New + Noteworthy NFTs - August 22
Another month is behind us, and that means another tantalizing list of art NFTs from across the web is ready for your reading pleasure! Below I've curated a list of my top five new and exciting NFT artworks, including why I love them and where to find them.
'Ode to Sleep' by Bhare
Visual artist and painter Bhare released his debut collection Pillow Talk on Nifty Gateway on August 31st, comprising three brand new works that artfully combine figuration, abstraction and poetry. In Bhare's unique style, the application of paint to canvas is frenetic and gestural, but there remains a kind of order within the frame, suggesting that fragmented thoughts, emotions and impulses have been harmonized through the medium of painting. On this work, 'Ode to Sleep', Bhare confides: "It’s usually hard for me to fall asleep. I try to picture myself suspended in the air, floating towards nowhere. I have a song that sticks in my head, that quietly hums a fond memory holding a heavy weight." It's this kind of intimate insight into the artist's inner state of being, the things that all of us hold in common, perhaps more so than we think, that gives these works their power. They are at once personal and relatable, abstract and yet entirely recognizable. Although Bhare draws on his own experiences and journal musings as inspiration, there is something so universal in the letting down on your guard that captures the heart and mind.
You can read my interview with Bhare here!
'Median Mirror' by Chris Yee
This exciting, mesmerizing new drop on Culture Vault by Australian artist and illustrator Chris Yee explores the dichotomy that he himself experiences as part of the Asian-Australian community on a personal level, and the wider cultural binary that permeates Australian life. Much of Yee's work is a clashing of cultures, imbuing modern, Western techniques of digital art and design with references to Eastern iconography and symbolism, For this series, Yee imagines a face ID recognition system from the perspective of inside the device, as it reads the body’s internal median points, lines and nuances. Taking the idea from Eastern energy systems, Yee has divined a way to visually represent emotions through movement, symbols and color. The symbols seen here are taken from both traditional and modern ornamental patterns, fusing two worlds within one facial identity.
'Thixotropy' by Claire Silver
Silver defines this mouthful of a title, 'Thixotropy', as: "the time-dependent property of a solid material becoming fluid when touched, and returning to standing state upon rest... Thixotropy is adaptability--a building, shifting, "living" state, a physical conversation that is shaped by interaction, but returns, again and again, to its most natural form." Silver is best known for her work using AI to augment her creative direction, and this piece, from the collection Velatura, is no exception. The works are exceptionally complex, building layer upon layer of original sketched images, AI, collage, animation and after-effects. The effect is hypnotic, and seamlessly blends the work of human and machine until neither is distinguishable from the other. For the artist, the work marks a turning point - visually similar to her earlier works from last year, it is the first piece to be made using the process of layering with both manual and machine intervention, and the first ever piece of music the artist has ever created in conjunction with AI. The piece feels alive, ever changing and evolving, mirroring perhaps the state of the artist's practice, or maybe even, ore pertinently, the state of art itself, as we are forced to face in more and more real ways the consequences of AI's impact on creative production.
'Trinity Church (Suits) by Pelle Cass
Pelle Cass's fascinating work captures a particular place over time and reveals a surprising world - sometimes orderly, sometimes chaotic - that is visible only with a camera. Transposing images over top of one another to highlight the ordered chaos of our world, the photographs Cass captures and creates are at once fabricated and truthful documents. They highlight one of the powerful tenets of photography - the choice of the artist of what to keep in and what to leave out. Cass seemingly has a knack for seeing patterns, repetitions and symmetries in spaces that can often seem meaninglessly crowded and overrun. But through carefully selective editing, the artist reveals what we cannot see with the naked eye, a more beautiful (and sometimes more banal) reality. This image in particular struck me for its composition, color and symmetry, almost like a Renaissance painting captured in the 21st century and sold as a digital certificate on-chain. Tracing this thread through time is what gets it included on this month's list, for me.
'11:22am' by Joe Pease
Like Pelle Cass, Joe Pease has a knack for making the everyday and banal seem suddenly surreal and heightened. Through his film works, Pease disrupts normality and upends expectations, layering moving images and looping video like a collage artist would do with still images. His works are inspired by street culture, by the films of Spike Jonze and Michael Gondry, music videos and skateboarding films, and this is reflected in the unpretentious, haphazard and raw appearance of his short films. Now expanding into the NFT medium from his creative and commercial film work, Pease explores the dichotomy of transience and permanence - the short cuts of the video gives the feeling of being temporary, curtailed, of never seeing the full story. But the endless loop and the fact that the work exists as an NFT on-chain, permanently, contests this idea of transience and suggests another perspective. Most of all, his works are incredibly enjoyable to watch, never predictable and unlike any other artist I've come across.