(Clockwise from top left) Tentura #120, image courtesy of Tentura; Singularity #1017, image courtesy of Singularity; Archetype #597, image courtesy of Archetype; Subscapes #398, image courtesy of Subscapes.
(Clockwise from top left) CloneX #16133, #17380, #16110, #13134. Images courtesy of CloneX.
(Clockwise from top left) MOAR #1, #895, #2644, #806. Images courtesy of MOAR.
Sarah Zucker, Self Transcending (still), 2021, non-fungible token (ERC-721), MP4, edition 1 of 1. Image courtesy of the artist and Sotheby’s.
(Clockwise from top left) Moonbird #5602, #2642, #7789, #8154. Images courtesy of Moonbirds.
Despite worries that the world of digital art has become saturated, the marketplace remains highly active and new projects bountiful. But with the masses driving these high-valued digital assets in droves, it can be a little disorienting to decide which ones are worth your attention. Here we’ve picked out a list of NFT projects that are making strides.
TEXT: CoBo Editorial
IMAGES: Courtesy of various
This Ethereum-based NFT creation platform allows artists to create and sell on-demand generative art. Each project is created based on a custom-designed algorithm to make art creation autonomous, with random factors introduced into the code to make each piece unique—be it a static image, 3D model, or an animated experience. Each output is different and there are endless possibilities for the types of content that can be created on the platform. The project, founded by former ceramic tile business owner Erick Calderon in November 2020, propelled into blue-chip status late last summer, when the NFT market frenzy pushed it from a US$11 million volume in secondary market trading, to US$63 million in July, and then US$587 million in August. The highest-selling Art Blocks Curated collection is the “Ringers” series by artist and coder Dmitri Cherniak. Comprising 1,000 generative NFTs made up of combinations of “strings and pegs”, it sold out in 20 minutes when it dropped in February 2021, and currently holds a floor price of 45 ETH (roughly US$92000 at the time of writing).
CLONE X by Takashi Murakami and RTFKT
Arguably the most high-profile collaboration currently in the NFT realm, this collection features 20,000 computer-generated avatars featuring a uniquely random combination of cartoonish facial features and clothes designed by the much loved Japanese Superflat artist, and the assets can be used in future NFT-based games, AR filters, Zoom meetings, and metaverse platforms. RTFKT also promised to release future CLONE X wearables, IRL item drops, and members-only experiences. Prior to this monumental offering, RTFKT had already amassed a cult following for pushing the envelope in creating distinct digital fashion and games, with unique crossovers such as a sneaker collaboration with Jeff Staples, and teased a virtual and physical apparel collection with sportswear brand Nike recently. Hence unsurprisingly, this CLONE X collection attracted an immense response when it dropped last November. Minted at a price of 2 ETH each, it sold out in mere minutes. It currently stands at a floor price of 14.7 ETH on Opensea.
MOAR by Joan Cornellà
Another highly successful NFT collaboration, the debut NFT collection of the immensely popular Spanish cartoonist and illustrator Joan Cornellà was met with strong market response, with the trade volume reaching 7753 ETH after it was released on 7 April, surpassing Bored Ape Yacht Club and AZUKI on a 7-day volume. Created with Hong Kong-based collectibles platform FWENCLUB, the 5,555 limited edition NFTs were sold as “blind boxes”, with the visuals revealed on 10 April. This NFT collection is apparently created based off a back story about “MOAR”, a mansion in the metaverse that houses 5,555 creatures who have had their souls minted as NFTs with the ERC-721 token. When it launched, it stirred debate and confusion in Hong Kong when one of its characters was said to resemble the lead character in home-grown comedian Stephen Chow’s 1994 film From Beijing with Love, which was later revealed to be a “misbelief”, as iterated in a statement issued by FWENCLUB on 8 April, apologising to the movie’s copyright owner Gala Film Distribution Limited for issuing the image without authorisation.
Zucker is an American visual artist and writer based in Los Angeles, whose practice merges the gorgeous and grotesque through humour, psychedelia, mysticism, and the interplay of both cutting edge and obsolete technologies, often mixing digital and analogue video techniques and the use of VHS. She is widely considered a pioneer in the field of crypto art, having been releasing digital editions of her video art as NFTs since as early as April 2019. Her work, Self Transcending, was one of the artworks featured in Sotheby’s landmark digital media auction “Natively Digital: A Curated NFT Sale” in June 2021.
A relatively new kid in the block, Moonbirds is an NFT collection of 10,000 pixelated owl avatars, and it is one of the fastest collections to reach blue-chip status in terms of floor price. The collection dropped on 16 April and sold out in just two days, garnering US$281 million in sales volume, quickly eclipsing Bored Ape Yacht Club and CryptoPunk. Its secondary market on OpenSea has reached a trading volume of 141.8K ETH. The collection was able to garner a lot of hype partly due to the people behind it. The collection is backed by PROOF Collective, a group of 1000 well-known NFT collectors, including investor Gary Vaynerchuk and NFT artist Beeple. The private members-only collective boasts a membership fee set at around 108 ETH. On 23 April, the decentralised gaming platform Sandbox reportedly splurged 350 ETH for Moonbirds NFT #2642, making it the most valuable purchase in the collection so far.