Artwork Sample:

Here is an example miner with a simple blur filter applied. Charles consistently used this filter to help ensure every pixel placed in the tight 24x24 canvas helped maximize the desired objective of near photo realism when used in a pfp circle or smaller form factor.
The blur filter proved to be a reliable proxy for how elements would look in smaller sizes and yes, this is really just a simple blur of the actual pixel art. This is not a blurred photograph.
This is the actual pixel art that created the blur above. In this larger form you can see how it achieves an almost abstract appearance. The larger it's blown up the more this abstract appearance is amplified.