Ekow Nimako's Afrofuturistic LEGO® universes

Ekow Nimako is a Toronto-based artist who makes Afrofuturism sculptures from black LEGO.

Ekow Nimako is a Toronto-based, internationally exhibiting LEGO artist who crafts futuristic and whimsical sculptures from the iconic medium. Rooted in his childhood hobby and intrinsic creativity, Nimako’s formal arts education and background as a lifelong multidisciplinary artist inform his process and signature aesthetic. His fluid building style, coupled with the Afrofuturistic themes of his work, beautifully transcend the geometric medium to embody organic and fantastical silhouettes. 

I haven’t played with LEGO in years so I didn’t know there were so many varied pieces to make these majestic sculptures. It’s truly breathtaking to witness.

(via Colossal)

Bubble wrap portraits by Darian Mederos

Darian Mederos is a Cuban-born artist based in Nashville. He’s best known for his photorealist portraits that demonstrate his subjects’ emotions. For his ‘Obscura Series’, he used painted portraits to look like they have bubble wrap over them.

The bubble wrap reflects light and distorts the underlying image, it is only at a distance that the works come into focus. When viewed up close the faces dissolve into bold strokes of flesh tones and painted light. The artist challenges the viewer with the “Obscura Series” in asking us to understand the core of human identity, from a respectful distance.

For more, check out Mederos’ work on Instagram.

Etta Loves's Keith Haring collection

radiant baby

I came across this via Feedly as I have a Keith Haring Google Alert set up.

Etta Loves is an e-commerce site that makes baby sensory products such as muslins and playmats. They’ve recently collaborated with Keith Haring to create a line of products that bear Haring’s iconic prints. I love his work because it stimulates my mind so I can’t imagine how cool it’d be for a baby. All those colours and shapes!

The stunning patterns ensure that babies are stimulated and mesmerised, giving parents a precious moment of calm and, with Keith Haring, their first art gallery experience.

Check out the collection on the Etta Loves website.

What do you actually get when you buy an NFT token?

bitcoin

I’m a vocal critic of NFTs (non-fungible tokens). I think they stink and they’re a serious moral and environmental hazard. Earlier today, I saw a Twitter thread about what you get from an NFT token and, well, it caused the tweeter’s eyebrows to break the laws of physics and biology:

@jonty tweeted: Out of curiosity I dug into how NFT's actually reference the media you're "buying" and my eyebrows are now orbiting the moon

I recommend you read through the thread but the key part is: whoever sells you the NFT keeps all aspects of the NFT and you get a file that references the digital file you pay for that can be lost if the server hosting it disappears. In essence, they’re worthless.

Short version: The NFT token you bought either points to a URL on the internet, or an IPFS hash. In most circumstances it references an IPFS gateway on the internet run by the startup you bought the NFT from. Oh, and that URL is not the media. That URL is a JSON metadata file

Second tweet from the thread

I’ve seen a suggestion that NFTs can help marginalised artists make money from their art in an easier way. But how many marginalised artists are making $70m from a JPG like this monstrosity?

25 Black art documentaries you need to watch

Last February, Lachelle Chyrsanne compiled a list of 25 must watch Black art documentaries.

From the list, I’ve only seen 5:

  1. Beats, Rhymes, and Life: The Travels of a Tribe Called Quest (2011)
  2. Black Is the Color: A History of African American Art (2017)
  3. I Am Not Your Negro (2016)
  4. Jean-Michel Basquiat: The Radiant Child (2010)
  5. Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am (2019)

There’s no time limit on watching these so I’ll add them to my ever-growing Letterboxd watchlist. The documentaries I have watched were very powerful and worth your time and investment.

See also: James Baldwin on the meaning of liberty, Toni Morrison on Jazz, and Jean-Michel Basquiat on how to be an artist.

Helena Hauss's Hell Hath no Fury ceramic sculpture set

A picture of a blue ceramic grenade, Morning star, spiked baseball bat, and battle axe

Dangerously beautiful from artist and sculptor Helena Hauss.

A set of custom made sculptures hand painted in the delft blue style of ceramics. It’s an approach to represent the inner strength and fury that comes with being a woman, in contrast to an appearance of delicacy we’re too often branded with. 

