The Signature Series by NYC Artist Marco Santini is a 22-piece collection that bridges the gap between past, present, and future. Extremely rare and signed art books from the masters of History (Basquiat, Warhol, Haring, Matisse, de Kooning, Kahlo, and more) have been reimagined as collages that showcase the range of their works. Each collaged book is paired with a single, exclusive, animated NFT that takes the art collaboration into the future.
To benefit the greater community, each buyer will also be able to choose a school anywhere in the world for Santini to speak about the future of art and NFTs before painting a mural with the students, bringing about a positive educational experience for the creators of the future.
This series will birth a new field of artwork that transforms historic relics into collaborative art pieces that can be enjoyed from multiple perspectives.
About Marco Santini
Marco Santini is an award-winning NYC-based artist, mentor, and inventor who draws inspiration from inclusion, positivity, and language. His work has been featured at the United Nations General Assembly, Art Basel Miami, Burning Man, and SXSW. He has completed over 20 art activations with Bloomingdale’s around the country and also paints schools around the world.
In 2007, he received a Bachelor of Arts in Linguistic Anthropology at Brown University, where he was intrigued by the relationship between communication, expression, and imagery. Santini worked at branding agencies in NYC before fully committing to the arts. His geometric style is expressed across multiple mediums, including NFTs, spray paint, paint markers, window markers, acrylics, magazines, textiles, and digital art.
In 2018, Santini found his life’s purpose: to spread love and positivity as a conscious creator based on a supportive cast of friends, family, and now wife. He has expressed this through art, education, and volunteering. His iconic One Love logo has been painted worldwide, combining over 80 languages of love to symbolize that there’s more that unites us than divides us. He speaks and paints at schools around the world, teaching students to explore their passions while turning negatives into positives.
Santini has found his way into some major celebrity art collections, including Ringo Starr (The Beatles), Matt Morrison (Glee Actor), Sarah Hughes (Olympic Gold Medalist), and Ken Schanzer (Former NBC Sports President), to name a few.
Santini’s work has been covered in the New York Times, Forbes, New York Post, Time Out New York, Chicago Tribune, and Maxim Magazine. His art has been featured at the United Nations General Assembly, Art Basel Miami, Bloomingdale’s, Burning Man, SXSW, Hudson Yards, Shore Club Miami, SLS Miami, Underhill walls, Montreal’s Mural Festival, and many art galleries, among others.
His first three NFTs sold for five figures each ($15,500 – September 2021, $18,500 – September 2021, $22,000 – March 2022).
The animated 1/1 NFTs come with the associated physical sculptural artwork and the option for the buyer to choose a school anywhere in the world for Santini to speak about art and NFTs & paint a mural with the students under the patronage of/with attribution to the buyer.
Buyers must contact Marco Santini at firstname.lastname@example.org within seven days of purchase to disclose their shipping address. Delivery logistics will be coordinated by Santini. Worldwide shipping will be free of charge.
The below descriptions are the artist’s own words.
Frida Kahlo (SOLD)
Greatness is a choice. I admire Frida Kahlo’s dedication to her creative vision, refusing to change her artistic style for her clients.
She turned to the arts in her teens after a terrible bus accident that fractured her spine and pelvis. Her parents brought her paints and an easel to use in bed to express her inner truth. This led to an incredible career that even saw Kahlo as the first Mexican Artist featured in the Louvre.
This 1938 Time Magazine shows her first press piece, albeit quite offensive by modern standards, introducing Kahlo not as herself but rather as the wife of famed muralist Diego Rivera. The article can be seen below, forming the silhouette of her body.
This artwork merges two of Kahlo’s most famous paintings, Self-Portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird with the Broken Column. Surrounding the image are words, phrases, and locations important to Kahlo’s life that inspired future generations.
Frida persisted, creating art despite a life of pain for her childhood injuries and romantic traumas. This NFT brings to life the beauty that can come from such difficult times, with stars in her eyes and an immortal heart.
Henri Matisse (SOLD)
Great artists learn from others. Thanks to his Mother, Henri Matisse gave up a career in Law to become the famed French Visual Artist appreciated today.
Matisse used bright, aggressive colors as the leader of the Fauvism movement, but he stood up for greatness. He even supported fellow artists, going into debt to buy some of their works. Matisse can be seen in the lower middle section, sitting in front of one of his works.
This book, issued in 1951 by the Museum of Modern Art, contains an original lithograph by Matisse and the signature of Alfred H. Barr, the first director of the MoMA in New York City. Bright colors weave in and out of the new artwork, but the real magic happens when this piece comes alive in the NFT.
Matisse’s trademark cutouts circle the figure on the left, moving in and out of the book to form a background alive with color. During the last few years of his life, Matisse was bedridden, turning to scissors and paper to create collages using these unique paper cutouts.
