Web3 has a navel-gazing problem. While it’s hard to pass a day on Twitter without coming across rhetoric of the space’s accessibility and egalitarianism, it remains stubbornly Western-centric. Big international happenings like NFT Paris and NFT Korea Festival absolutely deserve credit for helping to broaden its scope, but even these events can feel like rehashes of the same figures, topics, and artwork that the North American and European crypto art market seem to dictate.
Fortunately, there are increasingly common efforts to make Web3 more representative of the global audience of which it’s composed. One group making sure its cultural voice gets heard in the NFT ecosystem is the Caribbean community. While creatives from the Caribbean aren’t new to the space, they’re often overlooked.
That’s a regrettable reality, especially given the rich history of Caribbean art traditions that reflect the geography and the people from which they emerge. The art from the region is known for the way its vivid colors and compositions reflect both the landscape and the influences of the Taíno, African, British, French, and Spanish cultures that have shaped its history.
To better shine a light on that history and culture and its evolution, we’ve teamed up with Nicholas Huggins — an artist and creative director from Trinidad and Tobago — to put together a list of 20 talented Caribbean artists and builders in Web3 to keep on your radar.
Bonito Thompson (DonDada) – Jamaica
Bonito Thompson, also known as Don Dada, is a Jamaican digital artist who creates augmented reality experiences that blend art, technology, and Jamaican culture. His work is heavily influenced by Dancehall culture and aims to represent various aspects of Jamaican pop culture, including sound systems, zinc fences, dance moves, and other iconic Dancehall imagery.
Thompson has exhibited his work at shows in Jamaica, the Caribbean, and the United States, including at Miami Art Basel. He has also collaborated with Grammy-winning artists such as Common, Damian Marley, Sean Paul, and Spice, as well as brands like Red Stripe, Genxs Carnival, and the Port Authority of Jamaica.
Zoe Osborne – Barbados
Zoe Osborne is a Toronto-based artist and designer from Barbados. Her work focuses on Caribbean symbolism and narratives with an exploration of homesickness in the Caribbean diaspora. In addition to exhibiting her work on SuperRare, Osborne has also showcased digital animations IRL in Toronto, New York, Barbados, and Dubai. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Interior Design from Toronto Metropolitan University and was a creator in Elevate’s inaugural NFT Residency Program in Toronto.
Di-Andre Caprice Davis – Jamaica
Di-Andre Caprice Davis was born in Kingston, Jamaica. She is a self-described experimental artist whose practice focuses on a research-based alternative approach used to primarily explore form and the development of non-standard languages by engaging the capacities inherent to new media.
Abstraction, computer graphics, GIF art, glitch art, mathematics, photography, and surrealism are some of the fascinations that animate her practice. Her works have been exhibited in Jamaica, Australia, Barbados, Canada, France, The United Kingdom, The United States, Trinidad, and Sweden.
Nicholas Huggins – Trinidad and Tobago
Nicholas Huggins is an illustrator and graphic designer from Trinidad and Tobago. His NFT work focuses on juxtaposing the built and natural environment of the Caribbean. Huggins has contributed to commercial illustration projects for various brands, including McDonald’s, Johnnie Walker, Angostura, Kes the Band, and Google.
His work for Google involved designing a Doodle commemorating the Steel Pan, a musical instrument invented in Trinidad and Tobago. Huggins holds a BFA in Graphic Design from the Savannah College of Art and Design and has exhibited his work in Trinidad, Miami, London, and Curacao.
Anya Ayoung-Chee – Trinidad and Tobago
Anya Ayoung Chee is a fashion designer, entrepreneur, activist, and winner of Project Runway season nine. In 2008, she represented her home country of Trinidad and Tobago in the Miss Universe pageant held in Vietnam. During the competition, she was also given the opportunity to design some of her wardrobe.
In 2009, she launched her first collection, Pilar, named after her younger brother. She has been a central figure in the Caribbean NFT community, having launched her Wyld Flwr collection in September 2021. More recently, she became the first Caribbean fashion designer, in partnership with Phygicode, to showcase a collection in the first-ever Metaverse Fashion Week in 2022.
Rodell Warner – Trinidad and Tobago
Rodell Warner is a Trinidadian artist working primarily in new media and photography. His works have been exhibited at the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Berlin Biennale, and the National Gallery of Jamaica.
Most recently, his digital animations using archival photography have been exhibited at the Art Gallery of Ontario in the 2021 exhibition Fragments of Epic Memory, and at TERN Gallery in Nassau, the Bahamas, in the 2021 solo exhibition Augmented Archives. Rodell lives and works between Port of Spain, Trinidad, Kingston, Jamaica, and Austin, Texas.
Shontelle Layne – Barbados
Shontelle Layne is a Grammy-nominated Barbadian singer. In April 2021, Layne successfully launched 11 NFTs to celebrate the 11th anniversary of her platinum-selling song, Impossible. Her first line of NFTs included customized artwork, a cameo in the music video, and other unique elements. She recently released a new single, Emotions, on Sound.xyz.
KxrlyMiyagi – Jamaica
Karlando Cardiff Butt (Kxrly Miyagi) is a self-taught pixel artist from Mandeville, Jamaica, living in Kingston, Jamaica. Having honed his art skills from a young age, Miyagi found himself fascinated by video games and their ability to tell stories in unique ways, particularly through the use of pixelated graphics.
