The Paradox Collection by Kibø

Interview conducted and translated from French by Jæn

– Hi Kibø! For starters, can you introduce yourself and tell us how you fell into the crypto art rabbit hole?

– Hello, Corentin AKA Kibø on the Internet here. I’m a 21 years old French graduated graphic designer  and artist, and have been practicing both for more than 4 years. I first stepped into the NFT world in september 2020 on Twitter, thanks to my friend Orchid who introduced me to Rarible by paying my first minting fees. 

– Nice! Almost one year has passed, and after creating NFTs pretty much everywhere (namely: SuperRare, KnownOrigin, Foundation, Rarible and HicEtNunc!), you now have a full crypto art series entitled “The Paradox Collection”, available on Makerpslace. Let’s start with the character that lives through your art: Ø. And how the hell should we pronounce it?

– Ø is an anonymous Metaverse being who’s been with me since I discovered the world of NFTs. They’re a very important character for me and for my work, and since their creation, they’ve been in almost all of my pieces. They represent – among other things – the audience’s place. This is crucial to me, as there’s no art without an audience: the audience can identify with Ø, dive into the pieces and travel to the various scenes and worlds where Ø goes. As for pronunciation, it’s easy, just “O!

Left: detail from Rise, showing Ø in 2D, and a 3D remake of the character posted on Instagram

– Right, just like a ready-to-wear avatar built in the art. In the Paradox Collection, the scenes are full of surreal elements that are part of your symbolic language (checkered floors, clouds, crystals, etc.). If you add the word “paradox” from the titles, it suggests an overarching concept or story that focuses on the mind. What’s behind it? What kind of symbol goes through each chromatic iteration? 

– It’s true that these elements can be found in most of my works, they represent really strong concepts to me. It’s very personal too: clouds symbolise oneirism, crystals are often the only source of light and represent hope, and the checked pattern adds more flavour to the illusion and dreamy side of the art. There are also inspirations from Escher when combining different gravity sources within the same scene, and from Anatoly Konenko with impossible shapes. So, this collection is about what is real and rational, but in a space where there’s a difference between what you perceive and what is real, including illusions in each piece. Each colour is a part of the rainbow, that also evokes another illusion, the fairy tale that says there’s a treasure where the rainbow touches the ground. When you grow up, you realise it’s not real… is it though?

– I remember vividly looking at the rainbow, trying to figure out a rational way to reach the bottom of a rainbow, I can definitely relate to that. In this series, you made two works in collab with other artists, Emma Vauloup and Thomas Travert. How did this go? How did you choose them?

– There’s actually 3 collabs, the third one is with Requa. I chose them because they’re all as young as me and all French, so they’re both friends and a demographic that needs to put in the spotlight. It’s been great making art together! And I just let them choose the colour they personally resonated the most with before taking on the series. 

Emma Vauloup: Allow me to give a lil’ description of my style first, as an intro: my style is colorful, giving nostalgic vibes, inspired by old animes, old horror movies, basically everything that is old. But I always try to bring a modern style to my art. The main idea for art for me is to share feelings, share what you see and what moves you day after day by going out or not. It makes me live everything at 1000%. This piece was made on Procreate on an Ipad Pro. With Kibø, we wanted to give a mysterious vibe, and I immediately thought about giving a treasure vibe to Kibø’s impossible object. Merging this object into an imaginary world, that is very typical of my style, contrasting with the style of Kibo, and giving the object a truly special and unique dimension. My color work was also very important, it had to fit perfectly with our vision of the atmosphere, and to fit with Kibø’s work too.

Thomas Travert: With Kibø, we wanted to create a connection between our worlds and aesthetics. This collaboration is made for escapism, with its colours and mysterious universes that invite us to be more curious. Who knows what these portals hide? More worlds, more collaborations?

Requa: I chose purple because it’s the color that resonates the most with me. It carries a magical and dreamy atmosphere, also a somewhat mysterious feeling that I really like. It was the first time Kibø developed his universe through 3D. Very happy of how it turned out !

– Alright! Speaking of colours, one ended up standing out of the crowd, The Orange Paradox, that sports a white background going against the black one for all the others, ending up as a final piece for the Paradox Collection. What can you tell us about it?

– The Orange Paradox is wrapped in white to break the rhythm of the usual black sceneries. I tend to work mostly with dark backgrounds, but for once, I felt adding some kind of clarity, and it made even more sense with the underlying overarching rainbow theme. Another thing that played a part in choosing white is the French saying “after the rain comes the sun” (that is usually translated in English as “there’s always a light at the end of the tunnel”). 

– I see, it also somehow reflects the same kind of hope that is symbolised with crystals. Thank you for sharing this art adventure with us. To wrap it up, please tell us about your future projects, and tease what’s next for Ø!

– I recently started to use 3D, and I intend to use this new medium to give life to physical versions of my NFTs, such as hand-painted 3D-printed sculptures. But I’m definitely not giving up on 2D, it’s my main tool! As for Ø, I have an unhealthy amount of projects in my head for them, but so little time, haha. This character is bound to visually evolve as time goes by, as they’ve already changed by going from 2D to 3D. I’m currently working on a project consisting of a hundred unique daily pieces, entitled “O’verse” (OpenSea doesn’t allow special characters, so “Øverse” wasn’t possible). Follow me on Twitter & Instagram to watch these dailies as they unfold c: 

A few dailies posted on Instagram


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