If 2021 was the year the art world woke up to NFTs, 2022 is the year that relationship is cemented. To celebrate the breadth of creativity in the NFT space, Artsy and Verisart present 22 for 2022, a curated NFT auction featuring 22 artists for 2022 from the contemporary, digital and street art market. “The 22 participating artists in this inaugural Verisart x Artsy curated NFT auction reflect the widespread engagement with NFTs throughout the art market and across all disciplines, styles and generations,” says Robert Norton, CEO & co-founder of Verisart.
Curated and minted by Verisart, the works are exclusively available on Artsy, the world's largest online art marketplace, and bidding closes around 6pm EST on February 8.
The participating artists work across a variety of mediums including AI, NFTs, painting, installation, photography, robotics, sculpture, video and more. Here’s a whistlestop tour of all 22 NFTs, grouped into four broad categories: Inaugural NFTs, Digital & The Art of Code, Street & Pop and Digital meets Physical.
Mark Wallinger, Penny Slinger, Troika, Mat Collishaw, Jennifer Rubell, Mike Egan
From YBA artist Mat Collishaw to feminist & surrealist artist Penny Slinger, these artists have left their stamp on the art world and are taking their first steps into the NFT space by releasing their inaugural NFTs with Artsy and Verisart. Represented by galleries such as Southern & Partners, François Ghebaly, Meredith Rosen and Kohn Gallery, Blum & Poe, their works have been exhibited at the National Portrait Gallery, Venice Biennale, MoMA, LACMA, Centre Pompidou among many others.
Mark Wallinger's NFT poetically captures moonlight on a lake as he muses about the cultural significance of the moon as a symbol. Penny Slinger reimagines her iconic work Don’t Look At Me In That Tone of Voice initially published in her acclaimed book 50 % The Visible Woman, in video form.
Troika comment on the increasing uniformity in the world with My Life in Presets, a computer-animated collage of virtual objects, pre-set movements and backdrops depicting Zeus typing at a desk. While Mona Lisa Sold, by Jennifer Rubell, explores fake news and hijacks the NFT as a medium so that any reproduction becomes a further dissemination of the fake news.
Urn Burial, a video poem by Mike Egan, shows illustrated slides of a single phrase, "Everything is garbage," translated into 51 languages. Egan is concerned with the nature and universal beauty of garbage, and how ultimately, everything, even our bodies, becomes garbage. Mat Collishaw uses the example of Jewel Beetle, which frequently attempts to mate with a beer bottle instead of a female, to consider how evolution’s simplified interface through which we perceive reality sometimes fails, leading to misdirection.
Digital & The Art of Code
Daniel Brown, Lee Mullican, Mario Klingemann, Leo Isikdogan, Linda Dounia, Manuel Rossner, SMACK, Vince Fraser
The artists in this group are brought together by their use of interactive and digital mediums like AI, algorithms and code. Daniel Brown’s NFT showcases an imaginary architectural landscape featuring London’s hi-tech buildings created through custom generative software and photomontage. Lee Mullican's digital work from the 1980s, created on an IBM 5170 computer, is a testament to how brought art and technology were one step closer by pioneering artists.
Mario Klingemann, Leo Isikdogan and Linda Dounia all make innovative use of AI. Klingemann, represented by Onkaos Gallery, generates creatures by manipulating the latent space of BigGAN. Isikdogan uses AI to creatively mimic convergent evolution, a process whereby organisms evolve similar traits in response to the same environmental pressures. Dounia in Dust is hard to breathe considers how the environment impacts city living by adapting the rhythm of her AI model to reflect the weather of Dakar.
Artists Manuel Rossner, SMACK and Vince Fraser employ computer-generated imagery to create animated digital works. Rossner thinks about the properties of digital materials by drawing in virtual reality, giving volume to his movement and then simulating its behavior in the manipulated physics of the artist’s digital world. SMACK’s NFT is one of their 500 individual characters from their series TRIBE NFT CHARACTERS which explores identity and mass behavior. The changing colors and shapes in Fraser’s work act as an analogy for how life, mood, feelings and behaviors can evolve over time.
Street & Pop
Shepard Fairey, Vhils, Philip Colbert
These artists work at the intersection of life and art. Shepard Fairey and Vhils use the streets as their canvas, while Philip Colbert blurs the boundaries between pop culture and art. All three artists have developed their own striking visual style and engage closely with their viewers through politics or humor.
Fairey’s NFT, OG Obey V.1, is the first digital version of his iconic Andre the Giant sticker which provided the starting point for his OBEY GIANT art campaign in 1989. Vhils’ work Torn features a digital composition of images showcasing his unique visual language based on the removal of the surface layers of walls through hand-carved and laser-cut street advertising posters. Hockney and the Lobster, by Colbert, playfully imagines an encounter between British artist David Hockney and Philip Colbert’s emblematic Lobster character.
Digital meets Physical
Neiïl Beloufa, Pindar Van Arman, Sougwen Chung, Recycle Group, Jonathan Yeo
Although we still live in a physical world, much of our day-to-day involves working with technology and interacting digitally. These artists explore what it means to be human in a digital age. Neil Beloufa’s work Dan is a physical sculpture brought to life and able to express itself, only to complain about being an underestimated artwork. Pindar Van Arman and Sougwen Chung work with machines and robotic arms, questioning what creativity means in today’s world. Van Arman, who uses AI and robotics to create his works explains, “My robots recently began painting mysterious images that revealed themselves to be bitGANs”. Chung’s gracefully moving NFT is a generative digital sculpture inspired by the theme of enfolding and enclosure. The artist's proceedings will be donated to non-profit organisation EV Loves NYC.
The Navel by Recycle Group plunges us into a digital landscape where the cracked surface of the earth appears to be breathing as we journey into a neuron structure of artificial intelligence. Jonathan Yeo’s I’ve Been Expecting You is a reimagining of one of Yeo’s iconic collage works, a portrait of Sean Connery, as secret agent James Bond, made up of clippings from vintage porn magazines to reference the dated moralities and objectification of women in the series.
Minted & Certified on Verisart
All the NFTs in this auction are Certified NFTs. Each work comes with an integrated artist COA (Certificate of Authenticity) which helps artists combat fraud with an additional authentication layer, verifiable identity and an ongoing record of their work. COAs also provide artists with the opportunity to share exclusive content and rewards with their collectors. Collector rewards provided by artists include a brand new original song from Mike Egan, an additional image from Troika and access to an AR version of Ligatures (Node 2) from Sougwen Chung.
Bidding for all works starts at 1ETH, the auction closes at 6pm EST on February 8, 2022. Explore works here.