NFTs are the talk of the moment, constantly appearing in news articles. Like them or not, they’re taking up dominant cultural space, and they represent a path forward for many industries.
One of the industries that’s going to change the most as a result of NFTs is the art world. NFT art has become so popular because NFTs are all about securing images. Many NFT artists have arisen to capitalize on the ability to make online images exclusive.
But who are these people making this new type of art? This article will walk you through some of the most popular NFT artists.
If there’s only one name you’re going to read on this list before you click away, make it the name of Mike Winkelmann, aka “Beeple.” Beeple’s name is practically synonymous with NFT art, and he’s by far the most successful and wealthy NFT artist in the world.
He’s known for his strange, subversive artworks that 3D render worlds that feature pieces of pop culture in new contexts. They serve as a critique, condemnation, and sometimes celebration of our culture. For example, his work “Vibe City” features hip young people skateboarding on a highway suspended miles in the air, while a giant, monolithic bottle of Ocean Spray cranberry juice looms above them.
In 2007, at 26 years old, he started a project he called “Everyday’s” where he’d create a piece of digital art work every day, often focusing on specific mediums per year. He did it before he became renowned as an artist, simply to practice his practical skills as an artist.
The artworks from this series got him his recognition, and an NFT collage of the first 5,000 days of the Everyday’s made him a multi-millionaire — selling for close to $70 million and becoming the most expensive NFT sale to an individual of all time.
He also sold another digital artwork “HUMAN ONE” for close to $30 million, and is the flagship artist for many digital auction houses and digital museums. This was the third most expensive NFT sale to an individual of all time, making Beeple the only creator with two works in the top 10 most expensive NFT sales of all time. Both sales were made using the Ethereum blockchain.
But more important than the money is the influence. Everywhere across the internet, you can see artworks influenced by Beeple’s unique style.
Pak, an anonymous artist, is truly the only NFT artist that threatens Beeple’s status as the most prominent NFT and digital art creator.
However, Paks work is significantly more abstract, less pop-arty, and almost entirely non-representative. When you consider Pak’s work as an avant-garde artist, the fact that they’ve achieved as much success as they have makes their career almost more impressive than Beeple’s.
Pak challenges Beeple’s status so much because they technically have the most expensive NFT sale of all time — but the purchase was sold by 28,000 different creators. Pak’s work “The Merge” sold for close to $100 million.
However, it’s not quite as easy as this. This artwork has a built-in ability to become scarce, fusing all of the purchases into one wallet. It’s all right if you don’t understand; just know that the way the NFT was structured to be sold is as much of a work of art as the image itself.
Pak is on track to become one of the defining artists of our generation, creating a bot called “archillect” which is revolutionizing the way social media posting is going.
It’s important to note, however, that due to their anonymous status, some people think PAK is a group of people, not one individual.
Fewocious represents the future of NFTs. Only 19 years old, irreverent, queer, and ready to challenge the current social order, fewocious is one of the most exciting and vibrant artists out there today.
In just one year, he generated over $17 million in revenue. His art is wild, gaudy, colorful, and abstract. In comparison to Beeple and Pak, it’s much closer to something you’d see in the movements of cubism, abstract expressionism, and the pop art of artists like RB Kitaj.
4. Sneha Chakraborty
Sneha Chakraborty represents the transition of physical art into NFT art. She’s an Indian street/mural artist who focuses on capturing her culture and community. With Sneha, we see the beginnings of NFT street art.
She’s been a big proponent of NFTs and digital art because one can get direct support from buyers. Often, in the world of traditional art, one needs to rely on the support of bureaucratic galleries. Here, artists can find support directly from donors, patrons, and investors.
Xcopy is probably most famous for his association with Snoop Dogg, who bought one of his pieces for $7 million.
They focus on a collage-based pop-art style that’s heavily influenced by Beeple with significant new twists. Many of their pieces of art contain dynamic, moving, and flashing imagery making the colors pop out toward you. They recall the experience of finding GIFs out in the wild on the internet.
This is key to the ever-developing art world. Just like Andy Warhol took elements of the commercial world around him and turned them into art, Xcopy is grabbing digital ephemera and turning it into genius.
For more information on artists like Xcopy, click here.
Understand the Best NFT Artists
As you can see, the best NFT artists are a diverse group. Whether they’re creating sprawling commentaries on our society, cryptic abstract art, fun pop art for a new generation, or street art for the people, there’s something for everyone in the NFT art world.
If you believe in investing in art, supporting artists directly, and finding paths forward for the art world, NFT art could just be right for you.
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