Mustafa Hulusi, Ethnic Minority, NFT

The Ledger / Spotlight

Mustafa Hulusi: Ethnic Minority

Mustafa Hulusi’s inaugural NFT, Ethnic Minority, showcases two poles of visual representation, figuration and abstraction.

By Mustafa Hulusi and Vinciane Jones


The practice of Mustafa Hulusi (b.1971) orbits around mining his hybrid identity — he was born in London to Turkish-Cypriot parents — to create evocative paintings, installations, films, and photographs. Hulusi received his BA in Fine Art and Critical Studies from Goldsmiths College, London and his MA in Photography from the Royal College of Art, London. He also holds an MA in Critical Theory from Central St. Martin’s School of Art, London. Hulusi represented Cyprus at the 52nd Venice Biennale in 2007 and has exhibited widely across Europe as well as in Asia. His work is included in the collections of the Tate Modern, the Pinault Collection, the Olbricht Collection, the Saatchi Collection among many others.

Hulusi’s inaugural NFT was minted on July 23 in exclusive partnership with Verisart and SuperRare. Bidding closes around 13:30pm EDT July 26.

Mustafa Hulusi, Ethnic Minority, NFT
Mustafa Hulusi, Ethnic Minority, NFT

By combining different epochal art historical references with diverse geographic styles Hulusi investigates how different visual ‘languages’ shape our perception. His work often scrutinizes the traditional conflation of abstraction and representation and questions how this combination of codes affects viewer perception.

Mustafa Hulusi, Cyprus Pavillion at the Venice Biennale, 2007, courtesy of the artist
Mustafa Hulusi, Cyprus Pavillion at the Venice Biennale, 2007, courtesy of the artist

Ethnic Minority

The visually morphing NFT animation titled Ethnic Minority probes the notion of division and is presented here in a binary split screen of hyper-saturated figuration on one side and geometric trance-like abstraction on the other.

Mustafa Hulusi, Oleander 1, 2016, courtesy of the artist
Mustafa Hulusi, Oleander 1, 2016, courtesy of the artist

The figuration element sources a suite of paintings titled Oleanders (2016) — a prevalent yet poisonous Mediterranean flower that is rendered in vivid pinks, bursting in full bloom against a brilliant blue sky. The flowers represent the dichotomy of our present condition, simultaneously embodying our mortal drive toward both pleasure and destruction.

These striking paintings transform a commonly found shrub onto a sublime emblem of baroque excess that overwhelms the basic understanding of what we consider normal and natural.

Mustafa Hulusi, Expander — black, courtesy of the artist
Mustafa Hulusi, Expander — black, courtesy of the artist

They are juxtaposed with trippy colored, kinetic op-art geometric abstract forms that are a continuation of his earlier painting series titled Expander (2006-present).

Mustafa Hulusi, Afyon Expander 15 (M), 2015, Courtesy of the artist
Mustafa Hulusi, Afyon Expander 15 (M), 2015, Courtesy of the artist

Operating upon the principle of sacred geometry, these images are influenced by psychedelic philosopher Terrence McKenna, a thinker famous for propagating the necessity of a mystic relationship with the world as means of obtaining the creative potential within us all.

Mustafa Hulusi, Afyon Expander 13 (M), 2015, courtesy of the artist
Mustafa Hulusi, Afyon Expander 13 (M), 2015, courtesy of the artist

Ethnic Minority also aims to touch upon French philosopher Georges Bataille’s assertion that consequential art involves a rapture between the boundary between life and death, mixing the sacred and the profane. Or put another way, a communion between the bounded self and the immeasurable void. “

Mustafa Hulusi, Afyon Expander 12, courtesy of the artist
Mustafa Hulusi, Afyon Expander 12, courtesy of the artist
Mustafa Hulusi, Ethnic Minority, Verisart Certificate of Authenticity, Courtesy of Verisart.
Mustafa Hulusi, Ethnic Minority, Verisart Certificate of Authenticity, Courtesy of Verisart.

Mustafa Hulusi, Ethnic Minority, Verisart Certificate of Authenticity, Courtesy of Verisart.

Mustafa Hulusi’s inaugural NFT is certified by Verisart, an award-winning blockchain certification platform. Designed to empower artists to tell the story of their work, the digital certificates include additional images, videos and documents. For collectors, Verisart’s patent-pending Certificates of Authenticity (COA) form an integral part of collecting NFTs. They provide confidence in the identity of the artist and the verified history of the artwork.

Bidding for Mustafa Hulusi’s inaugural NFT, Ethnic Minority, closes at 12pm EDT on July 26.

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