The Crypto Aesthetic (T.C.A) is a shun of the status quo. A nose turned up to physical remnants and the well commissioned gatekeepers of the 20th century.
Artists of the digital world connect directly with collectors.
Of course... every art scene has an unspoken language that creates an invisible barrier of comprehension until you do the work to get the joke. In this MintFace article, I explore the aesthetic unique to the digital art space through the lens of work you may not be as familiar with.
Why might you want to understand the scene?
🍒 For artists...knowing might help you create your own digital art in the space.
🍒 For traders....use your insightful alpha to trade you way to bigger art pieces or to own a slightly large sliver of the ethereum driven art space.
🍒 For collectors... allow yourself the freedom to choose work that speaks to you by fully informing your decision through your own digging. Discover back stories.... origins... and unique tweaks that brings you closer to the front of the stage for the next digital art show.
MintFace Artwork Feature - XRay Punks
Digital artwork that reveals hidden features of famous digital artwork is the crypto aesthetic of XRay Punks. Each artwork reveals a little more about the famous CryptoPunks that are the original collection of avatar based art garnering so much attention.
XRay Punks are a homage to the official series by Larva Labs. Each of the 100 characters are handmade and unique 1/1 Xray Punks. The 99th XRay Punk was released on Thursday 5th August 2021 shown below.
The aesthetic of XRay Punks is well considered, adopting the features of each original original CryptoPunk pair. Go look at the original CryptoPunk series on OpenSea paired with the XRay character above and both are smoking pipes.
As a 'normal' artist, you're probably wondering what's being smoked by people who care about whether a pixelated image has a pipe or not, yet the features (known as traits) can drive the perceived value of a piece as much as the art itself.
The XRay artist has created a relatable connection with the original while revealing new imagined features that only an xray would pick on.
Nothing could express the combination of CryptoPunk human with XRay Punk technology better.
🤩 Human + 🤖 technology is an ongoing theme you'll come to understand in the ethereum driven digital artwork, if you stick around long enough. To begin with, you might feel like you're staring at a strange, un-relatable series of graphics that don't make sense.
Protip: Go beyond the surface of the art and look at character traits if your goal is to understand the art and the ethereum based pricing it often represents.
MintFace Sale Feature - XCopy
Nothing says culture like summer.jpg. Iconic art that offers a perspective on being 'blinded by the light'.... looking away as the bubbles are forming... and drinking the 'we're all going to make it' champagne...while it lasts.
The .JPG t'shirt burns bright and the sunburnt arms and face a searing reflection that there will be some people that wake up tomorrow with a physical sense of burning pain.
XCopy sold summer.jpg to CryptoPunk #6529 for 336 Eth (almost a million USD) just a couple of days ago on August 3rd at 5:30pm.
Going beyond what may turn out to be a historical summer for more reason than one... you can revist XCopy's earlier works. The commentary is obvious. Right-click and Save As guy pokes fun at those who take an artists work without paying for it.
XCopy isn't afraid of lighting the traditional art world on digital fire either.
If you've read this far... and are thinking of investing.... trading or collecting... maybe forage for your next piece a little further beyond the OpenSea platform.
The Known Origin marketplace has NFT antiques going back to April 2018 according to XCopy (and they'd know). Zig when others Zag.
I cover the origin of each marketplace in my Digital Artist Economy course for artists new to NFT's that would like mint and publish their first collection in a cohort of artists.
MintFace Artist Feature - Alpha Centauri Kid
Alpha Centauri Kid is a 3D, 2D, and musical 'crypto' artist who is 'having fun making shit.'
His latest artwork series of 15 is called 'Right Click Print.' A hooded person stars at a computer screen displaying a CryptoPunk. The hoody is up to his waist in rippling water for half of the video, when an XCopy work in the background cuts in with 'breaking news.' It's a DMCA notice, a subtle nod to copyrights ability to sweep away artwork it deems a copy? The water begins to rise and waves around the desk rises.
The CryptoPunk disappears on the computers screen replaced with an "I'm Sorry" scrawl in XCopy's patina.
The issue of copyright is a hot issue right now as ownership in a decentralised world still has obligations to countries with copyright laws... or do they?
Alpha Centauri Kid has published 44 works to date on the OpenSea marketplace each well supported by prices north of 16 eth and over 60 eth of artwork traded to date.
My favourite work by Alpha Centauri Kid is "Declaration of Independent Contracts" listed on the Foundation marketplace. Alpha Centauri has superimposed the CryptoPunks over the heads of the 50 gentleman gathered for a new declaration... the Declaration of Indepedent Contracts.
The original artwork is of course a much larger 3.7m x 5.5m physical oil on canvas deal called the "Declaration of Independence" by American artist John Trumbull now over 202 years old.
The description also notes that 'everybody wants a manifold contract', a nod to the Manifold platform who believes that the creator is the platform. Manifold creates blockchain products for NFT communities by partnering with the top 1% of cryptomedia content creators.
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Artists - you can send any notes of appreciation to ryanj.eth in whatever form you feel reflects your art.
MintFace surfaces great artists and artworks so you don't have to. We also run the Digital Artist Economy workshop helping artists deserving of digital prominence create their first digital art through the three week programme.
Share it with an artist you'd like to see on an NFT marketplace.