Cara Delevingne Is Selling an Instagram Poem? Here’s a Roundup of Notable Recent NFT News, Ranked From Nifty to Grifty
From new NFT contracts to a failed Stan Lee NFT.
Recent months have brought a supernova of NFT news. With everyone from worthy artists to thirsty celebrities piling in, it’s hard to keep track.
Here, we round up (and try to explain) a few of the notable items we didn’t otherwise have a chance to report out. In case you were wondering what we think, we’ve ranked them “Nifty,” meaning cool, worthy, or otherwise worth watching, to “Grifty,” meaning, well, you know.
1) Nancy Baker Cahill Creates IRL Crypto-Art ContractThis project of the Contemporary Art Museum, Houston probably suffered from the fact that its about the over-complexity of NFTs and so a little hard to grasp—but it’s cool when you get into it. More than just selling off three images of evaporating augmented reality handshakes as NFTs on experimental platform Snark.art, Contract Killers saw Cahill work with lawyer Sarah Conley Odenkirk to create a sales agreement that, in effect, serves to point out all the legal aspects that blockchain-based transmission of digital art contracts does not take care of. (The three works each went for $2,021—peanuts, really, proving the big NFT-art spenders don’t really want to think about the details.)
2) Barbara Nessim’s Inkjet Art Gets the NFT Treatment
Among artist and designer Barbara Nessim’s many other explorations, she gets credit for making early use of the computer. Consequently, there’s an if-you-squint connection to the new wave of digital art to justify NYC’s Malin Gallery selling NFTs as part of its current show of her work, “Barbara Nessim: Stargirl.” They are based on three works she made using the very first prototype color inkjet printer in ’86 for a show in Tokyo. At least it puts a spotlight on an interesting artist. Starting bid on Rarible is 3 ETH, or about $7,300.
3) Chadwick Boseman NFT Is Redesigned, Flops
After being dragged for presenting an animated, gilded version of Chadwick Boseman’s head as (unofficial) Oscars swag, artist Andre Oshea redesigned and rethought his NFT tribute to the Black Panther star. The original hoped to raise $1.2 million, part of it for charity. A Young Boy’s Dream, the (heartfelt) redesigned version, was bought for $10,500 on May 17, proving not all press is good press.
4) Cara Delevingne Mints a Feminist Poem
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Delevingne gets into the NFT game with the 30-second video Mine, a six-line poem where the supermodel affirms her ownership of her vagina. She’s working with artist Chemical X (best known for making art out of ecstasy pills) to launch it on his personal platform This is #1 (which claims to be the first NFT platform that runs on Stacks, a cryptocurrency connected to bitcoin, instead of the typical ethereum). Proceeds of the May 22 auction go to Delevingne’s charitable foundation, so it’s not just a cash grab—but the poem is not exactly Maya Angelou, the clip feels like a quickly produced celebrity art collab, and the project doesn’t seem to have set the internet—or, most importantly for the sale, the very specific part of the internet where the bitcoin bros live—on fire.
5) John Lennon’s Affair Gets Animated as an NFT
May Pang was assistant to John Lennon and Yoko Ono, and had a famous affair with Lennon when the couple took a break in ’73, apparently with Ono’s consent. Pang also shot photos, never released, for Lennon’s 1974 Walls and Bridges album. It’s cool to see unreleased, historic photos of the Beatle, but it’s odd that they are being debuted in NFT form, augmented with animation from something called Oasis Digital Studios. It’s being sold on the new Infinite by Suku marketplace (which uses the Hedera hashgraph instead of the ethereum blockchain, FWIW). Sale closes June 9; current bids are at $212.
6) Sophie Brussaux Is Promoting Eco-NFTs
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Probably best known for her association with Drake (it’s a long story, but they have a child together, Adonis), Brussaux is now an aspiring NFT influencer. Just in March, she was promoting her paintings on the Artifya platform as a potential $66 million (!!!) NFT collection. Now Fox Business reports that Brussaux has come out swinging against the environmental impact of traditional cryptocurrency. She’s promoting her art on aspiring clean NFT marketplace Zeromint, which is cool—though the art itself, it must be said, is pretty typically middling celebrity painting, in NFT form or otherwise.
7) Gary Vaynerchuk Launches a Market for His Own, Bad Art
Well-known internet hype man Gary Vaynerchuk unveiled VeeFriends on May 11, a dedicated marketplace for 10,255 character tokens based on his own unremarkable drawings of animals like “Decisive Duck,” “Courageous Cockatoo,” and “Brunch Bear.” Select tokens give you three-year access to VeeCon, an upcoming Vaynerchuk-themed “super-convention.” He says he’s aiming for a “Scooby Doo [or] Smurfs” level of artistic fame, and that the VeeFriends are definitely, definitely “not a cash grab.”
8) The Hollywood Sign Will Become… Some Kind of NFT
The Hollywood sign will get the official NFT treatment. Why? Because the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce wants to raise money for its charity, and Sugar23, a “creative platform,” wants to help make that happen. “The project is in the early stages with no creative talent or artists involved,” the Hollywood Reporter says.
9) Stan Lee NFT Drop Gets Yanked
You likely have not heard of superheroes Oxblood, Imitatia, or The Thunderer, stars of Marvel comics impresario Stan Lee’s disastrously failed dot.com-era web comic, the 7th Portal. Someone was selling an NFT of the first episode, hyping the obscure project’s significance as originating the term “webisode.” The May 13 MakersPlace drop was postponed “until further notice” due to “unforeseen complications during production.”
10) “Cheugy” NFT Bellyflops
“I thought it would be very cheugy to create The Cheugy NFT,” wrote Gabby Rosson, who gets credit for coining this bit of briefly zeitgeisty Gen Z slang. Has the “cheugy” moment already passed? Listed for $4,103.21, Rosson’s low-imagination graphic of the word sold for $451.76 on MakersPlace on May 10.
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