Nina Chanel Abney Unveils First-Ever Artwork in Augmented Reality

Interact with ‘Imaginary Friend’ at home using the Acute Art app.

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Following the success of KAWS’ COMPANION artworks in its augmented reality application, Acute Art now announces the launch of Nina Chanel Abney‘s first-ever AR piece called Imaginary Friend. To commemorate the 57th anniversary of the historical March in Washington, DC where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr delivered his I Have a Dream speech as well as today’s Get your knee off my neck march, Nina Chanel Abney debuted Imaginary Friend at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC.

The artist’s AR work was inspired by fantastical figures such as magical genies and fairy godmothers who appear in cartoon fairy tales to offer guidance. The piece in question represents a modern day sage who attempts to give a blessing to a friend, but refuses as he doesn’t believe anything good will happen to him. This character offers some words of wisdom, expressing: “Sometimes we believe nothing good can ever happen to us, so it don’t.”

“As a visual artist, augmented reality not only offers me the opportunity to attune myself to these new configurations of space and public life; it also makes possible for the first time an interactive register of communication in my public artwork,” said Abney in a statement. “Inspired by the mythological characters and disincarnate guides whom people turn to in times of trouble, and in collaboration with artists who understand the value of humour in processing grief, trauma, and distress, I created “Imaginary Friend” to offer participants an always-ready companion to mitigate the uncertainty and precarity of today.”

These monumental AR sculptures are currently part of a global public exhibition. Imaginary Friend will be unveiled in several stateside locations chosen by Nina Chanel including Chicago, Grand Canyon, New York, Los Angeles, and Washington, DC as well as international cities such as Paris, London, Tokyo and Berlin. Smaller versions of Imaginary Friend are available for anyone with the Acute Art app to place and interact with at home.

Elsewhere in art, The Hundreds commissioned artists to design a series of bandana to benefit social justice charities and coronavirus relief efforts.

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