The Popular SuperRare NFT Marketplace Is Opening Its First Brick-and-Mortar Pop-Up Gallery in SoHo

The gallery will host a rotating program of curated exhibitions, including shows inspired by cyberpunk landscapes and Pride month.

A rendering of the SuperRare Gallery, opening in May, 2022. Courtesy of SuperRare.

SuperRare is about to get super real.

Next month, the popular NFT marketplace will launch a pop-up gallery in New York’s SoHo neighborhood—its first IRL initiative. Open May 19 through August 28, the SuperRare Gallery will host a rotating program of five NFT shows, some organized by the company’s in-house curatorial team, others by guest curators. 

“We’ve been wanting to do a SuperRare gallery for a long time now, but of course, the pandemic made that impossible until recently,” SuperRare co-founder and CEO John Crain told Artnet News. “We have a dedicated community and we think everyone is going to be really excited to connect IRL. We’re all eager to share the experience of seeing and feeling NFT artwork in person and with a community, something that really can’t be replicated remotely.”

The platform’s senior curator An Rong will helm the first presentation, a survey of 15 futurist NFT artists whose work explores sci-fi themes inspired by cyberpunk landscapes—Botto, Krista Kim, and Alex Ness among them. 

But “Visions from Remembered Futures,” as the show is called, will steer clear of the dystopian fare often associated with such work; instead, it will “celebrate the newly liberated freedom of expression for artists amid a digital art Renaissance, a break from the conventional art world traditions and politics,” according to the exhibition description.

Other programs planned for the gallery include shows dedicated to Pride Month, curated by Nicole Ruggiero, Samantha Carey, and Laurel Charleston; Black digital artists, curated by Malian artist Inna Modja; and two-dimensional digital painting, organized by SuperRare.

“There will be around 15 screens in total in the gallery,” Rong explained about the gallery’s setup. “Each screen will be dedicated to one piece of art for around 3 weeks, to counter the short attention span people would otherwise have when they view NFTs on Twitter or marketplaces.”

“We want people to view, experience, and contemplate art NFTs as if they are in an art museum,” she added.

While the gallery will take over a SoHo storefront in May, it’s not to be confused with the digital “storefronts” that will make up SuperRare Spaces, the company’s newly announced initiative that allows independent users to curate—and even commission—their own NFT exhibitions on the platform. Until now, the platform’s curators hand-selected each artist featured on the site. 

Access to SuperRare will be granted through a new proprietary “curation token,” called $RARE. (The advent of coins has become something of a trend among major NFT businesses that are seeking to create real-world value and utility for their users.)

“While we’re incredibly proud of how the SuperRare Labs team has led curation over the last 3 years, we also recognize we’re not the only ones with an eye for undiscovered talent and artistic value,” the company explains on its website. “Nor should we risk becoming the digital version of the gatekeeping galleries we sought to disrupt.” 

$RARE, the site explains, is a “means to identify and empower new curatorial talent in the SuperRare community.”

When asked if the company has plans for future pop-ups, or perhaps a more permanent gallery space, Crain said “Never say never!  We’re starting with this three-month pop-up in SoHo and we’ll see where that takes us.”

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