He sees all.

JUNE 1ST, 2022

Each week artists are commissioned for a piece of art through the UNDRGRND Grant Program. 100 NFTs are minted and are randomly airdropped to UNDRGRND Membership Cardholders. To find out how you can be featured as an UNDRGRND Artist check out our Discord. 

If you've given Cem Hasimi's work the time and attention it deserves – and if you haven't, you should probably pause reading for a second, give yourself a long, stern glare, admonish the shit out of yourself, shape up and resolve to make amends from this point on – then you'll be familiar with his spectacular, highly accomplished and technically astounding animated pieces. Despite his work's thorough, detailed, nuanced nature, Cem allows his creative process to be impulsive and led by his gut instincts rather than the end product of a series of drafts and sketches. As a result, there's a purity and directness that amplifies the feeling in everything he drops.

Art is always more effective when the emotional aspect matches or goes beyond the aesthetic, and Cem has few peers when it comes to capturing and distilling human psychology and the ways that we connect. Likely, this comes from his background as an award-winning art director in the commercial world, having worked on big-boy campaigns for the likes of Volkswagen, Coca Cola, Saatchi & Saatchi and other industry heavyweights. This experience gave him the uncanny ability to channel thoughts and ideas into universally recognisable imagery with absolute clarity of purpose.

Never-ending arguments

Cem has often leaned towards quirky, cartoonish characters, but with the Colours series, he struck gold with the style that has become his signature: abstracted humans emitting and surrounded by rainbows of expressive circles that externalise the internal: arguments are rendered as communicative dots bouncing off the characters, while those dots can just as easily radiate the glow of untold happiness or mental anguish, anxiety or confusion. The art world has caught on with Cem now, allowing him to make moves on other chains - SuperRare and Foundation on Ethereum and Exchange on Solana - thanks no doubt to the seismic elevation to a broader audience carried out by Cosimo De Medici.


With The Queen's Speech, Cem has shifted from the small-scale, individual emotional concerns to the global, inescapable duress in which we all find ourselves, "I wanted to show the feeling of tyranny. I'm not saying that the queen is a tyrant, but this piece represents all the leaders and higher powers ruling us in the UK, Turkey, US – someone who is mesmerising, who talks like a robot and has us under their control," Cem explains. "We have been listening to people like them, on TV and radio. It's not about the queen. She's just a representation because I live here in the UK - it's more global. I just illustrated it in that way. But I feel like the elaboration, and the details, make it more watchable. For example, the mouth is like a robot with neon lights. It's just like a movement - I feel like we have been in the loop since we started our life journey, and they kind of manage us in a way - but I just questioned, why? Why have we been managed like this in our lives? In our job, the work, that we have managers - people just oversee us, why? Why do we need this? That's the questions I asked myself, and then I started creating this piece."

The Queen’s Speech

Even the fact that Cem created this piece for UNDRGRND played into the whole narrative of The Queen's Speech, giving it more edge, rebel spirit and intensity than he's known for, "I feel like UNDRGRND should mean underground. This piece is just a message to myself: you've been living your life for a long time, and what have you done? Listened to these tyrants and took orders? And to do what? You do what they want. Even when you try to discuss it, you try to change it, but it doesn't work. It's the same all the time. Like that queen looping, it's the same thing wherever you go. Why did I come here from Turkey? Because there's this leader who talks, in the same way, all the time: blah blah blah. The queen doesn't talk a lot, but the other people, the prime minister here, also have something to say, and most of the time, it's silly. It's the same thing, a loop. Life is a loop, and It's really difficult to break the loop."


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