No One’s Making Work Like Serwah Attafuah

No One’s Making Work Like Serwah Attafuah

A female sits on the ground, thighs fifty percent-tucked underneath her, feet flayed forwards, her Hyper Orange Nike Tns filling the lessen 50 percent of the body. Her gaze is vacant, harmless, but and vaguely demanding. Possibly some thing to do with the reality that she seems to be 50 %-tiger. Orange and black stripes extend across her system, up from her hips, throughout her chest, down her arm: a leotard that melds with her pores and skin, which shimmers and glitters. Her nails, extending from a hand perched on her knee, are chrome, viciously sharp, and extensive. She understands she’s very hot.

It’s an image I’ve seemed at for decades: a framed electronic print, displayed on my sister’s mantle.

And I’ve wanted to profile its creator, Serwah Attafuah, considering the fact that I first noticed it.

Serwah, also recognized as @wrath_____ on Instagram, is a 24-year-outdated electronic artist and musician from Western Sydney. Her perform fuses surreal with the hyper-genuine, developing landscapes that are each futuristic and common. Quite a few of her operates aspect ethereal, digitised girls, harmless but commanding in stature, illuminated by golden gentle, draped in armour – they are the techno-futuristic goddesses of resplendent desires.

The digital artwork planet has been booming in recent years, fuelled by the immediate enhancements in technology of our periods, from AI to NFTs to the burgeoning design of the metaverse and the unrelenting commotion all-around World wide web3. In artwork, from commercial to large, 3D rendering is ubiquitous. 

It is positioned self-taught Serwah at the forefront of the new arena in Australia. She lately presented a Ted Speak, My Metaverse, at TEDx in Sydney, in which she talked about her eyesight for the metaverse, and how, considering the fact that the time of avatar web sites, digital worlds served her to shape her individual universes wherever she could categorical herself. As nicely as a string of commercial get the job done for legacy manufacturers which include Nike and Maison Valentino, her NFTs have showcased in galleries throughout Australia and abroad.

Her NFT physique of perform incorporates a collaboration with Bhad Babie, Yard of Bhabie, encouraged by the Birth of Venus. One more NFT, AETHER: Galaxy Goddess, was selected for inclusion in a Natively Digital show curated by Paris Hilton. Speaking of the operate, Hilton explained, “femininity, womanhood, and feminine empowerment are her key focuses and it is stunning”.

In the weirdly male-centric, once in a while cringe, and inaccessible arena of NFTs and Internet3, there is not any person doing what Serwah is performing. Apart from her unique design and style, her function is dazzling in its eyesight, a celebration of femininity, filled with very hot, cool ladies. VICE sat down with her to discuss about it.

Hello Serwah. How would you describe your art to someone who has never ever observed it?

Like an Afro-futuristic, Renaissance crossover. It is Afro-futuristic dreamscapes, surreal, heavenly wastelands, populated by abstractions of self.


I wrote my artist bio, and I was so stoked when I wrote that. I was like, yes… of course. No one’s gonna know I did not end Year 10.

Holy shit. It’s so excellent. How does your history impact the do the job that you develop?

My father’s Ghanaian, and my mum is Italian and Dutch. I grew up and nevertheless stay in Western Sydney. I experienced a pretty abstract, or ridiculous, childhood. Both of those my mothers and fathers are artists. My dad’s a sculptor, but he does welding as a working day occupation. My mum does material printing and graphic style, and all forms of stuff. So I was undoubtedly extremely motivated by their art, or their apply. 

We utilized to journey heaps when we have been younger. Like heading up and down the coastline of Australia, doing WWHOOFing and permaculture things, likely all in excess of the planet. So I’ve been to Ghana, to all the museums there, and I guess becoming a component of this family has genuinely motivated me in making an attempt to merge all of people cultures into one particular sort of follow.

So great. And you started off out oil painting, is that ideal?

Really, prior to that, I was a dancer. I was truly dead established on dancing, but I just didn’t like the nepotism, it absolutely threw me off. So I just retreated and attempted to do some thing different, and observed a bunch of oil paints in a bag in my moms and dads studio-garage, and I was like, I am gonna do this. And so 4 out of the five times of college I’d just paint in the garage, or in my home, and it was so satisfying. I type of skip becoming younger and just portray and hoping to get improved.

I truly wished to chat to you mainly because I really feel like no one’s genuinely accomplishing the operate that you might be performing in Australia. What have been some of the greatest hurdles to achievement in this electronic art area that’s still establishing in Australia?

Access was a single of the significant items. I do not definitely come from a family with a great deal cash at all. There was a time when we were being homeless, and that was when I was taking part in a good deal of audio. And it form of arrived into my mind at that point, like, I are unable to really generate art when I do not have a reliable position to stay. So digital artwork was in my thoughts, and I was dabbling with it at that place. Just accomplishing stupid Photoshop shit. You recall the transparent weblogs on Tumblr? I ran a person of all those, I believe it is really still up somewhere, I was just making dumb Photoshop points and putting it out there. 

