Sound of Color, a groundbreaking collaboration between artist ThankYouX and award-winning composer Hans Zimmer, is an immersive digital experience that depicts a deeply intimate narrative of an artist’s creative journey. The project encompasses three unique NFTs, In Search Of, Embrace, and Acceptance, that seamlessly intertwine ThankYouX’s stunning visuals and Zimmer’s electrifying score to give life to this multi-part journey. This digitally rendered ecosystem illuminates specific crossroads in ThankYouX’s artistic evolution, while also bringing to life a narrative of artistic struggle that is universally understood.
"It was never a smooth road. I had a lot of struggles...My biggest struggle was not just making what I knew people wanted. I always wanted to create art that was true to me." —ThankYouX
Early into their collaborative venture, ThankYouX and Zimmer learned that they both shared a similarly circuitous path to success in their respective fields. ThankYouX started his career in the corporate world, working as a graphic artist by day and causing a buzz in the street art community with his Andy Warhol tribute graffiti by night, before gaining international attention for his signature abstractions and emerging as one of the leading visual artists in the NFT space.
Likewise, Zimmer began as a largely self-taught musician playing keyboards and synthesizers for rock bands in the 1970’s and writing advertising jingles before he found his true calling as a composer, first receiving recognition for his score in the acclaimed film Rain Man in 1988. Zimmer is now among the most acclaimed composers of all time, having scored over 200 projects throughout his career and earning numerous awards.
Together, these two artists have built upon each other’s creative and technical skills to produce a multifaceted collaboration in Sound of Color. ThankYouX’s admiration for Zimmer has long been a part of his creative process, drawing inspiration as he paints regularly to Zimmer’s moving scores. Furthermore, both artists have cited their respect for each other’s practice, Zimmer even going so far as to include the sounds of ThankYouX’s paintbrush hitting the canvas in his composition for Sound of Color. Zimmer also lent his hand to ThankYouX’s visuals, contributing both to the aminations and the physical painting that accompany Embrace.
Sound of Color’s elaborate, otherworldly graphics visually explore the unconventional pathways to success for both creators, while also commenting on the recent rise of NFTs and the way this new technology is challenging the conventions of the traditional art world.
\ In In Search of, the viewer journeys through an ominous underground tunnel, passing by the rubble and scaffolding that represents the less esteemed facets of the art world. Zimmer’s haunting and suspenseful score invites the viewer to travel through space and time. Once the viewer moves further inward, they are met with a massive spray-painted cube, a representation of ThankYouX’s mature artistic style, which serves as a host for multiple visual narratives to unfold.
"Every cube is a different story and it might just look like a pattern, but there’s a lot of hidden messages and things are flipped around [and] moved backwards so it’s almost like a puzzle...I want it to be a story that you can see that I didn’t even mean to write" —ThankYouX
As the viewer traverses the cube, the audio builds in layers while the visuals evoke a steady ascent as more cubes begin to populate the space and illuminate in unison. The piece culminates in a sudden crescendo as the viewer is met with a mysterious light source from above.
The second NFT of the series, Embrace, presents a zoomed-in look at one of the visual microsystems that exist in the ecosystem of the cube from In Search Of. One of ThankYouX’s signature cubes floats in a pool of water within one of the caves set to Zimmer’s score, representing a singular storyline within the larger winding narrative.
Accompanying the NFT Embrace is a physical painting made by ThankYouX in collaboration with Zimmer. This painting serves as a vessel for an inset Infinite Objects screen that displays Embrace. The components of this lot in turn demonstrate ThankYouX’s passion for exploring the physical alongside the digital, juxtaposed in an attempt to unite the two worlds. This goal is further exemplified by the title of the work, Embrace, which signifies the traditional art world’s embrace of the new medium of NFTs.
"I can push the needle forward...I’ve gotten to marry my art to technology in a way that truly just explains who I am." —ThankYouX
Acceptance, the last NFT of the series, depicts ThankYouX’s large cube, beating with sound, color and life after puncturing the subterranean landscape and landing itself in the center of a fine art museum. The cube’s brash entrance into this revered space embodies the emergence of NFTs at center stage in today’s cultural zeitgeist.