From February 7-11, Portion will be featuring an exclusive collection, curated by DarkMythst, highlighting a range of artists exploring Afrofuturism and alternate realities through a Black cultural lens.
What is Afrofuturism?
Afrofuturism is a creative way of articulating the future through the lens of the African diaspora. It is a cultural movement that reimagines the history of the African diaspora through science fiction and technology with a hopeful future in which the community thrives as technically advanced. It is expressed via a wide range of practices, such as art, cinema, literature, music, fashion, etc.
Ytasha Womack, Afrofuturist author best said:
Imagine an alien race coming to earth, and telling the afropopulation that they felt empathy to the treatment they have faced for centuries, and decided to take them all out of Earth and to another world where everybody was treated equally, where racism and discrimination never existed.
What might that world look like?
Many couldn't tell you, because both history and current times have only shown hardship. The imagination of the futurist is an amazing blueprint of a wish to finally depart from the history and memories that have been experienced and inherited, and to finally be a part of an equally inclusive world.
Afrofuturism encapsulates stories of mysticism, cosmology, technology, and fantasy. It can be represented by any form of creativity. Afrofuturists are a community of artists that plant the seed of hope, and seek to inspire others to use positive alternatives to creating a more meaningful and inclusive future.
It's a way of thinking and drawing up an illusion that has not been a reality for the African and diaspora, and the goal is to break the stereotype and build on the cinematic vision of a promising future of inclusiveness and diversity.
How does it play into NFTs?
...By creating a record in time in which Afrofuturists became part of the arts, science, technology, and modern day CryptoArt and blockchain technology.
Being a part of the NFT space already means that creators are far ahead. By being here early, Afrofuturists bring something valuable to the space - Creativity, culture, science fiction, and imagination from their perspective.
Meet the Curator: DarkMythst
DarkMythst is an Afrocosmic/Afrofuturist artist from Ghana, residing in California. He has been an artist his whole life, starting from traditional painting and sculpting, to currently digital painting and 3D modeling. Some highlights of his career include working on Hollywood Blockbusters consisting of several Marvel films, GI Joe, SpongeBob and more as a visual effects artist and team lead. Creating worlds, characters and stories through form has always been a leading inspiration for DarkMythst, with NFTs giving him the opportunity to explore this further.
DarkMythst’s art is a fusion of mythology, fantasy, cosmology, and science fiction, inspired by his Ghanaian roots and other regions of inspiration. He considers himself a generalist - exploring digital sculptor, environment and visual effects arts. DarkMythst’s goal is to inspire and leave a legacy as a representation for the future.
Meet the Artists in the Collection
YahZarah: District of Columbia born Ghanian singer and songwriter hero is perfect for the times. Known to most as YahZarah, she possesses the ability to move mountains with her music. Her voice has been recognized in groundbreaking musical compositions with Erykah Badu. She performed her music live on stage with “The Roots” and traveled the world as a member of rock icon Lenny Kravitz’s band and was a featured vocalist in his documentary “Just Let Go”(2015). Most recently, YahZarah has released four fulfilling solo album projects including "Hear Me,” “Black Star,” “The Prelude,” and “The Ballad of Purple St. James” which was considered for a Grammy in 6 categories. Her single “Running” was also featured in episode 8 of Spike Lee’s “She’s Gotta Have It.
Shay the Surrealist
Shaylin Wallace aka "Shay The Surrealist" is a 23-year old digital artist from Wilmington, Delaware. She specializes in creating surrealistic compositions by manipulating stock photos using Adobe Photoshop. As an artist, she strives to turn the ordinary into the extraordinary, catching her audience’s attention with her surreal, yet so real masterpieces. Many of her works combine human figures or animals with nature. She loves to use objects such as trees, clouds, birds and smoke to symbolize growth, freedom, and different emotions in her pieces.
Vee is a 3D/Vfx artist and designer based in Nigeria. His works explore different methods of using abstract Fx for solving design problems and making unique art.
