The Courage Still Remains

MARCH 4TH, 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. 

Looking at the piece Empath, the dotted halftone gradient in the back is fantastic and very eye-catching. At first glance, the background looks like a solid gradient going from light green to blue, but when you look at it in detail, you can see that it's a dotted halftone gradient. Overall, it reminds me of the old comic books, like the old Superman or Flash.

The choice of using a duo-tone dotted pattern in this background makes the text and the character pop out and grab my attention instantly. The title for this piece (Empath) and the choice of blocky font, and the drop shadow effect on the card and the text make this illustration feel like a cover for a comic book or a graphic novel. It's as if this cat (or otter) we are seeing is a superhero fueled with empathy.

Just think about it for a second: a cat that goes around the city walking like a biped, smiling with a complete set of teeth and just asking people about their day, totally empathizing with them., Then a cop car rolls around the corner with sirens on a chase, and the cat goes on all fours and starts chasing the culprit in hyper-speed, only to catch up with him and then dismiss him like "meh" or "whatever" - in canonistic cat fashion.

That's what I thought about - just zoning out to this beautiful OBJKT. I don't think this character is reoccurring in Mahendra Nazaar's work. Still, the character feels very open to having their own comic series, t-shirt and even a full-feature movie deal sometime in the future.


As I thought of the possibility of Mahendra's work becoming a comic book, I stumbled upon this OBJKT called Seed.

The description of this piece states, "Manifest an idea to reality ." I love how this piece keeps the comic book aesthetics and couples it with H.P Lovecraftian Eldritch horror. He keeps the dotted-half tone pattern we discussed, reappearing in a single colour to compliment the backgrounds. I love that these are Mahendra Naazar's instructions to us - it is good advice if you have eyes to see and ears to hear. 

“Plant and Keep it Grow” looks like the advice given for both the idea we have and the succulent-looking creature directly underneath that panel, which could also represent our idea. The alien girl in the panel next to it is staring straight into my soul, saying, "did you work on that idea today? Or do I have to kick your ass?" The panel underneath it targets its laser beam at the idea and devises a solution within the lines. The final panel makes lightning happen, manifesting the vision into reality. 

Sacred Horde of Madnezz - [055]

I love the organization of Mahendra Nazar's works. Looking at the collection Sacred Horde of Madnezz, I see a vast number of Kreatures that remind me of many different movies, cartoons, and comic books. I can easily spot many of my favourites, Like Darth Vader's helmet from Star Wars, or maybe even Taskmasker's face, along with some Mufasa and Scar legs; maybe even Skeletor's eyes.

Looking at [055], we see the dotted-half tone pattern resurface on the legs and the face, and the colour-combination and gradients are very complimentary of each other. There are so many gradients in this image alone. Some of them are very subtle and so well executed that it's a treat for my eyes, like the one on the edges of the Vader-style helmet. If we closely examine the rims of the helmet, we can notice that it is noise and that it is such a subtle use of it, it looks spectacular. I can't wait to see what the other Kreatures have in store for us.

Sacred Horde of Madnezz - [052]

Looking at Kreature [052], I am enthralled by the third eye that's staring back at me. Looking at this skull and the tentacles reminds me of Seed. This piece may be an evolved or a grown version of him. The dotted duo-tone effect is back in full force on this Kreature too. And the noise I was talking about in [055], around the rim of the helmet, is back here, and it's colourful this time. It adds unique beauty and character to this Kreature.

I would urge everyone to check out the Humble Folks collection by Mahendra Nazar, where he explores themes on social justice. 


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