Accessibility to resources and computer software and stuff like that was a huge obstacle. And being taken severely was a massive challenge for a extremely extended time. When COVID strike, that was in all probability when I was taken seriously by the sector, and even my friends. People didn’t truly see electronic art as an artform, just as, like, stupid net shit.

You are concerned with this complete new electronic arena, the metaverse, Internet3, NFTs, crypto – it all feels rather male-centric, would you agree with that?

Absolutely. I indicate, the highest selling pieces, or projects in the market, are all run by males. And I really don’t consider that’s to do with the high quality of get the job done or the high quality of the parts that they are placing out. I believe it is to do with misogyny, or people today are not ready to appear round to it yet. Which is definitely unfortunate.

What is it like functioning in that place as a youthful girl?

It’s great. I really feel it is really certainly much more liberating than the standard art place. I didn’t have a total great deal of practical experience, before NFTs, in the conventional art house, heading back to the point that individuals failed to acquire electronic artwork significantly. But it can be very good. 

I have the liberty to put out parts whenever I want and market them on my very own terms, without having some guy telling me that I can, or some establishment telling me that I can, or what the benefit is. I can just do what I want, which is awesome. But you can find even now definitely a very long way to go. I assume it truly is not even just a metaverse thing or a Net3 detail. I imagine it is a worldwide cultural and societal situation that we will need to get earlier in each and every sector.

Speaking of worldwide concerns, I guess the most basic, typical criticism of the metaverse is that it is this hi-tech, naive escapism from the extremely actual challenges in our actual earth. How do you wrangle that?

I do not completely disagree, but I certainly really don’t entirely concur that it truly is just like a naive remedy to around the world challenges. 

I feel it can be a thing to help the globe that we reside in. I normally say to my buddies, you do not recognize the metaverse, but you guys shell out, like, five to six several hours on Instagram every single working day. Is that not a metaverse? It truly is just a unique way of experiencing issues digitally, you know? Primarily with the pandemic, I feel we realised how crucial our electronic lives are, and electronic connections, safety, all of that. And I believe that there’s no damage in attempting to make a much better electronic globe that can consist of folks and consist of entertaining or function or what have you.

I never declare to realize it. But I’m reading… I’ll get there. What are your key inspirations?

I really feel like there are so a lot of, but so distribute out in random spots. I nevertheless do and applied to participate in death steel guitars and nuts punk vocals, so, people today really do not actually see it in my work but black metal album covers and loss of life metal album addresses – the visuals of all that absolutely evokes me. It’s really fantasy, really surreal, darkish. I like that kind of stuff. Renaissance and Rococo paintings, just paintings in basic, really encourage me.

How is your perception of self explored in your art?

I hardly ever seriously saw men and women like myself on gallery walls, which was always a shame developing up, so I try out to reimagine scenarios or previous themes, even Greek mythology, or Roman mythology, African mythology, situations the place I can place myself or place folks like me. 

A whole lot of my will work characteristic a single human being in a considerably desolate or surreal kind of house, and I guess that will come back to my psychological health and fitness. I offer with borderline character disorder, which is anything I am only sort of receiving a grasp on ideal now. But when I replicate again on my function, I most likely failed to know what I was attempting to do at the time, but was certainly attempting to categorical that ailment through my operate, in a way.

Which is so interesting that it was nearly automated. You are searching back again, like, huh….

Yeah, I was like, Oh, I should really send this to my psychologist. It’s possible she can enable me interpret.

And you described Afro-futurism, what function does that play in your get the job done?

It is really not some thing that I fully aim on, but it unquestionably just feels all-natural. When I’m functioning, I really don’t often assume about what I am performing. It is just autopilot, like a no cost flowing jam or emotion. But I actually hope that with my operates, I am contributing to the foreseeable future of my society or hoping to inspire new approaches to go ahead. I’m unquestionably additional of a futurist, even though I reference the previous pretty a great deal. 

I really think that hunting ahead is a single of my principal targets, no matter if that be via personalized improvement, or culturally with Afro-futurism, what ever it may well be. I’m really concentrated on going forward.

And do you have a major intention or desire that you are doing the job to?

It seems dumb, but I want to operate with Rihanna. Or Cannibal Corpse. I would die. I just want to be in a position to make extra artwork. Generating extra art will be busy and being able to experiment would be so liberating. I definitely want to experiment with new systems, like holograms or stuff like that. Or even just like likely back again to my portray and merging additional of my digital art with painting, that’d be so sick.

So fresh new. I think functioning with Rhianna is such a serious goal. Like, that will occur.

That would be nuts. I’m so enthusiastic for her overall performance at the Superbowl, I feel that is why I’ve been procrastinating [laughs]. I am actually hoping to get this studio space this 12 months. I feel that’ll seriously support me increase.

Will you keep on being in Western Sydney?

Yeah, for positive. I really don’t think I would be capable to depart. If I was leaving, I might be leaving the nation which is extremely, really, pretty small on my listing. I’ve been to a large amount of sites and nowhere has great foodstuff like we do. If you go to a diverse put, the milk’s all undesirable, the chocolate’s all terrible, the meat’s fucked. We have acquired good foodstuff here. I am not leaving.