New + Noteworthy NFTs - Jan 22
I’ve been eagerly devouring and scouring the worldwide web for new and tasty material this month – and I haven’t been disappointed. These are my top picks of recent projects to excite and entice, and maybe have you reaching for your cryptowallet.
‘Soft Body Dynamics’ by Vickie Vainionpää
Available on SuperRare
This collection of pastel coloured, amorphous NFTs recalls the physical body to the digital space. Soft, rounded tubes twist around and hug each other, like limbs or internal organs. They appear to float within bodily fluid, as if we could see inside ourselves just by looking at them. The contrast of matte and gloss, opaque and sheer, as well as the slow, fluid movements of the organic forms make these works mesmerising to look at. A standout for me is the collaborative work with musician Nick Schofield (no. 46). Vainionpää’s autonomously generated 3D forms twist and morph while three gold spheres hover in the foreground like drops of blood, and a synthetic landscape of sound overlays the image. It’s a perfect marriage of image, audio and technology that embodies what this medium is all about.
‘The Importance of Conversation’ by Shantell Martin
Available on Nifty Gateway
Continuing the theme of collaboration, established artist Shantell Martin explores the potential of art to bring people together, as well as pushing the boundaries of what an NFT can be. For this collection, buyers can purchase a one-of-a-kind NFT that includes a personal conversation with Martin herself. For me, this is what the medium is all about – making connections between artists and audiences, and opening up a dialogue about what art really is. In Martin’s own words, “art is about creating and actively engaging in conversation.” Not only do her NFTs offer fans something that can’t be found on a website, in a gallery or in any of the artist’s previous projects, but they’re also incredibly vivid and interesting to look at. And isn’t that also what art is really about?
‘MxSE’ by Nessy FT
Available on OpenSea
Nessy’s abstracted, geometric portraits are inspired by art history and traditional oil painting, but they bring something entirely fresh and new to the genre. The NFTs being sold are also linked to physical works, bridging the gap between the digital and the real. And what’s very real about Nessy’s works is their focus on human emotion and experience, in particular black experience. The works blend age-old and innovative techniques, as well as imagery from Greek and West African culture in the mask-like renditions of expression and facial features. The works are captivating and unique, expressing an abundance of inner beauty and creativity.
‘I Don’t Know How Much More of This I Can Handle’ by Yosnier
Available on SuperRare
I can’t help but be drawn to the tarot-card style of Yosnier’s dreamy works, which incorporate contemporary imagery and nods to black culture with the ancient tradition of tarot. The beautifully coloured, intricate illustrations are deeply personal, but resonate with a generation who are all just trying to navigate through an ever-changing. A 1/1 edition, ‘I Don’t Know How Much More of This I Can Handle’ is reminiscent of the Ten of Swords in the tarot deck, where the swords pierce the body and the figure lies face down. The card is typically a bad omen bringing betrayal, failure, exhaustion, goodbyes and endings. But Yosnier weaves hope back into his image, with celestial hands reaching down from on high, trailing butterflies and sun rays. It’s a painful, but uplifting image, hinting that out of adversity comes salvation. It’s a reminder to hang in there, and look to the future – something we could all do well to remember at the moment!
‘The Quantum Express’ by Alexis Christodoulou
Available on Nifty Gateway
In a timely and poignant response to the current global pandemic, South African-born digital artist Alexis Christodoulou’s works take us to imaginary worlds we can only dream of travelling to. Often partially recognisable, somewhat utopian, and always enticing, the exquisitely rendered scenes make you want to dive in headfirst. For this series, Christodoulou has created a series of five editions to evoke the idea of quantum theory – or, for the uninitiated, the question of whether we are moving through space and time, or if space and time are moving through us.
Titled ‘Probability’, ‘Space’, ‘Energy’, ‘Distance’ and ‘Time’, the images whisk us away on a train ride to a place that is at once familiar and altogether new. The scenes laid out for us appear inviting, plush and luxurious, yet they have a strangeness about them that keeps us at arm’s length. Christodoulou’s work is endlessly fascinating to me, and this new series is no exception. The artist uses digital art and NFTs to explore what the German physicist Werner Heisenberg described as a concept “we can only speak of…in images and parables.”
I'll be back next month for another round-up of content - in the meantime, I would love to know what YOUR favourite artists and projects are. Comment below or send me a message with your top picks!