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The Late Ernie Barnes Breaks Record As His Iconic 'Sugar Shack' Painting Sells For $15.3M At New York Auction

Maybe you remember seeing a replica of the painting in your grandmother’s house or the image flashing during the opening credits of “Good Times.” No matter the reference point, “Sugar Shack,” by legendary artist Ernie Barnes, just sold for $15.3 million. The iconic painting, which was recently up for auction, was used as the cover of Marvin Gaye’s 1976 album; “I Want You.”

Josh Rodgers

May 16, 2022

Mercedes-Benz Unveils Electric Maybach Designed By The Legendary Virgil Abloh

Virgil Abloh’s impact is still making waves through technology and fashion. Since the announcement of his passing, it was also revealed that Abloh worked alongside Mercedes-Benz Chief Design Officer Gordon Wagener for Project Maybach. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Mercedes-Benz (@mercedesbenz)

Samantha Dorisca

Dec 14, 2021

EFFEN Vodka Teams Up With Allies In Arts To Celebrate The Black And LGBTQQIA2S Communities

Here’s something to toast to! In a new partnership, EFFEN Vodka joins forces with Allies in Arts to create an official 2021 Pride 365 Bottle. According to PR Newswire, the bottle is a celebration of Pride, not only during Pride Month but year-round, and is the company’s commitment to building a more inclusive world. Street muralist and LGBTQQIA2S artist, Sam Kirk, has been commissioned to design the bottle which will celebrate Black and LGBTQQIA2S communities and spotlights each day as a new chance to live loud, vibrant, and proud.   View this post on Instagram   A post shared by EFFEN vodka (@effenvodka) “We’re huge fans of Sam’s work and thrilled with how the Pride 365 bottle came out,” said I van Hidalgo , Senior Marketing Director of Regional Brands at Beam Suntory in an official news statement. “There’s no doubting the immense obstacles and barriers the LGBTQQIA2S and Black communities continue to face, and we are honored to join forces with Allies in Arts and Sam to create the...

Shanique Yates

Apr 8, 2021

Painting By Haitian-Puerto Rican Artist Basquiat Sells For $41.9M Breaking New Record

In his prime, Haitian-Puerto Rican artist Jean-Michel Basquiat was a social commentarian, a graffiti artist, and a multi-media painter who infamously dated Madonna before they both became pop culture icons. But ever since his tragic death from a heroin overdose at the age of 27, Basquiat’s work has been steadily growing in value and importance. And there’s no greater evidence of that than the recent sale of the 1982 painting, “Warrior,” which just sold for $41.9 million at a Christie’s auction in Hong Kong. The New York Times broke the news about this latest Basquiat sale, which also revealed that this big-ticket price was the highest-ever paid for a Western artist in Asia. Despite this impressive accomplishment, “Warrior” isn’t even Basquiat’s most valuable piece of artwork. That honor goes to “Untitled,” which was sold to Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa for $110 million in 2017. And nine out of 10 of the artist’s most expensive paintings were done in 1982. But lest you think...

NFTs Are In Right Now, But Will They Last? This Expert Doesn't Think So

Coined NFTs, the craze over non-fungible tokens has been sweeping the digital art world, but will they last? This expert doesn’t think so. Damon Abramson is the founder of Harmony Technologies and he is confident that NFTs won’t last once the hype calms down. He has has been working in the digital space for more than 40 years, and he is an expert digital marketing consultant who has been following blockchain and NFTs from the start. He told AfroTech that NFTs have actually been around for three or four years, which is a lot longer than the craze going on right now. “I see NFTs going away,” Abramson said. “Think about it, generally, this is how we place value on things. They are unique and not everyone can get them. The NFT situation is, okay it’s unique, but everyone can make a copy of it. It’s not like you can charge me in a museum to see your digital art.” If you aren’t familiar with NFTs yet, think of them as one-of-a-kind trading cards as The Verge explained. No one card is the...

Michelai Graham

Mar 26, 2021

Morehouse Alum Gifts Alma Mater $1M Art Collection Showcasing Black and LGBTQ Artists

Education at HBCUs extends far beyond the classroom, and Morehouse College is no different. This week, the historically Black college received a generous gift to the student body and faculty from Morehouse alumnus George Wells, of the Wells Group, in the form of a $1 million art collection. “I will always be grateful for my Morehouse education and the springboard it created for my career on Wall Street and in business, and I want to recognize that with this gift,” Wells said in a press statement for Black Enterprise. According to Black Enterprise, in 2018 Wells began his art collection with his husband, Manfred Ratner, which has now grown to include over 50 pieces of artwork from both rising and established artists. The purpose of building this collection was for Wells to be able to reflect on prominent paintings from Black and LGBTQ artists that speak to representation in their communities and educate his alma mater on cultural identity, social, and political critiques. “Owning...

Njera Perkins

Dec 11, 2020

Award-Winning Choreographer Bill T. Jones Has Released a Project With Google

Google wants to combine the worlds of art and technology to change the way people understand identity and self-expression. In one of its latest projects, the company is teaming up with Tony-award winning choreographer Bill T. Jones to create interactive art with words, symbols and movements. For users, creating the art is as simple as logging on to a computer and turning on a webcam. The Google-Jones collaboration consists of four experiments that were developed using the PoseNet machine learning model. “AI is supposed to take us into the next century and important things are supposed to be happening with this technology, so I wanted to see if we could use it to stir real human emotion,” Jones said in a blog post. “Maybe it’s ego, but I want to be the one to know how to use PoseNet to make somebody cry.” The four experiments are titled Manifesto, The Game, Hold That Thought and Naming Things: Approaching 21. In Manifesto, users can create a trail of words that respond to their...

Arriana McLymore

Jun 4, 2019

How VR gloves are helping the visually impaired experience some of the world's greatest art

‘Touching Masterpieces’ is an incredible VR experience that allows the blind and visually impaired to experience some of the world’s greatest art through a pair of gloves. Art has been around for centuries, but that doesn’t mean it has been accessible. Many take for granted the ability to view sculptures, paintings and photographs. But for the visually impaired or blind, that hasn’t been an option. Previously, without visuals, there was only opportunity to experience art through audio descriptions. Now there’s finally an answer for the millions of people who haven’t been able to see sculptured masterpieces. NeuroDigital has been working in the VR space to replicate some of the world’s most highly regarded sculptures. They set out to make 3D models of art including The Head of Nefertiti by Thutmose, Venus de Milo by Alexandros of Antioch and even David by Michelangelo.  Through laser scans of the originals, they were able to replicate the masterpieces. Users can then put on haptic...

Christine Cauthen

May 10, 2018