Header Image: Fernando Magalhães, "Prixma #13", 2019.
There are so many exciting things happening in the art world right now, especially when it concerns digital art. With almost everyone becoming more digital due to lockdown measures, it’s no wonder that even art itself is becoming more digital.
Yes, we’re talking about Non-Fungible Tokens (NFT).
There’s a lot of buzz about this technology early this year, most notably the sale of a piece of digital art by digital artist Beeple for the tidy sum of $69 million. Inevitably, the whole world noticed. But despite the seemingly sudden increasing chatter about them, NFT and digital art are not brand new. NFT is a total of decades of research and development for new technology to give artists ownership. Digital art itself is a territory that’s been explored since the invention of the room-size computer itself and will only continue to reach new limits and possibilities as tech and the digital space grow.
This dizzying growth might seem very confusing, especially if you’re only aware of art as a physical medium that can be hung up on a wall or displayed in a room. Why does digital art exist? Is it even worth anything or are those giant numbers just random flukes? In the new exhibition curated by Jérémy Chausse, “IT IS ALL AROUND US”, 11 artists are about to take visitors on a quick tour of just what it is that makes NFT and the realm of digital art so exciting for them.
Some of the artists involved have been doing digital art for many years. Of all the artists being showcased, you’re more than likely to have heard the name Kode A aka BossLogic. He’s known for his highly detailed photoshopped images of pop culture characters like those from Marvel or Star Wars. Other than being a master at Photoshop, he also creates captivating original art. He’s jumped on the NFT bandwagon and has created several NFT artworks, some of which are already sold. He’s been creating more NFT artworks and doesn’t look like he’s slowing down anytime soon.
Others have been slowly chipping away at the digital medium, much like a painter slowly learning all the possibilities oil paint has to offer, that the NFT craze seems like the next natural transition in their career. Andreas Wannerstedt is, among many things, a digital sculptor. He creates surrealistic, looping animation that is hypnotizing and mesmerizing. If it weren’t for the physical impossibilities of some of his animations, it wouldn’t be surprising to see these sculptures in a gallery or museum. Here, minting his digital creations as NFTs is much like a traditional artist getting their work certified on paper as an original creation.
Then there are those who only recently have embraced the endless possibilities of the digital medium. Jan Kaláb has only ever dealt with the physical mediums before he delved into digital art. He started his career as a graffiti artist and transitioned into creating wall pieces and sculptures painted with bright, neon colors. Though his digital adventures are still relatively young, it’s not difficult to see why he chose to explore digital art. His vibrant works, almost always shot against a white background, look like they came straight out of a digital imaging program. Kaláb himself mentioned that he often thought about animating his works and that his NFT artworks were his attempt at realizing his ambitions. Just as he transitioned from doing graffiti work to sculptures, exploring the digital realm is just him exploring another medium to express himself.
These are but three of the 11 artists creating works in the digital space that would otherwise be difficult or outright impossible to achieve in the physical space. The exhibition will morph as time goes by, a feat that is difficult to achieve in the physical space. There are a variety of stories, techniques, and visual language that will give the visitors of “IT IS ALL AROUND US” an understanding of just what NFT and digital art can do.
Here’s a preview of some of the works that will be on display in the “IT IS ALL AROUND US” exhibition.
Andreas Wannerstedt, "The Smooth Saint", 2021. Sound design by Darwood Music
“IT IS ALL AROUND US” is a virtual exhibition of NFT artworks curated by Jérémy Chausse and exhibits works by artists Andreas Wannerstedt, Bosslogic, Fernando Magalhães, Jan Kaláb, Judd Buchanan, Lethabo Huma, Michael Cina, Mustafa Sherpidin, NastPlas, Rolands Zilvinskis, and Vratislav Pecka. The exhibition will run from 17 June - 17 September, 2021. You can visit the exhibition by clicking on the link below: