds an MFA from CalArts, and lives and works in New York City. The artist is known for her large scale vitrine installations and films that have been exhibited in numerous international biennials and museum exhibitions worldwide. In her practice, which encompasses film, photography, painting and sculpture, Meckseper challenges the conventional meanings of familiar cultural imagery and the systems of circulation and display through which they acquire significance.

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Richard Bernstein: Megastars Collection

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Ricci Albenda: breathe. (3,2)

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Ricci Albenda: Breath ‘3,2’, 2022

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Ricci Albenda: Breath ‘3,2’, 2022

About Hani Rashid

Hani Rashid a practicing architect, known for a first-of-its-kind Guggenheim Virtual Museum and the Virtual New York Stock Exchange among other notable projects and buildings including the Yas Marina Hotel and Formula one venue in Abu Dhabi. Hani co-founded New York based Asymptote Architecture with his partner, Lise Anne Couture in 1989. Alongside his professional work, Hani has a distinguished, international academic career having held numerous visiting professorships at a number of important universities including the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen, the Southern California Institute of Architecture in Los Angeles, and the Harvard University Graduate School of Design as well as the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH). In 1998 Hani co-founded and developed Columbia University’s GSAAP Advanced Digital Design program. And in 2000 Hani co-represented the United States at the 7th Venice Architecture Biennale. Hani lives in New York City, and alongside his architectural practice, is the director of Deep_Futures, a research laboratory in the Institute of Architecture at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna.



The DMINTI Metaverse can be accessed on via DMINTI’s website and is accessible via mobile, desktop and VR headsets.

View on Computer

To view the space on your computer, you can click on this link directly.

View on Mobile

To view the space on your mobile you have to download the Spatial app, make an account, and then open the space by clicking on this link.

View on Mobile

To view the space on your VR Oculus headset, you will have to connect your VR headset to your Spatial account (if this is your first time using Spatial with this device). Follow the instructions below or in the slideshow above.

Instructions on how to pair your headset:

  1. Open the Spatial app on your headset and click on the profile icon below your dock
  2. Read the message and click “Continue” if you already have a Spatial account
  3. Take note of your Pairing Code
  4. Login to Spatial on your Web Browser or Mobile App
  5. Click on your Avatar/Profile icon and then click Pair Headset
  6. Enter your pairing code and you’re good to go!

Instructions on how to pair your headset via your mobile app:

  1. Open Spatial on your mobile device
  2. Know what your Pairing Code is that you got from your headset
  3. Click the Avatar/Profile icon in the top middle
  4. Enter the 5 digit code from your device into the app
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Would Men and Women be Equal?

Judy Chicago and Nadya Tolokonnikova now call on you to respond. All, who share feminist values, are invited to come together and make their voices heard at this urgent time for women’s right.

Choose a single question or respond to as many questions as you want. Written messages and visual images submitted here will be reviewed and selected contributions will be shaped by the artists into a new collaborative project, with the mission of creating a foundation for the largest gender rights community in Web3.

This project took Chicago’s inspiring banners ‘What If Women Ruled the World’, which were created in collaboration with Maria Grazia Chiuri for the Dior Spring Summer 2020 Haute Couture show, as its source for a new revolutionary blockchain enabled call-and-response.

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Respond to Judy Chicago’s important questions and join the artists to make change here.

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