1 hr 7 min

Erica Obersi Dutch Art & Design Today

    • Arts

‘We are a very vibrant country; Curaçao. But we are so much more than these cliches that pervade in mainstream thought about the Caribbean. There’s real struggles here. Real injustice and economic disparity. And it has to do with our past. But a lot of progress has been made… My art seeks to show the average Curaçaoan; the fisherman at Playa Piskadó; Carnival; Tumba performers, who have their roots in African dance. The colonial past really does still impact us, daily. And so my work in AI tries to highlight those here who are—regular.' 

—Erica Obersi

For the seventeenth episode of 'Dutch Art & Design Today', I sat down with Erica Obersi—a Curaçao-based artist renowned for her AI creations. Our paths first intersected in the vibrant web3 sphere, particularly within the close-knit Tezos blockchain community, a platform where Erica frequently showcases her art. Raised in Curaçao, Erica has always been keenly aware of the world beyond her country's borders. Her work in the tech realm led her to spend several years in New York City, working in the city's tech industry. This period also saw her studying for and obtaining a BA in International Relations from George Washington University, in Washington D.C.. Later, Erica returned to Curacao, and more recently enrolled to study at Tilburg University for her law degree. Erica's work with AI represents a fusion of her diverse interests, ranging from the spiritual—like the power of holy scriptures—to futuristic fashion and tributes to Swedish artist Hilma Af Klint (1862-1944). Her prominence in digital art and NFTs, particularly in the Dutch Caribbean, marks her as a pioneer in the field and one of the few digital artists in the region to gain international acclaim. In early 2023, Erica's talent was further recognized when she joined SuperRare, a leading digital art marketplace and auction house.

In this hour-long conversation, Erica recounts her memories of visiting Amsterdam during her childhood and visiting the Rijksmuseum with her grandmother and grandfather, and how she was taken aback by coming face-to-face with Rembrandt’s Nightwatch. She then goes on the describe the culture and the international outlook of its people, to the world at large, while also discussing what the county's museum and cutural scenes entail, before spending time discussing the legacies Dutch colonialism brought to the island, both in the past and today. While her early work explored themes related to the people, culture, landscapes, and history of Curaçao; her more recent work incorporates themes of divinity-inspired digital fashion, ideals concerning social hierarchy, excess wealth, and how the latter can lead to envy and intrigue. To conclude, Erica talks about the importance of integrity in her work and beyond her art, such as why she finds it important, as an artist, to use her platform for good. 

You can learn more about Erica and her work over on X @madeincuracao and on Instagram @ericaoverseas.

You can find John on X @johnbezold and at his website johnbezold.com.

'Dutch Art & Design Today' is published by Semicolon-Press.

‘We are a very vibrant country; Curaçao. But we are so much more than these cliches that pervade in mainstream thought about the Caribbean. There’s real struggles here. Real injustice and economic disparity. And it has to do with our past. But a lot of progress has been made… My art seeks to show the average Curaçaoan; the fisherman at Playa Piskadó; Carnival; Tumba performers, who have their roots in African dance. The colonial past really does still impact us, daily. And so my work in AI tries to highlight those here who are—regular.' 

—Erica Obersi

For the seventeenth episode of 'Dutch Art & Design Today', I sat down with Erica Obersi—a Curaçao-based artist renowned for her AI creations. Our paths first intersected in the vibrant web3 sphere, particularly within the close-knit Tezos blockchain community, a platform where Erica frequently showcases her art. Raised in Curaçao, Erica has always been keenly aware of the world beyond her country's borders. Her work in the tech realm led her to spend several years in New York City, working in the city's tech industry. This period also saw her studying for and obtaining a BA in International Relations from George Washington University, in Washington D.C.. Later, Erica returned to Curacao, and more recently enrolled to study at Tilburg University for her law degree. Erica's work with AI represents a fusion of her diverse interests, ranging from the spiritual—like the power of holy scriptures—to futuristic fashion and tributes to Swedish artist Hilma Af Klint (1862-1944). Her prominence in digital art and NFTs, particularly in the Dutch Caribbean, marks her as a pioneer in the field and one of the few digital artists in the region to gain international acclaim. In early 2023, Erica's talent was further recognized when she joined SuperRare, a leading digital art marketplace and auction house.

In this hour-long conversation, Erica recounts her memories of visiting Amsterdam during her childhood and visiting the Rijksmuseum with her grandmother and grandfather, and how she was taken aback by coming face-to-face with Rembrandt’s Nightwatch. She then goes on the describe the culture and the international outlook of its people, to the world at large, while also discussing what the county's museum and cutural scenes entail, before spending time discussing the legacies Dutch colonialism brought to the island, both in the past and today. While her early work explored themes related to the people, culture, landscapes, and history of Curaçao; her more recent work incorporates themes of divinity-inspired digital fashion, ideals concerning social hierarchy, excess wealth, and how the latter can lead to envy and intrigue. To conclude, Erica talks about the importance of integrity in her work and beyond her art, such as why she finds it important, as an artist, to use her platform for good. 

You can learn more about Erica and her work over on X @madeincuracao and on Instagram @ericaoverseas.

You can find John on X @johnbezold and at his website johnbezold.com.

'Dutch Art & Design Today' is published by Semicolon-Press.

1 hr 7 min

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