While no two eras or artists are exactly alike, I see Hidden Forces as similar to the T.S. Eliot of the blossoming cryptoart movement.
Why? When fellow poet Ezra Pound first discovered Eliot, he was impressed because the prodigy was not only classically trained but had also “modernized himself” with the latest artistic trends.
A Brooklyn-based artist and art director, Hidden Forces is a similar prodigy, one whose encyclopedic range of creative techniques and knowledge spans both the historic and the cutting-edge, both the scientific and the poetic.
Indeed, his work ranges from thematic mixed media sculptures inspired by the past, to large scale steel topographic sculptures, to his signature analog/digital, alluvial fluid-based #colorbattle NFTs, which, as seen below, are mesmerizing and singular in the cryptoart scene.
Source: “Theophrastus Preens” by Hidden Forces, minted on SuperRare
In Hidden Forces, then, we have an artist whose creativity and toolboxes are expansive, derived in part from professional experience as a veteran art director for some of the biggest brands in the world.
Working at this level exposed Hidden Forces to complex issues surrounding copyright, licensing, and usage rights in creative content, and provided an education in real world best practices, how far some brands are willing to go to protect their IP, and the ways in which media conglomerates use IP laws to undermine and lower compensation for the creatives they work with.
This expertise has proven invaluable when navigating a nascent cryptoart ecosystem that challenges traditional ideas of ownership, distribution, and reproduction.
Some creators’ flouting of copyright norms has inspired Hidden Forces to lend his knowledgeable voice to the growing community discussions around IP, and to take up the issue in his own work.
With such a background, it’s no surprise Hidden Forces is among the more interesting figures in cryptoart’s new wave. In his own words his goal here is to “push the boundaries of what the [blockchain] will allow: programmatic control, cascading smart contracts, multi-artist works of increasing scope.”
This vision has led Hidden Forces to collaborate with exclusive cryptoart platforms like SuperRare and Async Art, and to create work with some of the most acclaimed and high-profile artists in the space, like Alotta Money and Tom Erik Smith.
If you’re interested in diving deeper into Hidden Forces’s body of cryptoart, some powerful works that are still on the open market include:
“Alabanda Rises” - open for offers
“Chalcedony Kiss” - open for offers
“Zuzia Escapes” - 3.09 ETH
“Heart Undivided” - 7.21 ETH, a collab with Tom Erik Smith
In just a matter of days, Hidden Forces will be conducting an auction on Async Art for what I believe is his masterpiece to date, an epic and deep work titled “Who’s the Controller Now?”
Composed of a Master token and 9 alterable Layer tokens, the piece is a reimagining of Diego Rivera’s destroyed fresco “Man at the Crossroads,” which was later repainted in Mexico City as “Man, Controller of the Universe.”
In his own repainting, Hidden Forces expands on and explores among the most timeless themes for artists: the tensions placed on artistic sovereignty in a world ultimately dominated by commercial demands. Something independent creatives confront every single day.
“Who’s the Controller Now?” is as powerful of a cryptoart work as I’ve ever seen, and should measure as one of the most significant and timely NFTs in 2020. You’ll know what I mean once the curtains are pulled back. In the meantime, be sure to learn more about Hidden Forces because he’s an artist I think you’ll be hearing a lot more of going forward.
Async Art: async.art/u/hiddenforces/collection