In his art, Miyagi uses well-known video games and their characters as creations of his own to share the experience of being a Jamaican through a pixelated lens. He has brought his pixel art style to the mainstream, worked with contemporary dancehall and international music artists, and currently has an animated short series in development.
pHarris Designs – Jamaica
pHarris Designs is a Jamaican director, videographer, photographer, and 3D renderer based in Toronto who has worked with artists such as Jessie Reyez, Machel Montano, and Boi1da. He has also done client work for brands such as Nike and the Roots & Havana Club. He currently works as the creator and designer of the Psychedelic Apes NFT collection.
Haleek Maul – Barbados
Malik Hall, better known as Haleek Maul, is an American rapper based in Barbados. Born in Brooklyn, NY, Maul moved to Barbados as a child to attend school. During his secondary school years, he started producing music, drawing inspiration from the sounds that surrounded his environment. Haleek is the founder of Holders Land, a multidisciplinary institution based in Barbados using modern technologies to create artifacts for the new Caribbean + THE WORLD.
Alex Gibson – Barbados
Alex Gibson is a queer, non-binary, Barbadian interdisciplinary artist based in Vancouver, BC, working in the unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations. They are interested in exploring transgressive queer identities in relation to their Caribbean background. Their forthcoming work includes an exhibition with Capture Photography Festival 2022 in Vancouver, and they have been exhibited at galleries and shows across Canada.
Guava – Antigua
Born and raised in Antigua and Barbuda, GuavaDeArt is a self-taught artist who explores various avenues of art, including illustration, painting, sculpting, 3D modeling, art toy creation, and digital drawing and animation. His work has been recognized globally, having reached countries such as the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan, and Canada. He is also the primary artist for Dazed Ducks Metagalactic Club.
Wyatt Gallery – Trinidad and Tobago
Wyatt Gallery is an artist, author, and advisor who uses his photography to raise awareness and support for communities in need. His artwork is in the Whitney Museum of American Art collection, the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, the George Eastman House, and the Museum of the City of New York, among other public and private collections.
Gallery has published four books of his photographs and graced the pages of magazines like The New Yorker, Esquire, Departures, Condé Nast Traveler, The New York Times, Mother Jones, and Oprah’s OWN TV Network. His work is represented by Foley Gallery in New York City, and he is a co-founder of the art collective For Freedoms and ISLND.io. Wyatt is one of 138 photographers featured in The World Today NFT project by Obscura.io, an avid NFT collector, and lives in Trinidad and Tobago with his wife and two children.
Stephanie Telemaque – Trinidad and Tobago
Stephanie Telemaque is an artist, illustrator, and art director from Trinidad and Tobago. Her art in the traditional space focused on exploring physical form. More recently, Telemaque made her Web3 debut with her World of Women derivative project Crypto Night Goddess and through her NFT collection Renaissance Women. Telemaque currently serves as the Art Director at the NFT production company Creator Labs.
Walt Lovelace – Trinidad and Tobago
Walt Lovelace is a Trinidad and Tobago-based director who began his career with the video production company Banyan. Having cut his teeth on projects like the cultural TV series Gayelle, he shot and directed his first music video in 1989. He left Trinidad shortly thereafter to spend a year in New York, where he worked as a second-unit cameraman.
Walt has shot and directed documentaries throughout the region, as well as in the United States, the United Kingdom, Austria, Mexico, and Turkey. Until 2018, he was a co-founder and director of Beach House Entertainment, a media and events company with a strong focus on Carnival.
Joelle McTigue – Virgin Islands
Joelle McTigue is an interdisciplinary artist working with photography and design who explores how power dynamics and influences of identity flatten, amplify, and distort communal narratives and histories. By altering her street photography with mathematical influence, she encapsulates the idea of historical and cultural shifts while leaving documentative remnants.
McTigue’s work is a part of the permanent Rubell Family Collection, The John Paul Getty III-founded Siena Art Institute Library Collection, and the NFT NYC 2022 Diversity of NFTs Art Collection. She currently lives and works in Montenegro.
Evo – Curaçao
Evo is an AI artist from the Dutch Caribbean island of Curaçao. Her work is characterized by a diverse range of both figurative and abstract compositions, some of which are deeply influenced by the rich Creole culture of her island home. These pieces evoke a unique sense of place and time, celebrating the colorful heritage and distinctive charm of Curaçao. Evo has gained recognition for her work, earning a spot on Tender’s list of Notable AI Artists.
Creator Labs – Trinidad and Tobago
Founded in 2020, Creator Labs is a Caribbean Web3 agency that deals with metaverse products, 3D design, and blockchain-enabled creative direction. The company offers a wide range of services designed to empower individuals and broaden what the Caribbean region thought was possible.
Creator Labs has worked with regional and international artists, designers, and brands to explore the digital realm of their physical works. Clients include New York-based contemporary artist Bradley Hart, ReFi social impact project The Aeternals by Digigo, Emerge Tech Lab in collaboration with Rainforest Partnership, and Dubai-based sound artist Amrita Sethi.
Zed Labs – Trinidad and Tobago
Zed Labs is a software development agency based in Trinidad and Tobago specializing in mobile and blockchain solutions. Its mission is to use innovative technologies to build mobile apps that enrich people’s lives and assist in their digital upgrade to the cyber economy.
The Crypto & Cognac Podcast – Trinidad and Tobago
The Crypto & Cognac Podcast Show is a podcast founded by Al Kieron Wright, who seeks to demystify the cryptic world of cryptocurrency and blockchain over drinks. Al has interviewed all the top players in the Caribbean Web3 space over 82 weekly episodes since September 2021.
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