Black Art. Black Stories. Black Voices crypto art auction launches

David Murphy

Yahoo, Black arts agency Disrupt Space, immersive production studio Kaleidoscope, and the marketplace for curated NFT artworks, SuperRare, have launched Black Art. Black Stories. Black Voices, which will see eight leading UK black artists transform their physical artwork into crypto art, with the collection available to purchase in an exclusive auction which opened yesterday.

The auction sees each of the eight artists sell a 2D digital version of their original piece through SuperRare, a digital art market on Ethereum. The artists minted their work on 27 November, allowing collectors to view and learn about the piece in advance of the auction. All proceeds from the auction will go directly to the artists. 

The eight Disrupt Space artists, and their work being spotlighted as part of Black Art. Black Stories. Black Voices are: Pauline Boyenga (aka Browncoffeemoka) – ORA; Sharon Adebisi –  The Brixton Bustle; Lola Betiku – (aka Labet) – Kobo for your thoughts; Damel Carayol –  Pandora's Box (As it was in the beginning); Sekai Machache – The High Priestess; Isis Raheem –Deer Stalker #76: Gus Brooks-Simpson – Ode to the old world; and Elicia McKenzie – Show me the challenge and I will show you my power.

Black Art. Black Stories. Black Voices. is a celebration of art, culture and technology, with Yahoo guiding these artists, each represented by Disrupt Space, through a cutting edge, digital transformation in the crypto art world alongside its project partners. The campaign is a continuation of Yahoo’s commitment to amplifying diverse voices and perspectives for its global audience through the digital space.

The Black Art. Black Stories. Black Voices. initiative was twofold. Its origins began with discussions with Disrupt Space to support emerging Black contemporary visual artists in the NFT world to address concerns for the continued under-representation of Black artists. The goal of this project, based on this shared understanding, is to go some way towards addressing this inequality and imbalance and assist Black artists to take part in this rapidly growing industry.

Part one saw the artists paired with Kaleidoscope, who led the mentorship and education into NFT marketplace, by providing access to some of the most impactful and future-oriented professionals from the spatial art community. Part two, saw the artists’ original physical artwork transformed into crypto art with Yahoo Creative Studios, making it viewable in a 3D AR environment.

Black Art. Black Stories. Black Voices. has been a hugely exciting, yet important, project for us at Yahoo as part of our mission to elevate voices from all backgrounds and cultures,” said Josh Partridge, Head of EMEA at Yahoo. “The project is a great representation of how we can turn the unique and inspiring work of these eight talented artists and transform it into the Crypto Art World, allowing them to reach new audiences. I’m excited to see this all come to life at the auction – it’s a fantastic moment for the artists involved to see their work in this type of format for the first time.”

Isis Raheem, one of the eight artists that will feature within the NFT auction, said: “It has been a fantastic journey: great people, great art, great tech and the space to create meaningful work. The workshops were a fantastic entry point into the world of XR and NFT's. I came to the project knowing very little about NFT's and have since minted my first piece and been introduced to some of the most exciting minds in the space.”