Reality Star and Crypto Evangelist Paris Hilton Is Spearheading a Digital Art Acquisition Fund at LACMA

Hilton even named her dogs Crypto Hilton and Crypto Reum.

Paris Hilton at the 2022 MTV Awards (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/Getty Images for MTV)

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art is creating a new acquisition fund for digital art made by female artists. The initiative is spearheaded by none other than Paris Hilton, the socialite-turned-reality star who has become an NFT evangelist in the past year.

“As an activist and entrepreneur who likes to push the boundaries in many male-dominated fields, I immediately identified the need to support women in Web3” Hilton said in a statement. “There are so many incredibly brilliant and creative women innovators in the space.”

Hilton has been a longtime proponent of crypto, investing in both bitcoin and ether back in 2016. She even named her dogs Crypto Hilton and Crypto Reum after her husband, Carter Reum.

On social media, Hilton has championed the work of NFT wunderkind Fewocious, Pak, and Friendswithyou, and in April 2021 launched her own NFT drop in collaboration with digital artist Blake Kathryn. She is also the reason Jimmy Fallon jumped on the Bored Ape Yacht Club bandwagon, which the two discussed at length on his late night show.

LACMA director Michael Govan thanked Hilton for her initiative, adding that the museum “has always been interested in experimentation and risk-taking in art, and this initiative will help the museum—and Los Angeles—continue to evolve into an important center for digital art.”

Not everyone is as confident in the plan, however. On Twitter, art critic and author Ben Lewis wrote, “Celeb who shills NFTs sets up ‘fund’ to buy NFTs for public institution—classic conflict of interest art market & museum scam. Should be shut down.”

The institution has acquired two artworks to kick off the fund: Canadian-Korean artist Krista Kim’s Continuum: Los Angeles (2022) and British artist Shantell Martin’s The Question (2022). Kim’s work is an extension of her “Continuum” series, which feature color gradients inspired by specific cities, set to morph and evolve in time with music. The Los Angeles edition was created in collaboration with the composer Ligovskoï, formed by Nikolaï Azonov and Valerio Selig in 2010. Martin’s piece uses digital technology to create engaging drawings.

Both works will be included in an exhibition co-presented by LACMA and Arizona State University in fall 2022.

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