Diana Sinclair transforms art on the blockchain

Diana Sinclair transforms art on the blockchain

The artist creates stunning NFTs that combine elements of multimedia, artificial intelligence, and a collective and inclusive spirit

On September 28, Christie’s will present Diana Sinclair: stages, opening sale on Christie’s 3.0. It’s a pivotal moment for the 18-year-old artist working across the layers of photography, video and multimedia. One of the creators at the forefront of the NFT photography boom in 2021, she has distinguished herself as a champion of black artists on the blockchain – from a format digital diasporaJuneteenth NFT art fair and auction, to In association with the Whitney E Houston Foundation A unique multi-generational digital artwork.

On display at Christie’s New York, stages It marks Sinclair’s first solo exhibition, coinciding with an online auction at Christie’s 3.0 through October 11. The show takes the form of an immersive multimedia installation that combines digital and physical works – including screens that act as twinkling screens of the images displayed – to explore a timeless topic: transformation. “This series was about trying to coexist with art as I was making it, being flexible and being in the present,” says Sinclair.


the left: Diana Sinclair (born 2004), I want to take care of the earth (still)executed in 2022 and minted on September 21, 2022. Non-replaceable icon (png). 7644 x 9555 pixels. Rating: ETH 4-6. the correct: Diana Sinclair (born 2004), River over stone (still)executed in 2022 and minted on September 21, 2022. Non-replaceable icon (png). 3104 x 3881 pixels. Rating: ETH 4-6. Both are shown in Diana Sinclair: stages From September 28 to October 11, 2022 at Christie’s 3.0

Sinclair is one of the most formally exciting and creative artists working in the NFT space today, and the work in Phases expands to the subtlety and complexity of her experience. river over stonea digital artwork that explores how our perception of memories changes over time, is a year-long piece in which the origin of the image is transformed by artificial intelligence and updated every week.

“The collective mind is fundamentally reimagining this work of art over time,” Sinclair says. It starts with a photo of two people. But when you get to the final image, they almost look like balls of energy.

Diana Sinclair (born 2004), Doomsday (Still), executed in 2022 and minted on September 21, 2022. Non-fungible icon (png).  3419 x 4879 pixels.  ETH rating 4-6.  Presented in stages of Diana Sinclair from September 28 to October 11, 2022 at Christie's 3.0

Diana Sinclair (born 2004), doomsday (still)executed in 2022 and minted on September 21, 2022. Non-replaceable icon (png). 3419 x 4879 pixels. Rating: ETH 4-6. exhibited in Diana Sinclair: stages From September 28 to October 11, 2022 at Christie’s 3.0

Complementing the weekly photo series are songs by multi-instrumentalist and producer Roel Williams. Williams originally wrote two songs, then played them through a computer program he created that analyzed the pixel content of the images, assigning each color to a musical component, such as speed or pitch. The result is a set of 52 pieces of music that respond to the transformation images.

“Blockchain opens up unique opportunities for creating work that can be transformative and interactive, and I hope it will generate more positive criticism of digital art, showing use cases to connect with really intense and complex concepts,” Sinclair says. There is much that can be done in this area.

On set, Sinclair fosters a collaborative and open environment with the models, makeup artists, musicians and other creatives she works with, seamlessly switching between Polaroid and her camcorder and digital camera to capture as much of the moment as possible.

Behind the scenes of filming

Behind the scenes of Diana Sinclair vanity Shot, 2022. Images courtesy of the artist

“I let things happen as they are, and a lot of times when something doesn’t work as I wanted it to, the end result is better than I imagined,” she explains. “I learned to embrace it.”

“It feels very safe,” Williams says of the vibe set in the Sinclair shots. You can suggest things or share laughter. There is a bond between the people you work with. You don’t feel too risky, yet you can feel part of something historical.

Before becoming a phenomenon in the crypto art world, Sinclair grew up in an artistic and intelligent family – her mother is a writer, her father is an artist and software developer, and they encouraged her to experiment with different media. From an early age, Sinclair started drawing on the iPad. In her younger years, she frequented online art communities, creating digital characters through the social app Draw Something.

