What's new in cryptoart | April 2022
Exploring 10 recent happenings around cryptoart!
Metaversal is a Bankless newsletter for weekly level-ups on NFTs, virtual worlds, & collectibles
Dear Bankless Nation,
The major NFT activity we saw in 2021 was preceded by a surge in activity around cryptoart in 2020.
However, profile picture (PFP) collections came to dominate last year and have since stolen the show from all other NFT categories, including cryptoart, in recent times.
Yet if you’re currently sleeping on cryptoart, then you’re sleeping on a space in which creativity and technology are coming together in some of the most interesting ways possible right now.
Let’s plug in a bit further, then. Below are 10 notable cryptoart happenings that have recently come to the fore!
New developments around cryptoart
SuperRare now supports interactive art
SuperRare is one of the most popular and storied cryptoart platforms in the NFT ecosystem. Recently, the project rolled out support for dynamic and interactive NFTs, meaning audiences and collectors can now play a role in defining the artistic outcomes of SuperRare pieces. In related news, SuperRare just celebrated its 4th birthday, and its DAO has now earned over 5k ETH worth of fees since its inception.
The Zora bloom blossoms
Zora V3 is an on-chain NFT marketplace protocol. But it’s not just any ol’ protocol, it’s versatile and optimized open-source infrastructure that a growing number of cryptoart and NFT projects are embracing toward their own ends. So whether it’s Artiva + Zora combos or new cryptoart projects repurposing Zora’s infra, expect to see Zora popping up a lot more around the cryptoart scene going forward.
Meme-to-cryptoart pipeline chugs along
Africa Facts Zone @AfricaFactsZoneGhanaian Pallbearer, Benjamin Aidoo has sold his Coffin Dance NFT for $1.046 million (372 Ethereum). His dancing pallbearers group went went viral, after memes were created with their videos during the COVID-19 lockdown and outbreak in 2020. https://t.co/264rJWiXJW
There’s been a shift toward “memes as high art” in the NFT ecosystem over the past couple of years, and while that trend seemingly reached a peak last year, it’s still going strong lately. For example, consider how the popular Ghanian pallbearer meme just fetched +300 ETH at auction on cryptoart platform Foundation. Look for this dank art pipeline to continue for the foreseeable future.
Ezra Miller + Steven Klebanoff release Silk Road
EM @ezzzrrraannouncing Silk Road, a new series of generative NFTs. presale: 4/13 @ 1pm EST, limited to Solvency minters and holders, max 2 per address public sale: 4/14 @ 1pm EST 1028 pieces, 0.4 ETH each view the first 28 pieces on https://t.co/lD928deyth https://t.co/blyDBdXk7g
Artist Ezra Miller and software engineer Steve Klebanoff teamed up to publish Solvency, which ended up being one of the most notable cryptoart releases in 2021. Now the duo has teamed up again for Silk Road, a new generative drop out this week that’s poised to earn similar acclaim.
This Artwork Is Always on Sale experiment continues
One of the most pivotal conceptual art experiments in Ethereum’s early history is the This Artwork Is Always on Sale project by artist Simon de la Rouviere. The piece is always on sale and always has a listing price, though it can experience foreclosure if the current holder’s deposit can no longer afford the “patronage rate.” The work was on the verge of experiencing foreclosure over the weekend, but that’s been averted for now.
Deep cryptoart archaeology efforts dig deeper
As the NFT ecosystem has exploded in popularity in recent years, so too have “NFT archeological” efforts seen a surge of interest. These efforts seek to outline the histories of lost NFT projects or resuscitate them where possible. Expect to see these sorts of cryptoart archeology projects only continue to bloom in popularity as we see more and more NFTs produced.
Music NFTs keep gaining traction
Music NFTs are cryptoart. A newer field of cryptoart, but cryptoart nonetheless. And while many folks are still debating the feasibility of music NFTs, new platforms in the space are seeing their artists sell out drops one after the other and seeing lots of secondary volume, e.g. Sound. So keep your eye on Sound, Catalog, Beat Foundry, and the like.
NFT worldbuilding bloom pulling in more cryptoartists
The Nouns universe spearheaded by Nouns DAO. The Lootverse composed by all the Loot derivative projects. Sup’s Superverse, which comprises the Blitmap world and beyond. NFT worldbuilding projects are in vogue right now and will take all kinds of people to make happen going forward, so I expect to see artists’ services increasingly in-demand in these sorts of efforts.
Harm van den Dorpel unveils Markov’s Dream
Harm van den Dorpel is an acclaimed artist and the creator of Mutant Garden Seeders, one of the most critically respected collections in the contemporary NFT ecosystem. Notably, the master artist is next publishing Markov’s Dream as his next big NFT release via folia!
Art Blocks is still steering great art
Art Blocks is Ethereum’s premier generative art platform. And while buzz around Art Blocks has died down some from last year, the project is still facilitating the release of incredible generative artworks. For anyone interested in tracking what’s happening with Art Blocks’s latest mints, I suggest checking out Rarity.Guide.
🎨 Explore cryptoart projects this week
✍️ Read my previous write-up The great NFT leap
William M. Peaster is a professional writer and creator of Metaversal—a Bankless newsletter focused on the emergence of NFTs in the cryptoeconomy. He’s also recently been contributing content to Bankless, JPG, and beyond!
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