Artist Nina Chanel Abney revitalizes the classic game of UNO with her distinct fragmented figures and bold blocks of color in a new collaboration with Mattel. Straying from the minimal, numbered cards, lively portraits and mirrored personas emblazon the transformed deck. Just like her larger body of work, Abney’s design is brimming with energy and captures the wildly chaotic experience of modern life.
“I wanted the cards to have personality,” Abney shares. “UNO can be such an emotional game, I thought it would be fun to create cards that could speak for themselves and elicit even more of a response from the players than they already are.”
Currently living in New York, the Chicago-born artist is just the third creator involved in the UNO Artiste Series, which launched in 2019 and previously featured the work of Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring. In addition to the deck’s aesthetic transformation, Abney also altered the game’s tenets with the addition of a WILD NO. “If someone plays either a Draw 2 or Wild Draw 4 card on you, lay down this card to force them to have to draw the cards instead,” the artist writes on Instagram.
Abney’s deck just launched this week and is available for pre-order in Mattel’s shop. As part of the collaboration, the toy company also will be making a donation to Pharrell Williams’ Black Ambition, a nonprofit dedicated to supporting Black and Latinx entrepreneurs.
Do stories and artists like this matter to you? Become a Colossal Member and support independent arts publishing. Join a community of like-minded readers who are passionate about contemporary art, help support our interview series, gain access to partner discounts, and much more. Join now!