As a designer typically focused on product visualization and interior architecture, Yemi Davis’ work stands out for its complexity and clean aesthetics. This summer, however, the artist took on a different kind of project: producing a collection of NFTs that’s full of breathtaking activism.
Each piece has a clear message. Depending on the circumstance and collaborator, Davis could be standing up against bullying, decrying sexual violence, or celebrating unity against police brutality. If you ask him, it’s all intertwined into ideas of “hope, love, self-confidence, and empowerment.” Personal experiences inspired the central messages, both on behalf of Davis and each of his collaborators, all fellow Nigerian artists.
One piece follows the theme of rebirth, which references the feeling Davis had in standing up to bullies who called him names because of his albinism. “After speaking out for myself, it felt liberating,” he remembers. “It kind of felt like a massive load had been taken off my shoulders, and I felt like a new person. That is what we’re trying to explore with this piece. It’s almost like you’re being reborn, and you’re kind of morphing into a new person.”
The collection’s theme, Raise Our Voice, is shared amongst all participants in Voice’s NFT Residency, a virtual program connecting established curators with rising creators interested in exploring the digital space. Davis was selected by curator Misan Harriman, who felt a kinship with the artist and his collaborators.
“I am Nigerian, and I know how difficult it is for Nigerian artists or many artists in parts of the developing world to have even half a chance,” Harriman says. “We’re really here to amplify their voices, amplify their art, so the world can recognize and support them as much as I hope to long-term.”
The incredible rise of NFTs has expanded opportunities for all creators, especially for those who now have access to a new global network of collectors and larger audiences.
Davis’ collection begins dropping on October 4, only on Voice. Explore the works and learn more about the creator on the platform’s site.
Do stories and artists like this matter to you? Become a Colossal Member and support independent arts publishing. Join a community of like-minded readers who are passionate about contemporary art, help support our interview series, gain access to partner discounts, and much more. Join now!