Maxwell Dewunmi is a self taught 3D artist from Lagos, Nigeria. He is a lover of beauty, abstraction and striking simplicity. He explores themes of spirituality and futurism in his work and is heavily inspired by portrait photography, surrealism and the female anatomy.
BashBash is a creator. Sun God & Afrofuturist. He paints and invokes afro futures with his art and creations.
Katia Herrera (@creativepowerr) is an artist from the Dominican Republic. She creates digital photo manipulations and illustrations. As an Afro-Latina, Herrera's works celebrate her African roots with a touch of surrealism and Afrofuturism. Herrera’s artwork is remarkably loud in a world trying to quiet black voices. With titles like Black Woman, You Own the Moon and Earth Goddess Herrera’s legacy will be marked by her passion for highlighting the endurance and perseverance of black folks of old and present to contrast the historical narrative that black skin should only be associated with slavery.
Jessica James is a Nigerian-born multi-disciplinary artist working predominantly in fashion and product design with an artistic style centered around photorealism, futuristic and Afrocentrism.
Mikael Owunna is a queer Nigerian American multi-media artist, filmmaker, and engineer. Exploring the intersections of visual media with engineering, optics, Blackness, and African cosmologies, his work seeks to elucidate an emancipatory vision of possibility that pushes people beyond all boundaries, restrictions, and frontiers.
Isaac Udogwu is a Nigerian-American digital artist & martial artist that creates worlds allowing people of the African Diaspora to fully liberate and just simply exist as humans. He uses afro-futurism as a means to create these worlds because, as a friend once told to him “afrofuturism is simply black people existing in the future.”
Pacino aka Jennifer Christian is a Nigerian based illustrator and fashion designer with a love for couture and women’s fashion.
Nana Opoku aka Afroscope is a creative entrepreneur from Tema, Ghana. He co-founded and leads various art, design and artisanal culture organizations that aim to foster both local and worldwide collaboration, while making the world a cooler place to be.
The pictorial and surreal universe of Vintagemozart, a Zimbabwean afro- surrealist and afrofuturist artist, investigates the themes of African and Greek mythology, enabling viewers to envision new realities and conceptualize a transcendent future. Best known for producing surrealist digital collages with music and animation, intertwining mythological tales and historical references to render mystical dreamscapes, Vintagemozart reifies an immersive experience and the evocative power of digital art.
GlitchOfMind is a Photographer and 3D Afro-surrealist artist from the Dominican Republic based in the Netherlands. Glitch creates artworks that focus on themes of self-exploration using his queer afro-identity experiences as a catalyst for his imaginary worlds. His work is created by compositing his photographs, 3D, and animation. His work has been exhibited in Amsterdam, STRATOSPHERE Beijing 2021, Bringing Worlds in LA, USA 2021, Sonsbeek x The BlackArchives 2021, OBA Amsterdam Zwarte Beweging and others.
Nygilia, aka fantasyfuturegyal, is a mixed media artist that specializes in blending 2D & 3D styles, inspired by Afro and Asian Culture. She uses Virtual reality painting blended with surreal abstraction to create immersive worlds in her art.
Dada (aka HVR Memoirs) is a multi-disciplinary artist focused on creative direction, photography and film. Prior to NFTs, she was practicing fashion design and traditional fine art. She is currently immersed in Web 3.0 development through affiliation with a couple of DAOs and her work features themes of Afro spirituality, identity and self exploration.
Hadeeart is an emerging 3D virtual fashion designer who is passionate about art and technology within the fashion and game industry. She's an Afrofuturistic designer who blends unique sources of inspiration that naturally evolve into more refined and distinctive concepts. She enjoys transforming, translating, and transferring talents in various digital applications to broaden her artistic horizons. Hadeeart draws on her African culture and heritage which is infused into pieces informed by the storytelling of the African in the future. Welcome to her world, which exists at the crossroads of Art, Technology, Fashion, and Games.
We'll be hosting the following events with leading Afrofuturistic artists, illustrators and designers in Decentraland and on Twitter Spaces: