Nina Chanel Abney becomes the latest artist to create an augmented reality artwork with Acute Art

Nina Chanel Abney and Imaginary Friend, 2020. Photo credit - Khari Ricks FAD magazine
Nina Chanel Abney and Imaginary Friend, 2020. Photo credit – Khari Ricks

Acute Art has announced Nina Chanel Abney’s first artwork in augmented reality (AR) for individuals to realise their personal power to shift a situation.

Nina Chanel Abney, Imaginary Friend in Washington D.C., 2020, augmented reality. Courtesy Nina Chanel Abney and Acute Art. Photo Leigh Vogel FAD magazine
Nina Chanel Abney, Imaginary Friend in Washington D.C., 2020, augmented reality. Courtesy Nina Chanel Abney and Acute Art. Photo Leigh Vogel

To help us through unusual times and to mark the 57th anniversary of the historical March in Washington, where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr delivered his ‘I Have a Dream’ speech as well as tomorrow’s March ‘Get your knee off our necks’, Nina Chanel Abney will appropriately debut “Imaginary Friend” at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC.

These monumental AR sculptures will be freely available as part of a global public exhibition, across the US (Chicago, Grand Canyon, New York, Los Angeles and Washington, DC) as well as in Europe (Paris, London and Berlin) and Japan (Tokyo). There will also be a version of “Imaginary Friend” available for anyone with the Acute Art app to place and interact with at home.

“Imaginary Friend” tells us of a story in which a character, a modern day sage, tries to give a blessing to a friend, but he refuses it as he doesn’t believe anything good will happen to him. The character leaves us with the phrase ‘sometimes we believe nothing good can ever happen to us, so it don’t’. This story can be interpreted in multiple ways given our circumstances in the current world and Abney hopes it raises questions.

Nina Chanel Abney Imaginary Friend FAD magazine
Nina Chanel Abney Imaginary Friend 2020 Courtesy Nina Chanel Abney and Acute Art

Nina Chanel Abney, artist, comments:

“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. “Imaginary Friend” asks us to keep at the heart, the value of collective life and public interaction at a moment that threatens to push us further toward alienated being.”

The Acute Art app can be downloaded here

About the Artist

Abney was born in Chicago and currently lives and works in New York. Her paintings combine abstraction with representation to capture the frenetic pace of contemporary life. She broaches subjects as diverse as race, celebrity, religion, politics, sex and art history. The effect is information overload, balanced with a kind of spontaneous order, where time and space are compressed and identity is interchangeable. Her distinctively bold style harnesses the flux and simultaneity that has come to define life in the 21st century. Her work is included in collections around the world, including the Brooklyn Museum, The Rubell Family Collection, Bronx Museum, and the Burger Collection, Hong Kong. Her first solo museum show in 2017 travelled around the USA, from the Nasher Museum of Art, North Carolina to the Chicago Cultural Center and then to Los Angeles, where it was jointly presented by the Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, and the California African American Museum. The final venue for the exhibition was the Neuberger Museum of Art, Purchase College, State University of New York.

About Mark Westall

Mark Westall is the Founder and Editor of FAD magazine Founder and co-publisher Art of Conversation and founder of the platform @worldoffad