Diana Sinclair with Ego, performed in 2022 and minted on September 21, 2022. Single-channel video with audio by Reuel Williams, accompanied by a non-fungible icon (png).  000135, 2048 x 2048 pixels.  ETH rating 6-8.  Presented in stages of Diana Sinclair from September 28 to October 11, 2022 at Christie's 3.0

Diana Sinclair with vanityexecuted in 2022 and minted on September 21, 2022. Single-channel video with audio by Reuel Williams, accompanied by a non-replaceable icon (png). 00:01:35, 2048 x 2048 pixels. Rating: ETH 6-8. Presented at Diana Sinclair: The Stages September 28 to October 11, 2022 at Christie’s 3.0

At the age of 13, she turned to drawing and painting in traditional media – charcoal, watercolor and acrylic, before pursuing photography and filmmaking. Selected as the 2021 National Finalist in Photography by YoungArts, the nation’s largest art competition for high school students. In early 2021, Sinclair befriended a community of digital and digital 3D artists, many of whom were making NFTs.

Among them was Itzel Yard, the Afro-Caribbean artist known as IX Shells, who became NFT’s best-selling artist in 2021, when her artwork was dreaming at dusk Sold for $2 million. IX Shells encouraged Sinclair to start shooting her photos on the blockchain, a relatively uncommon phenomenon for fine art photographers at the time.

“I thought NFTs were only for 3D artists or illustrators,” Sinclair recalls. I haven’t seen much photography. But once I tried it, I wanted to bring more photographers and more black women into the world of NFT, which really increased my personal investment in the space.

Diana Sinclair (born 2004), Ego (Still), executed in 2022 and minted on September 21, 2022. Non-fungible symbol (png).  3033 x 3754 pixels.  ETH rating 4-6.  Presented in stages of Diana Sinclair from September 28 to October 11, 2022 at Christie's 3.0

Diana Sinclair (born 2004), ego (still)executed in 2022 and minted on September 21, 2022. Non-replaceable icon (png). 3033 x 3754 pixels. Rating: ETH 4-6. exhibited in Diana Sinclair: stages From September 28 to October 11, 2022 at Christie’s 3.0

Sinclair has become an influential tastemaker in Instagram And the Twitter, sharing the threads of her favorite digital artists and using her platform to highlight the work of black creatives. In June 2021, she became one of the youngest curators of digital art with Digital Diaspora, the Juneteenth Art Gallery and the NFT Auction to celebrate the work of black artists.

In July of that year, Fortune magazine named her one of the 50 most influential people in the NFTs. In September 2021, Sinclair’s work appeared on TIME’s first NFT drop, Genesis Group. That winter, 17-year-old Sinclair worked with the Whitney E. Houston Foundation on NFT featuring digital artist art and videos that accompanied an unreleased track that Houston recorded when she was 17. Times top selling NFT on the Tezos blockchain at the time.

While Sinclair is wise about how she spends her ETH, she does collect NFTs by artists who inspire her. She was recently excited to acquire digital work by Niall Ashley, a self-taught British painter who makes colorful and expressive works of power, class, and racial identity.

Diana Sinclair (born 2004), I Am This Is Me (I still am), executed in 2022 and minted on September 21, 2022. Non-fungible icon (png).  3456 x 3456 pixels.  ETH rating 4-6.  Presented in stages of Diana Sinclair from September 28 to October 11, 2022 at Christie's 3.0

Diana Sinclair (born 2004), I am as I am (I still am)executed in 2022 and minted on September 21, 2022. Non-replaceable icon (png). 3456 x 3456 pixels. Rating: ETH 4-6. exhibited in Diana Sinclair: stages From September 28 to October 11, 2022 at Christie’s 3.0

Sinclair, along with photographer Isaac “Drifter Shoots” Wright, re-shoots the digital diaspora on Juneteenth, drawing over 2,000 visitors to the in-person event in New York City. “Every kind of person was represented and welcomed in that space, which made me really happy because I want to celebrate art in an inclusive way,” says Sinclair. There are plans for another Digital Diaspora event in Miami Basel in December.

When asked about the advice she’d give young creators curious about releasing their NFTs, her response resonated with the themes of her latest body of work: letting go of fear and staying present. “Don’t be afraid to put yourself and your business out there,” she says. “I wouldn’t have had access to the opportunities I had if I hadn’t initially stood with this leap of faith.”


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