Who Are The Biggest Crypto Artists Right Now?

Artist(s) in Focus, Top Lists, Digital Art

March 10, 2021

Crypto-art has been in a major spotlight recently, as Beeple's NFT (Non-Fungible Token)-based work of art went on a two-week-long single-lot online auction at Christie's while NFT-based artworks began selling for between few thousand and a few million dollars.

The craze continues as the UCCA Lab, a Beijing-based division of the UCCA Center for Contemporary Art focused on collaborations with brands, announced they would present what it described as "the world’s first major institutional crypto-art exhibition" this spring. Titled Virtual Niche — Have you ever seen memes in the mirror?, the show will bring together works by over 60 crypto artists.

Showcasing a demographic’s interest that has had little previous institutional examination, the organizers hope to help propel the dialogue surrounding crypto-art from the fringes into the mainstream.

Curated by BlockCreateArt CEO Sun Bohan and co-hosted by Digital Finance Group and Winkrypto, the exhibition at the UCCA will open on March 26, 2021.

Let's take a look at some of the crypto artists which are currently redefining the realms of contemporary art!

Featured image: Robert Alice - Portraits of Mind, 2020. Courtesy the artist.

Beeple

Arguably the biggest name on the digital art market at the moment, Mike Winkelmann aka Beeple began his career by collaborating with global brands including Apple, Space X, Nike, and Samsung, and creating concert visuals for artists such as Ariana Grande, Justin Bieber, Childish Gambino and Nicki Minaj.

A computer science graduate, Beeple only began researching NFTs in mid-October 2020 and, in a single weekend in December, he made $3.5 million when he auctioned off multiple editions of three digital artworks and 21 unique works. One of the originators of the current "everyday" movement in 3D graphics, he has been creating a picture everyday from start to finish and posting it online for over ten years without missing a single day. A composite of the first 5,000 days of the project, titled Everydays – The First 5000 Days, are currently being auctioned at Christie’s.

Featured image: Beeple - Everydays – The First 5000 Days, image via Christie's.

Mario Klingemann aka Quasimondo

Describing himself as an artist and a skeptic with a curious mind, Mario Klingemann aka Quasimondo works with neural networks, code and algorithms. Interested in artificial intelligence, deep learning, generative and evolutionary art, glitch art, data classification and visualization or robotic installations, he is guided by a desire to understand, question and subvert the inner workings of systems of any kind.

Quasimondo has been an Artist in Residence at Google Arts & Culture and has worked with prestigious institutions including The British Library, Cardiff University and New York Public Library.

Featured image: Quasimondo - Common Daemoniator, 2020. Image via underdestruction.com.

DJ deadmau5

A Canadian producer and musician, Joel Thomas Zimmerman, aka Deadmau5 has announced the sale of a limited series of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) based on the artist’s work. A first set of digital collectibles under the new brand name RAREZ, the series will include rare and authentic digital collectibles for the emerging virtual music industry. It includes two limited sets of packs, Standard and Mega, each containing 10 or 30 digital items. These range from stickers and pins as well as black, silver, and gold Deadmau5-themed cards, but also creative content from his recent shows as well as video clips, and an UltraRare piece of collaborative artwork by renowned 3D designer Sutu Eats Flies.

Featured image: deadmau5. Image via Wikimedia Commons.

Robert Alice

Founded by Benjamin Gentilli, a London-based artist, the Robert Alice project is aimed at promoting blockchain culture within the visual arts. Portraits of a Mind is the first work of art from the project and it was sold at Christie's for $131,250 in October 2020, reaching more than 7x its high-estimate value of 18k. The work is comprised of a physical object and an NFT collectible - a physical disc inscribed with 322,048 digits, some of which are highlighted in gold, radiating outwards from the central void and NFT which is a re-creation of the physical object, programmed to be viewable only during daylight hours of the physical work’s location.

Featured image: Robert Alice - Portraits of Mind, 2020, via robertalice.com.

Pak

Another artist pushing the limits of crypto art, Pak is a mysterious artist who is maintaining his anonymity. Some people from the crypto community have even labeled Pak as the "Satoshi of crypto art", referring to Satoshi Nakamoto, the unknown creator of Bitcoin. He is the creator of Archillect, a popular social media account on Twitter and Instagram posting content that is most likely to trend on social media platforms, scraped by AI Algorithm.

Pak's latest release on Nifty Gateway, The Title, was a statement about what NFT and crypto art can be, showing they're not really about the art itself but more about ownership of a file. It is comprised of series of NFTs with a same image, but with different titles that refer to their scarcity.

Mad Dog Jones

A Toronto-based crypto artist, Mad Dog Jones started his career on Instagram. His works start as photographs or hand drawings of cityscapes, morphing them through collage, coloring and illustrating into a cyberpunk scene on his iPad. Drawing inspiration from observing societies’ ever-increasing dependency on technology, he explores themes of tech, love, and friendship. The artist recently teamed up with Nifty Gateway to launch a selection of NFT-based artworks, under a series entitled Crash + Burn as well as Burn Mechanic.

Featured image: Mad Dog Jones - MDJ Digital X-Mas Box, via maddogjones.com.

FEWOCiOUS

An 18 year old rising star of the art world, FEWOCiOUS is known for a series of successful NFT drops. One of his latest pieces, FEWO WORLD, is a collaboration with RTFKT, the next-generation sneaker and collectible creators who merges the realities of fashion and gaming. Paired with a real world pair of shoes or other fashion piece, these NFTs generated over $3 million in sales in minutes. Kulture Hub has compared him to Basquiat and Barbara Kruger for his dynamic use of both visual and written imagery. Pulling inspiration from current social culture, FEWOCiOUS's work is a whimsical translation of his coming of age experience.

Robbie Barrat

A 19-year old crypto artist, Robbie Barrat is already pushing, testing and breaking AI in his works. Working on projects that employ AI or machine learning in some form, he has already worked in a research lab NVIDIA in California before moving to New York where he practiced as an artist, hosted an exhibition in collaboration with artist Ronan Barrot and, most recently, collaborated with Acne Studios on its AW20 collection. Working with GAN to generate works, he explains that the most compelling things happen when the network misinterprets the information that was given to it.