New + Noteworthy NFTs – Feb 22

Written by Harriet Maher

March 3, 2022

I keep my finger on the pulse of the worldwide web for new and tasty material every month. The results of my endless scrolling are the following: my top picks of recent projects to excite and entice, and maybe have you reaching for your cryptowallet.

‘Support Ukraine, Stop the War’ by Lorenzo Quinn

Edition of 100 available on SuperRare

This collection, by sculptor Lorenzo Quinn, has been created to raise funds for those suffering from the war in Ukraine. Known for his work raising awareness about global issues such as climate change and humanitarian crises, Quinn incorporates his well-known rendition of human hands in this work, as well as the colours of the Ukrainian flag, now a global symbol of freedom and democracy. More significantly, the artist has pledged to donate 100% of profits from the sale of this collection to the Ukrainian Red Cross Society, Nova Ukraine, and Sunflower for Peace.

‘BCI Abstract – 001’ by Nathan Copeland

Edition of 1 available on SuperRare

Nathan Copeland is a quadriplegic artist who, in 2015, became a participant in a brain-computer interface (BCI) study at the University of Pittsburgh. Copeland had four micro-electro arrays implanted in his motor and sensory cortexes, which translated his brain signals into commands. These commands were then relayed to a robotic arm, which he could subsequently control with the power of his thoughts. Drawing was an obvious exercise for Copeland to test his skills and enhance his dexterity, so he began to do so in earnest using a basic computer software program. His works are nostalgic, vivid scenes reminiscent of early animation and video games. This particular example not only speaks to technological history, but for me it recalls elements of Mondrian in its primary colours and geometric composition.

‘You Are Intriguing’ by Tishk Barzanji

Edition of 1 Available on SuperRare

The opulent, mysterious and enticing scenes that Tishk Barzanji creates make you want to walk through the door and into his jewel-toned world, but there is something that keeps you at bay. Although stunning and visually rich, there is a feeling of sombreness and gravity alive in the works as well, an inner conflict that seems irresolvable. Barzanji’s accompanying text to this work touches on the pervasive sense of tension in the piece:

When I

look in the mirror I always see your

shadow pass by. When the high is high

it feels like the lowest of lows.

This is the interrelationship of poetry, art and technology at its finest.

‘Secret Worlds: Keeping’ by Mr Seaks

Edition of 1 available on Culture Vault

Another invitation to a secret world that holds us at the boundary – this aesthetic feast by Sydney-based illustration artist James Vallance, aka Mr Seaks, is a whimsical and irreverent escape from the bleak, grey and frankly desperate world we inhabit. The hand in the foreground could be our own, as we glimpse into a magical world of (literally) sunshine and rainbows, offering a welcome reprieve from our daily grinds.

The piece is part of a series curated by Bianca Beer for Culture Vault, called Secret Worlds. It invites us to peer inside the inner minds of the artists included in the collection, and to get a sense of what they’re feeling, thinking, and experiencing. Beer prefaces the collection by saying, “I hope this exhibit brings some of those different perspectives to light, aiding our journey to greater community, compassion, and understanding.” This, after all, is what the world needs right now.

‘Landscape Transitions – Growth’ by Mankind

Edition of 12 available on Nifty Gateway

Another dreamy, imagined virtual world rounds out this month’s top picks. This piece is part of a collection of ‘transitions’ which ruminate on the shift from physical to virtual, and the considerations this holds for how we value objects and physical things. For me, the work creates a dialogue about the state of the natural world, which most of us (myself included) feel responsible and simultaneously powerless to protect and defend. Mankind, aka Rhett Dashwood, invites us to experience the alternative – a gateway to the metaverse, perhaps, where we will all connect with each other, with consumables, and with our environment online. While this presents an alluring option as we witness the decimation of the planet, it also prompts me to wonder whether we are running away from our problems rather than facing them; retreating to an online fantasy world instead of critically engaging with the issues outside our front door. ‘Transitions’ cleverly plants these seeds of doubt in the viewer, and questions whether we would rather hold the world in our hands, or simply see it through a screen.

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!

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