These works directly inspired my vision of the Signature Series and overall artistic journey, proving that anything can be art, no matter what the critics say.
Great artists transcend their environments. New York City’s iconic artist rose to fame in the 1980s with his abstract expressionist paintings.
He was inspired by his upbringing, anatomical drawings, historical documents, and complex symbolism. Though he never went to art school, he said he learned about art by observing his surroundings.
I created this piece in New York City during the COVID pandemic, and I knew I had to cut around the first few pages to reveal the Statue of Liberty, though it was deep in the book and near the binding.
Basquiat’s trademark crown and powerful verbal messages can be found vying for attention throughout the piece. I maintained the intense energy from his works by keeping in mind how Basquiat might collage his own work to create a composite piece that could fit in with his prior art.
The NFT features an animated signature on the left page, visible on top, ripped away from the book. The right page is seen below, where works pop and patterns swirl to share his eternal energy.
Art transcends language barriers. American Pop Artist and New York City legend Keith Haring transformed his graffiti style into a visual language for all. He was also one of my earliest and most powerful inspirations.
I was amazed by his ability to communicate important concepts with simple designs that translated beyond language barriers. From the streets to the subways to galleries all over the world, his work resonated on many levels.
This 1984 Vanity Fair features cover art by Haring, matched with elements from the article about him in the magazine. Haring’s idea of global inclusion, which matches with my life’s purpose to spread love and positivity through art and education, is shown within the NFT, as people from the full spectrum of colors work together to keep the beating heart stable.
Storytelling was at the heart of works created by American Pop artist Robert Indiana. He believed the verbal and visual were one. His art is intoxicating as he tries to blend intellectual complexity with a simplification through bold colors, sharp edges and expressive meanings.
His iconic Love design only exploded onto the art scene after New York City’s Museum of Modern Art used the design for their Christmas card in 1965. He believed the role of an artist was to communicate with yourself so you could communicate with the world.
This book really spoke to me and I was inspired to create a balance between the overflowing signs that focus on the power of communication, expanding past the edges of the page, compared to the Love designs on the right.
These creations build upon each other in an orderly fashion, creating a colorful, new depiction based on his original compositions.
The NFT finds the edges of the core Love designs swirling in pursuit of each other while the background blends further into the future, showing the immortal nature of his trademark creation.
Great art challenges the status quo. American Pop Artist Roy Lichtenstein wanted his work to appear machine-like and used ben-day dots throughout his work to symbolize the printing press.
He often depicted the emotional extremes of life, trying to capture the single frame climax of an event. My challenge was to join these climaxes into a single snapshot.
He also would manipulate the works of others, transforming their styles to marry with his. This inspired me to do the same with his work, creating a new, hybrid style. For this reason, the Lichtenstein artwork was actually the first piece created for the Signature Series.
Lichtenstein’s signature is actually on the first page but rather than cut and paste it, I worked around his signature while keeping the original binding in tact. For the NFT, I animated his Signature and dot structures, surrounded by a neon, pulsating border that shows different perspectives of his works.
Great artists challenge the way we see the world. American Pop Artist, Andy Warhol, changed the way we see the world by the way he captured and expressed our culture. He also changed the way we view artistic appropriation, using images of Campbell’s Soup cans, Marilyn Monroe, and even Prince.
Although Warhol brought pop to the masses, he believed that art should not be defined by concept or time but rather create new feelings and movement every time. He inspired new feelings in me to explore my artistic talents to bring out the best in others and myself. Once I saw the split heart drawing on the left-hand side, I knew this book was perfect for the Signature Series. I read through Popism and pulled out my favorite quotes relating to communication through video, stores, people, and art. I captured elements of Warhol’s larger-than-life personality, from his words to his world-class promotion to his creative process.
This NFT is a symbolic representation of the factory, with many moving parts coming together to create the complete image. The heart beats on among flashing lights, forever in fame.
Great artists satisfy an irresistible, creative urge. Willem DeKooning was a Dutch-American abstract expressionist who created in a lively and colorful manner. His internal, creative focus was inspiring, believing that artists must always focus on satisfying themselves before collectors or critics. He was eternally motivated to create something new, though he suffered from great self-doubt, desperate not to become stagnant in the art world. He also believed that no artist ever works alone but rather as part of a collective, a community, a movement.
This book details a great chronology of his works, and I used this historical progression to collaborate with this master painter. All of the art lives within the border, but DeKooning himself always goes beyond the edges, pushing himself to new heights.
The NFT shows the creation process, building from the outside in, to reveal the meaning from concept to formation among a wavelike, neon background, highlighting the details of DeKooning’s work.
Art can take you anywhere, even through the subconscious mind. Though he wasn’t the founder of Surrealism, Salvador Dalí has been most associated with the concept, exploring the illogical and irrational. Dalí believed he was a genius who didn’t have the right to die because he was necessary to the progress of humanity.
I wanted to continue his immortal nature with this collaboration. His trademark melting clock is juxtaposed with the Last Supper and even photos of Dalí himself. His signature is big, bold, and energetic, just like him. It takes up the entire page with bravado and grace.
For the NFT, my goal was to create a surrealist interpretation of a surrealist. Dalí comes face to face with himself, and the melting clock reaches to the ground as other images appear and disappear out of nowhere.
The way we understand colors today is in part thanks to Josef Albers. The German artist is most recognized for his achievements in explaining color theory. He argued that color, as opposed to form, was the primary medium of visual language. His simple but powerful ideas influenced our understanding of color fields and minimalism.
This book features black and white images throughout, and I folded the pieces to divide his works into different quadrants, celebrating the balance of foreground and background. The newly positioned geometric layouts celebrate a controlled chaos between what is seen versus what is known.
The NFT animates the new work, adding shadowed colors to the background, blending the edges between Albers’ designs and my geometric motif.
How do you see the world? Georges Braque was a French painter who converted Cubism with Picasso, though Braque was not as boisterous, charming, or outspoken as Picasso, who generally gets most of the credit. In Braque’s work, multiple perspectives merge together, lending well to the creation of his art piece with pages popping out at different depths.
Braque added elements of pasted paper into his pieces, making him the perfect fit for the Signature Series. While focusing on still life, he brought objects with varied, textured surfaces within reach. The left side is organized into black-and-white depictions, detailing the first few images of this book, though the paintings actually exist in color. On the right, everything is in color as people merge with objects from multiple, raised perspectives.
The NFT features the main artwork surrounded by a radiating, isolated image of the book in neon, breathing in life to show the effects of Braque’s innovations still alive today.
Great artists help others see the unseen. Ansel Adams was one of the most iconic landscape photographers of the 20th century who brought the American west to life through his black-and-white photography. I greatly respect his support of conservation and believe I gave new life to this signed book that would have otherwise been collecting dust on a bookshelf.
Many of Adams’ works are captured in this book, and I highlighted some of his great photographs while respecting his compositions. I painted words around the border that detail part of his history, including his mentor (Paul Strand), his first camera (the Kodak No 1 Brownie Model B), the Sierra Clip, and some of his favorite places in nature, including Yosemite.
For the NFT, I kept the essence of the black and white photography while adding hints of neon colors flashing between to have this digital design fit with the collection. The energy of the colors flows between his photographs, interrupting the subtle complexity of his work.
We are all born as creative souls. I really admire American painter Norman Rockwell’s determination. He only wanted to be an artist, finding early success in his teens through commissioned works and even becoming Art Director for Boy’s Life before age 20. He created hundreds of magazine covers in his playful and quaint manner.
His goal was to convey a story in every sketch, and even though he battled depression for most of his life, he painted with an ideological spirit and sentimental expression. This emotional excitement can be seen in the joining of his works for this Signature Series piece, from the sweetness of the boy offering a flower to a girl to the tenderness of the animals interacting with children.
The animated NFT brings this piece into the collection with its neon border but also adds animation tactics to the core images surrounded by the central beating heart.
Edward Hopper (SOLD)
Artistry allows us to explore the full range of emotions. Edward Hopper was an American painter who was a master of mood, light, and shadows. He began signing and dating his drawings at age 10, which is something I always recommend to young artists.
He highlights the banality of everyday life, focusing much of his work on loneliness and isolation, as depicted in his trademark Nighthawks. He captured these themes to represent the emotions from the World Wars and Great Depression; I united these through composition.
The NFT is brought to life through everyday motions, showing the inner workings of a buzzing city, connected though separate. The streets are alive, powered by the rotating lighthouse, which illuminates these works and brings the subjects just a little bit closer.
Meaningful art can unify different perspectives. Iconic Spanish artist Pablo Picasso is most known for creating Cubism. The beauty of this idea comes from the motion of both the viewer and the creator. Picasso was able to compose displaced parts from multiple prospects into single creations. I admire his fortitude, abandoning strict rules and instruction to create what appealed most to him. He was always pushing the boundaries of his craft and constantly reinventing his style from paint to sculpture to ceramics. He believed art only lives on by the people who look at it, and I wanted to keep this book alive.
This book details Picasso’s focus on ceramics as shown on the left side with his signature strokes. On the right, a centaur-like figure comes alive with the NFT as multiple facial components merge into a single perspective. I wanted to convey how a cubist could create designs in this new medium using only cubist ingredients.
True artists know no boundaries. I’ve always been amazed by Chuck Close’s ability to create photorealistic paintings despite his prosopagnosia diagnosis. This face blindness made it extremely difficult for him to differentiate between faces, and yet he used this impairment as an asset.
