If you haven’t been paying attention to the art world for the past year, that’s fine. One thing you should probably know however, is that the world of digital art has grown in leaps and bounds for many reasons. Digital art is interacting with life in a completely revolutionised way, artists are combining the disciplines of fine art, cinema, sculpture and music to create something totally new and dynamic. NFTs have also hit the scene, giving artists unprecedented safety and autonomy in their creativity — it’s been a big year. 3 artists who have been excelling in this domain are Extraweg, Randy Cano and Ines alpha.
Extraweg, also known as Oliver Latta, hails from Germany. After a degree in physiotherapy, Latta went on to study design at the renowned Bauhaus University in Dessau, Germany. A short trip to his website ( extraweg.com ) you will notice the artist’s self-description: Artist, Director, Human. The importance Latta places on humanity comes stunningly to the fore in his artworks.
Extraweg’s aesthetic staple is the human form, often with a millennial pink palette which is just a step away from the richer, vein-dense pink associated with human flesh. Like his palette, Latta’s human forms are also a step away from human: free of genitalia with surfaces that don’t read as skin but rather some sort of synthetic material, like rubber or plastic. Latta’s blend of humanity and artifice is a stunning commentary on human existence in the twentieth century in which we have grown so used to the false. In Extraweg’s universe, kisses become plastic bottles and faces crumple like aluminium cans.
A particularly stunning piece is Aging which shows a bipedal form walking through a blue abyss, it turns around with hostility and runs off the screen, only to be looped back to the start of the sequence. The apparent human figure — nude and now transfigured beyond recognition — speaks truly and painfully to the fear of ageing, especially ageing alone. The loop, which is a feature of all his video art, reminds us that this fear is as old as time.
The physics of Extraweg’s world is no less evocative, we find that surfaces are more permeable than they once appeared to be, human heads can melt under the heat of a blowdryer and when things crumble, sometimes they are made up of tiny human heads. This is no better displayed than in the NFT Extraweg made in collaboration with Mick Jagger and Dave Grohl. In which we see a human running through heads which dissolve into smaller ones when impacted. We see a world that is not made of atoms but human heads. In this way Extraweg is coaxing us to think of the human mind i