I love the visually dissonant nature of Hell Hath no Fury. Just keep the baseball bat away from me.

Blue and feminist related: Seitō – a 1911 Japanese magazine exclusively for women

The internet art of Mazaccio & Drowilal

Skɪz(ə)m exhibition view (copyright Martin Polak, 2020)

Mazaccio & Drowilal are a French art duo that make artworks from found internet images.

Whether it’s IRL still lifes of desktop icons, dogs staring wistfully into sunsets, or celebrity snapshots defaced with paint and tape, the duo’s subject matter is universally familiar to anyone who’s found themselves in a thumb scroll wormhole, and that’s exactly the point.

Quote from It’s Nice That

It’s all trés cool, trés French, and trés internet. That sentence didn’t make any sense. But the art does to me and that’s all that matters.

Internet-related: Internet Archaeology: a gallery of early internet images

The cool doodles of Lei Melendres

Lei Melendres is a freelance illustrator and professional doodle artist from Manila, Philippines. I’ve been a huge fan of his work for a while and I own a silicon ring with one of his designs on it.

I love doodles and Melendres’ work is so imaginative and expansive, with or without colour. He gets a lot of out the space he’s given on his canvasses and I love that too.

Follow him on Instagram and grab one of his colouring books on Amazon.

Related: The Posca pen wizardry of Oskunk, the wonderful art of Upendo, and the plantlife illustrations of Jim Spendlove.

A samurai made out of a single piece of paper

A samurai made out of a single piece of paper

A Finnish origami artist named Juho Könkkölä made an incredible samurai in plated armour with nothing but a single sheet of 95x95cm paper:

Juho Könkkölä spent upwards of 50 hours scoring and folding just one sheet of Wenzhou rice paper to create this painstakingly detailed samurai complete with plated armor, traditional helmet, and sword. Beginning with a 95 x 95-centimeter page, the 23-year-old Finnish artist used a combination of wet and dry origami techniques to shape the 28-centimeter-tall warrior of his own design.

Juho has over 15 years of experience in origami modelling and takes inspiration from “history, folk tales, mythologies, books, movies, video games, and real-life observations”.

  • Tired: trying to fold a piece of paper more than 8 times
  • Wired: trying to fold a piece of paper into a crane
  • Inspired: trying to fold a piece of paper into a samurai

Related: Indo apples, samurai, and Japanese farmers and Yasuke, an African samurai in Japan

The folding process of origami Samurai Warrior

(via Twister Sifter)

Jean-Michel Basquiat – "Milk and Asbestos"

Jean-Michel Basquiat – "Milk and Asbestos"

While on my internet travels, I stumbled upon a Basquiat artwork I’d never seen before.

Milk and Asbestos was painted between 1980-1984 in acrylic and gouache on a smaller surface than usual for Basquiat; a board at 16x12x2 inches. The piece depicts a skull as the focal point with words such as “JAIL JAIL”, “SOAP SOAP”, and the title “MILK + ASBESTOS” painted in the space.

It’s currently held by Mandarin Fine Art Gallery, having been in various private collections since its completion. And it’s for sale (you’ll have to contact the gallery for a price if you’re interested).

For more on Jean-Michel Basquiat, check out Sammy Willbourne’s top 5 Basquiat paintings.

A Venom/Eddie Brock sculpture timelapse video

A Venom/Eddie Brock sculpture timelapse video

We’ve featured Steven Richter in an article about his custom Jumanji board and here he is making a Venom/Eddie Brock sculpture.

Richter opted for the live-action Eddie Brock from 2018’s Venom rather than the Topher Grace rendition from Spider-Man 3 (and probably for the best). I particularly like this comment from the video:

Every sculpture starts off as a very rough Easter Island head.

But it doesn’t take long before Richter gets the face looking more realistic before he starts on the Venom half of his face. The symbiotic detailing is the real highlight of the sculpture. In fact, it was so good, he put it on his Etsy shop and it sold but you can request a custom sculpture if you want a Venom of your own.

For Venom-related objects that are in stock, check out these Venom socks.

Venom Sculpture Timelapse - Venom