The Artist: Nils Borsato aka Unicode
Unicode genuinely cares about his communities. Whether it is his brethren in the Genuine Undead, his fellow artists or his childhood friends, Unicode can be counted on to be there in the clutch. And thankfully, I fall into the bucket of his Genuine Undead (“GU”) brethren. As a core member of the GU Literature Council and Gaming Council, I’ve had the pleasure of working alongside Unicode and he continues to impress – and surprise – me with his talent and dedication. The honor was all mine when he agreed to be a featured artist in The Inevitable.
I first caught a glimpse of Unicode’s art in the GU Discord server. He was one of the many artists that was cranking out fan art in the early days of GU. Soon, he was being approached by holders to make commissions of their GU PFPs. Now, he’s minted over 30 to date. The Rise, Unicode’s first GU commission, features the iconic GU legendary, Nature. The commission is owned by BitBoar and Nature is owned by the GU community, a gift from the anonymous GU artist to the community. The Rise embodies the GU ethos that what is undead can never die.
“Being part of a community that knows how to appreciate art is a fundamental step… if one thing is certain, it is that web3 is a godsend for any artist who wants to present their work to the eyes of the world. Web3 knows no borders, and for this reason will and is already revolutionizing the world.” - Unicode
Unicode is also a core member of the GU Design Council and a productive member in the GU French community, one of the most active in GU. He can always be relied upon to create meaningful, impactful work on short notice for the community.
Unicode’s dedication to GU is a perfect example of a web3 ethos I fully support: a rising tide lifts all boats. Unicode’s relentless support of GU has led to more collectors of his art, both GUs and other mints, featured writeups by his fellow community members, such as Tao Koltes's, and the continuing development of his craft. And at 23 years old, the sky’s the limit for his art.
When asked how he planned to make his work known, Unicode provides the genuine web3 response. “Being part of a community that knows how to appreciate art is a fundamental step… if one thing is certain, it is that web3 is a godsend for any artist who wants to present their work to the eyes of the world. Web3 knows no borders, and for this reason will and is already revolutionizing the world.”
But his art is not GU only. His style is heavily influenced by manga, a style popularized by Japanese comics and graphic novels. He also draws upon his love of medieval fantasy and cyberpunk for inspiration. His ArtDrop, Antipode (discussed below), shows how he continues to meld these influences into inspirational art.
To Unicode, being able to make art that touches on the undead or skeletons, or whatever comes After, grants him artistic freedom. We don’t know what really comes After. So Unicode unleashes his imagination to take us there.
The ArtDrop: Antipode
Antipode is a visually stunning piece of digital art that explores the duality of life and death and the idea of inevitable change. The artwork features a human figure, likely female, that has two halves - one side flesh with white hair, and the other side skeletal with black hair. The contrast between the two halves is striking, suggesting opposing forces at work.
“The ephemeral state of Life is what makes it beautiful. Life would be dull and meaningless without Death. Likewise, light and dark are essential to one another. Every light casts a shadow. And behind every shadow there is light. Life.” - Unicode
On the flesh side of the figure, three hands that look like dark shadows are reaching out to grasp her, as if trying to capture her down or hold her back. On the skeletal side of the figure, three hands that look like white shadows appear to be stroking her, suggesting a kind of tenderness or acceptance.
Unicode follows a specific process in creating the piece: first, he sketches the image, then adds the lining and flat colors, followed by shadows, textures, reflections, background, and finally details. This process allows the image to be built up in layers, resulting in a detailed and complex final product.
The title of the piece, Antipode, refers to the idea of opposites or contrasting forces. The theme of “The Inevitable: Life, Death and the After” is also reflected in the artwork, as the contrast between life and death is a central theme in the piece.
Overall, Antipode is a thought-provoking and visually striking piece of art that uses contrasting elements to explore the duality of life and death. The use of layers adds depth and dimension to the piece, while the title and theme lend a philosophical and existential dimension.