The expansive white walls of New York City’s Oculus now glow with striking science fiction fantasies, compelling portraiture and lighthearted illustrations that compose the distinct building’s first NFT exhibit, Women In Web3: Her Dreams Realized. Showcasing five women artists, the exhibit is the inaugural show hosted by Oculus operator Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield‘s new platform, The Drop at Westfield. With Her Dreams Realized, Westfield (as the entity is referred to) thoughtfully and effectively enters the web3 space. Not only are they adorning the Oculus, but their expansive exhibit will appear across 500 screens in 17 different locations nationwide until 17 July and the NFTs are available for purchase during the same period.
Art advisor and dealer (as well as an occasional contributor to COOL HUNTING), Afrodet Zuri curated the exhibit, compiling a varied line-up of art in regard to style and background. “Persons of colors and particularly women are often underrepresented in the art world and unfortunately that extends to the NFT space as well. I pitched and curated a diverse and all-female identifying show of artists representing a wide range of artistic styles,” she says. Two-time Emmy Award winner for motion graphics Emonee LaRussa as well as 18-year-old artist and curator Diana Sinclair are among those featured. “Her Dreams Realized showcases a collective of premier talent and wildly creative imaginations from across the NFT space. These artists do more than create art, they inspire revolutions and we are thrilled to have the opportunity to display this message on Westfield’s iconic screens,” says Zuri.
On one screen, the otherworldly depictions from Sydney-based multidisciplinary artist Serwah Attafuah shimmer. Attafuah merges contemporary and ancestral themes to create surreal cyber dreamscapes interwoven with afro-futurist abstractions. She contributed two pieces for the exhibit—”Within Reach” and “Distance”—that depict a cyborg woman holding a planet in her hand in the former and the same figure lounging among a solar system garden in the latter. The artworks present digital dreamworlds where past and future coexist with the real and the imaginary.
Attafuah delves into fantasy, whereas Sinclair’s work “The Race Talk” is grounded firmly in reality. The NFT features a portrait of a young, tearful Black girl who, as the title suggests, is learning about the depths of racism. She’s surrounded by other closeups of a face: an unflinching eye, a cheek framed by a downtrodden look and a hand raised in anguish. Compelling and poignant, it frames the harsh, unequal state of the world in a new, intimate way.
Further along the screen Delaware-born Shaylin Wallace‘s kaleidoscopic “Happy Doodle” makes a refreshing and bright departure from the other artworks. Awash with color and surreal composition, the doodle swirls and charms as the abstract lines and spirals obscure a lopsided smiley face.
Using the 100-yard screens at the Oculus, Westfield brings the digital artworks to life in a shining display that rivals the 350-foot steel columns that extend above each wall. Westfield not only activates the art in an effective way, but they also amplify the work of the women artists. As such, they partnered with the web3 creation and collection platform Blockparty to enable people to purchase works via each screen and online.
“Web3 offers women the opportunity for a voice that has otherwise been denied by traditional gatekeepers such as institutions, museums, galleries, etc,” Zuri tells us. “Women In Web3: Her Dreams Realized is a chance for little girls to see their likeness on screens across the national Westfield network and be inspired to dream bigger for themselves and for the world.”
Images courtesy of Jason Crowley/BFA.com