Acknowledge and spotlight NFT artists who are changing the world today.
Black History Month is a time to reflect and acknowledge Black leaders who have significantly shifted and influenced the world’s history. While it’s essential to honor figures who came before us, it’s also just as important to acknowledge and spotlight artists who are changing the world today. Explore this blog written by Dev Moore of FeltZine to find new NFT artists across the African Diaspora to add to your collection. You can read more about non-fungible tokens (NFTs) here.
What does Black crypto art feel like when the subject of the work is no longer forced to be racialized by its audience? What does it look like to create freely and still receive proper equity for a work? As the rise of NFTs continue, how can NFT art (more specifically Black NFT art) support Black artists and African Diaspora-based communities in taking a full grasp on the work that they produce?
While it’s immensely important to illuminate and tackle issues of police brutality, social injustice, and racial inequity that have historically swamped numerous Black communities around the world, it’s also essential to ensure that all Black creators, entrepreneurs, and visionaries are receiving long-lasting equity in return for their brilliant work. Cuy Sheffield, Head of Crypto at Visa, points out that NFT art has the power to both create accessibility to a global platform while also granting Black creators the opportunity to own a new appreciating asset. As of 2019, the total combined auction value of work by other African-American artists is only 0.26 percent of the global auction market. In the crypto art sales world, this has sharply improved with the average sale price of Black crypto artwork increasing 543% from $144 to $927 (Jan 2020 — Nov 2020).
With crypto art, users now have an opportunity to enact care and advocacy that strengthens Black communities and empowers overlooked artists that often cannot access white-dominated gallery spaces. With the power of NFTs, a purchase of Black-owned art is now a truly efficient way to preserve and invest in Black empowerment.
Take action today by learning, buying, and investing in work from emerging Black artists in the crypto art space that are breaking ground as both creators and pioneers in the expansive & diverse range of the African Diaspora.
Blacksneakers is a 20 year old illustrator and painter based in North Carolina, USA. Her primary focus revolves around depictions of the human body. She’s able to express concepts of emotion, mentality, and physicality while combining it with vibrant color schemes to create complex, black narratives. As a young, black woman, she feels it’s best to contribute her voice to a community already unique and beautiful.
Mark Sabb, aka Mark Digital HD, is a net artist, curator, and founder of the FELTZine collective. Mark’s work focuses on themes related to gangsta rap, black history and culture, and the youth-oriented energy of hip hop. From the initial founding of FELT, Mark has infused politics and protest into his brand of internet art. Explore his current collection and the Felt Zine collective online now.
Ameer “Sirsu” Suhayb Carter is a mixed media artist who works with portraits, physical objects and digital works in abstract. Inspired by the works of Jason Thielke and Ashley Wood, they look to evoke emotion through precise line work, color, texture and contrast with compositions that feel ethereal and otherworldly.
Serwah Attafuah is an Australian-based painter, 3D artist, and punk music artist. Attafuah explores a range of post-modern explorations alongside self-reflections that derive from strong ancestral themes. Explore their work online here.
Lethabo Huma is a digital artist from Pretoria, South Africa. She uses her work as a mirror to her emotional responses to life experiences. Her drawing style has evolved from soft textures to more expressive brushwork. She draws inspiration from images that trigger emotions from life stories worth telling. Bid on their latest work today.
Sean Williams is a 25-year old animator, illustrator and creative director from Evanston, IL that previously worked as an illustrator at Cartoon Network. They are a leading voice in the fight for equity for all underrepresented groups within the crypto space. Find more of their work here.
Micah is a self-taught figurative artist who uses strong gestural lines alongside loose brush strokes to create powerful portraits primarily featuring the African-American and Black experience. Learn how to collect their latest Aku: The Moon God project here.
Craig BlackMoore is a digital artist, blockchain enthusiast, musician, gemologist, and metaverse explorer with a passion for creating new multi-sensory experiences that can enhance our collective reality. They also enjoy creating and experimenting with different methods of creating experiential art.
Ix Shells (Itzel Yard) is a generative digital artist visualizing the theory of computation and experimental music based in Panama. Their work involves the visualization of algorithms + experimental music, often in verse. While a sense of rhythm fuels her research, real time visions become quests for parallels. Bid on their latest work on Foundation.
Robert Gallardo is a multimedia digital artist that explores the intersections of art and societal commerce. His work involves experimentations with popular culture, modern-day mantras, technology criticism, and more.
Movers & Shakers (Change Makers in the Crypto Art World)
Kai Turner, Experience Designer at Netflix, has also built a list of artists on the lookout for emerging Black women and Black LGBTQ+ representation. Add your recommendations to their ongoing list here.
Yesladypheonix is a leading voice for contemporary digital art + culture with an essential platform for the art + artists of our time. They are highly recognized for their work in being a leading voice in contemporary digital art and culture and providing an essential platform for the art and artists of our time.
Jose Andres (Never_render) is a digital artist exploring virtual worlds, extended reality, and crypto art. They’re also the Founder of XRArtistToolKit, a toolkit to help cut down time when developing XR production pipelines and workflows. Their work also surrounds the intersection of art, technology, and blockchain technology.
Erikan Obotetukudo is a co-leader of Black Economic Empowerment, an organization dedicated to mobilizing Black entrepreneurs who are creating new financial futures worldwide. Explore their library of resources to learn about crypto, blockchain, NFTs, decentralized finance, daos, and more.
Lisa Francoeur is the Founder of Fancified and CryptoTutors, an e-learning and 1:1 tutoring organization devoted to empowering minorities and diverse communities to transform knowledge into wealth.
Outside of the crypto realm, explore AFROTECTOPIA, a social institution founded by Ari Melenciano that fosters interdisciplinary innovation at the intersections of art, design, tech, Black culture & activism. Neta Bomani is also a prominent worker who “engages in oral history, direct action and social practices.” Neta’s work has materialized as do-it-yourself computational objects, hand-coded programs and abolitionist gestures like organizing and making archives, writings, prints, zines, networks, and workshops.
Looking for more ways to support underrepresented communities in their minting costs for NFTs? Explore The Mint Fund, a community-owned initiative helping crypto creators mint their first NFTs. Created by SIRSU @ The Well, Carlos @ Forefront, Jess @ SeedClub, and the Zora Team.
In the words of author Isaiah Jackson, “Early knowledge is power. The lack of knowledge or its absence thereof is power over you.”
Written by Dev Moore of Felt Zine
Disclaimer: Views of guest bloggers are their own and may differ from the views of MetaMask or ConsenSys.
Celebrating Black Crypto Art Beyond February 28th was originally published in ConsenSys Media on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.