Those NFT things are well mad, right? Seemingly appearing out of nowhere earlier this year – though crypto aficionados will rightly point to them being a fair few years old – their worth rocketed vertiginously thanks to the rich and famous (and now even richer) getting involved. Grimes sold six million dollars of tokens; Jack Dorsey sold his first ever tweet; and Beeple sold ‘Everydays: The First 5000 Days’ for an eye-soaking $69.3m. Suddenly, we went from not the foggiest on what they were to being fully gassed on gas fees.
Thankfully, HOFA – that’s the House of Fine art, no less – are here to make sense of it all. Their new exhibition ‘Portrait of An Era’ – worth $20m – is set to showcase the world’s rarest, buzziest non-fungible tokens, open both in-gallery via prints and online through the gallery’s VR mobile and web app HOFA.io.
Headlining are CryptoPunks, Autoglyphs, Meebits and Fidenza, all examples of ‘blue-chip’ NFTs, the creme-de-la-creme of digital collectables. Each series spans thousands of characters of differing rarity, available to buy, collect, trade and hopefully make a fucking fortune from. Set alongside sculptures from Joseph Klibansky and Sepand Danesh, the show also features the first ever NFTs from King Nerd, the hype-worthy engraver who took the watch world by storm a few years back.
Six sealed CryptoPunk characters are being exhibited, a quarter of the twenty-four in existence. These are accompanied by an alluringly lacquered envelope containing the ‘seed phrase’ that would grant the reader irrevocable, infinite ownership of the NFT. All six characters have got killer mohawks and cigarettes, so even if you’re never going to cop one, they might give you a little bit of style inspo.
Joining the blue-chips is a generous portion of cutting-edge digital art – from Dmitri Cherniak’s geometric experiments to Jan Kalab’s blobby, globular animations – exhibited online and offline. It brings together a new era of art, one based as much on technology, value and cryptocurrency as it is on aesthetics. While you might be a little hot and cold on the concept still, there’s no doubt that they’re going to continue to dominate the cultural sphere for some time to come – so might as well get your head around them now and make a quick buck, eh?
‘Portrait of an Era’ runs from 23 September to 7 October at HOFA. It’s also available to view across HOFA’s VR mobile and web App HOFA.io.