Close created many of his works using a grid system, which inspired me to cut through this book at 90-degree angles. Multiple faces converse with each other, destroying the boundaries between us. I animate these angles in the NFT but also wanted the faces to go in and out of recognition, with different light flairs popping up. I tried to imagine how Close would see his own works.
This was the last piece I created for the Signature Series, and feel that this design puts the vision of the entire collection into perspective.
Art is the greatest form of communication. American caricaturist Al Hirschfeld, strove to communicate something about the personality of each of his subjects. He accomplished this through his passion for the pure line, painting in theaters and often in the dark. He once said a painting or drawing that doesn’t help the next fellow is of no use.
Hirschfeld brought out the best in his subjects, and I wanted to bring out the best of him, blending the variety of works in his collection. It was quite ironic to be creating this piece of a Broadway icon in NYC while Broadway had its longest shutdown in history during the Covid pandemic.
I’ve always hidden words and messages in my art and was very inspired by how he hid his daughter’s name Nina in his pieces. I tried to do this justice by hiding a few of my own. When creating the artwork, I modified the page numbers to show the bookend years of his life while keeping his usual black tone. I kept the NFT mostly in black and white, animating some of the designs within, surrounded by a neon, pulsing background.
Art can push us to explore new textures. Max Ernst was a German, multi-talented artist who created the frontage art technique, which involved the rubbing of materials, usually with a pencil, over uneven surfaces to create the foundational image. He also created the grattage technique, using paint to capture imprints on canvas of textures surfaces below. I really admire this creativity to see the world through texture and touch.
For Ernst, collage was a rebellious act of freedom, fighting against the limitations of the rational mind and oppressive customs of the time. This can be seen with his surreal images, layered over each other in a quixotic way, balanced with my geometric motif.
Art can save lives. Marc Chagall was a Belarusian French artist who created a hybrid style between Cubism, Surrealism, and Fauvism. He often tapped into emotional, dream-like imagery that blended his experiences with a psychical reality.
The Jewish artist was actually saved during World War II when New York’s Museum of Modern Art deemed him a high risk from the Nazis. This art design features Chagall’s Signature from 1973 with multi-dimensional, shadowed images popping off the page. Bold colors fill the spaces between with a geometric motif that unites the past, present and future.
In the NFT, an oscillating neon background of Chagall’s work surrounds a composition that comes to life with lights that ease in and out of representation. The colors flicker for attention between dream-like states.
Great artists stay true to themselves. The more I learned about Georgia O’Keefe, the more I appreciated the full spectrum of her art. Although she is most known for her flower and landscape designs, she truly painted her feelings without regard to her audience. Her work drew many parallels to female genitalia, but she dismissed these claims.
This book was especially fascinating because it shared Georgia’s thoughts on all of her paintings, giving an even deeper insight into her work. Once I saw the last page had a flap that extended beyond the edge of the book, I knew the direction I wanted to take with the art. This piece gives birth to collaboration, displaying a chronological range from left to right. After establishing the midpoint and showcasing the chronology of her work, I used the right flap to offset the center.
In the NFT, the clouds float toward the flowers in a tempest of emotion, giving birth to a collaboration beyond the physical realm. This was the first piece I framed, and it hung in my art studio for months. Many people visited my space, but few people saw this design – it was hiding in plain sight with a personal mystique that only captivated those with open hearts and minds.
You don’t have to be first to be a pioneer. American sculptor Alexander Calder wasn’t the first person to create a mobile, but he became known as the true pioneer, bringing motion to a historically static field.
It was actually French artist Marcel Duchamp who coined the phrase. The mobile was inspired by Mondrian. In 1930, Calder suggested oscillation for Mondrian’s geometric designs, but after Mondrian refused, Calder decided to take it to the world himself. Calder actually studied mechanical engineering at Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, New Jersey, where my Dad, Martin Santini, designed the award-winning Babbio Center for Technology Management. Calder’s nickname was Sandy, as seen in the signature on the left where my geometric motif complements his distinct shapes with sharp cutlines.
The NFT features a background that oscillates back and forth, creating the illusion of mobility, yearning for an infinite balance.
Successful art comments on the art of the past. Joan Miró was a Spanish painter who displayed great balance between inward and outward expression. He believed successful art was not only intertwined with the past but improved upon it.
I wanted to give justice to this vision by bringing together many of his ideas in a single snapshot that displayed an intricate and respectful balance. He was very influenced by poetry and often incorporated words into his works. I wanted to highlight amour, especially next to the upside-down heart, even if they were on separate pages of the book.
The NFT is then built, piece by piece, with the building blocks that create this composition before animating his signature and trademark star. These puzzle pieces create unique shapes using layered images of Miró’s work to form an entirely current creation.