NTFism: No Fear in Trying (NFTism) brings together around 100 digital artists from different backgrounds. The show taps into the diverse talent pool of male and female artists from around the world as it showcases their artwork on a level playing field regardless of country of origin, education, race, gender, experience or reputation.

Francesca Miller  |  Ed. Peter Traynor | 12 September 2021
Olive Allen, Trust No Hype (2021) @Courtesy of the artist

The physical exhibition showcases digital artworks mainly on screens at Unit London’s Covent Garden art space. For those who cannot attend in person, they can experience it and view the artworks online, from anywhere in the world, in the Arium Metaverse. This is an immersive space and viewers can navigate around the different galleries that showcase the artworks by the digital artists.

This show is also the launch of a new NFT art auction platform, where collectors can view the artwork displayed at the show, but also purchase these pieces. Among the dozens of womxn artists exhibiting and selling their artworks, the show features works by the Rewind Collective, Krista Kim, Olive Allen, Auriea Harvey, Marjan Moghaddan and Lethabo Huma, to name a few.

IX Shells, Remote Shell (2021) @Courtesy of the artist

Available artworks include pieces by some of the biggest names in NFT art, like IX Shells, who, earlier this year became the highest selling NFT female artist. Other seasoned artists who are creating and selling NFTs on the blockchain, like Krista Kim or Olive Allen, are also selling works, alongside newer digital artists and some who are dropping their very first NFT piece. All the works are presented in the same place, physical or virtual. 

Krista Kim, 8×8 XR, Music by Tenille Bentley, 1h 20min video installation created in 2017 and Metaverse installation created in 2021© Courtesy of the artist.

Diversity is at the heart of NFTism, in terms of the mix of artists included in the show, but also the digital artworks on display and on sale. The show steps away from the traditional art world culture, where group exhibitions tend to bring together works, as well as themes explored, from a homogenous group of artists. Indeed, the lack of diversity in the art world is one of the themes explored in the show.

An extract of the Rewind Collective’s Something Missing? XXIII, is showcased on sale at the show. It is a combination of reimagined images of some of the most expensive paintings sold in history, mostly, if not solely, by men. Neither the talent that created these works nor their importance is contested. The show nonetheless interrogates the art market’s habit of continuously championing art created by men from the same part of the world rather than work created by womxn across the globe.

Rewind Collective, Something Missing? XX III (2021). An extract of this work is displayed at the exhibition. © Courtesy of the artist

The show strips down the art exhibition and auction sale experience, by including artists of all backgrounds regardless of their reputation, education, race, gender, or even the hype that is often built around the artists by more conservative, and often more influential, stakeholders in the traditional art world. The latter tends to promote the same types of artists to drum up interest and ultimately sales around their artworks. 

At this show, who the artist is, was or where they come from matters less than in the more traditional art world. The main focus here is on the digital artwork itself and the connection the art lover, viewer or collector develops with it. Well, that is the aim and aspiration. Whether the audiences and viewers pick up on it is a question of personal perception. I did and many visitors and commentators did.

NFTism makes the statement that the NFT and Crypto art worlds are meant to be accessible spaces, where art lovers and digital artists from any background, gender or race, and with their different artworks, styles and themes, deserve to be given equal representation. Curator Kenny Schachter stated that he wanted collectors and art lovers to “FOCUS ON THE ART, art from a wide, diverse universe of talent from all walks of life”.

Megan Ellen MacDonald, Little Death (2021) © Courtesy of the artist

The diverse group of digital artists exhibiting and selling at NFTism are united in their belonging to the global NFT and Crypto art communities. The digital art world is definitely on the way to positively influence and push for diversity and inclusion. This show just might offer viewers and artists alike a glimpse of what the future contemporary art world may look like.

NFTism: No Fear in Trying is on till the 25th September on-line at the  Arium Metaverse or in London at The Stables in Covent Garden. 

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