Even in the depths of a bear market, leading Tezos generative art platform fxhash has remained fertile ground for the next generation of generative art stars. Launched by generative artist ciphrd in November 2021, fxhash has begun to develop a cult following owing to its open model and curation-free ethos.
While the platform is open to anyone who seeks to deploy a generative art contract per its standards, an undeniable upper echelon of artists and projects has formed organically. Here are ten of the most notable projects to acquaint yourself with if you’re looking to get involved.
As fxhash’s all-time leader in sales volume, Zancan’s magnum opus has emerged as the platform’s blue-chip standard bearer. The French generative artist launched Garden, Monoliths as his fxhash debut in December 2021. Since that time, the project has ascended to grail status, regularly drawing comparisons with Art Blocks’ Fidenza in terms of its critical acclaim and coveted nature among collectors. For those who don’t have five figures to drop on one of the 256 mints, Zancan’s memorable (kinder)Garden, Monuments collaboration with Yazid, and his popular and glitchy A Bugged Forest foray are also well worth exploring.
What Chromie Squiggles is to Art Blocks, RGB Elementary Cellular Automaton is to fxhash. Created by fxhash founder ciphrd, the 1000-piece collection was the second project ever minted on the platform, and its secondary royalties even helped fxhash remain independent during its early days. Given its history and significance, it’s no surprise that the project has become a beloved symbol for the fxhash community. Even leading artist Zancan made one his PFP in early 2023.
Nearly five months before William Mapan’s Anticyclone took the Art Blocks scene by storm on Ethereum, the Paris-based generative artist launched his enigmatic Dragons project on fxhash for the Tezos faithful. Dragons is now the fourth highest in all-time sales volume on the platform and the only project in the top five that doesn’t feature Zancan or ciphrd.
With six fxhash projects and an Art Blocks Curated drop under his belt, Marcelo Soria-Rodríguez has become a key artist to watch in generative art. Released in November 2021 as a series of 773 mints, Contrapuntos was his first long-form generative work and remains in fxhash’s top ten projects by all-time sales volume. The impressive project also had a philanthropic element, with 25% of primary sale proceeds going to Project Lighthouse to support self-sustainable communities in impoverished regions through youth empowerment.
One of the most exciting rising artists in the generative art world, Tyler Boswell (aka teaboswell) is poised to build upon the momentum of his breakthrough year in 2022. Less than two weeks after its launch, his flagship project September had totaled secondary sales equal to its overall outputs — a feat that only a handful of projects have accomplished and which typically takes more than five months. Two months later, Boswell was one of three artists selected for Tezos’ live-minting activation at the Art Basel Miami Beach fair. Pro tip: try viewing a September output in live mode, where it will continuously redraw a new output every few seconds using the same base parameters with slight variations. It’s the gift that keeps on giving.
Feelings of loneliness and desolation are palpable in Iskra Velitchkova‘s stark fxhash debut Uninhabitable. The Bulgarian generative artist (also known as pointline) built the December 2021 project with a generative system using only ellipses that resulted in four different compositions that “seek to evoke living constructions and environments.” In July 2022, Velitchkova also teamed up with fellow generative artist Zach Lieberman for another popular project entitled horizon(te)s, which is sixth in all-time sales volume on the platform at time of publication (“Uninhabitable” is 12th).
Drawing inspiration from Spanish irrigation channels, this simple but evocative project is the handiwork of Rich Poole and ThePaperCrane. Combining both daytime and nighttime palettes, generative designs based on actual Andalusian mountain villages and soothing water animations, Acequia topped the weekly sales volume chart upon its release and has cemented its position as one of the platform’s most memorable releases to date. The stairs are also rather reminiscent of M. C. Escher’s work.
Ryan Bell recently made waves for his Art Blocks Presents collection Hyper Drive: A-Side on Ethereum, but his journey to generative art prominence began on Tezos. While the prolific artist has released ten projects on fxhash, his March 2022 release Fragments of a Wave remains his flagship on the platform both in terms of commercial (No. 15 in all-time sales volume) and critical reception. With a floor under 1,000 Tezos at the time of publication, it’s also one of the more accessible projects on this list.
Every community comes with its own homegrown lore, and fxhash is no exception. While Dutch artist Mark Knol’s SMOLSKULL collection may not look so serious at first glance, it has become a cherished facet of the fxhash ecosystem. Launched in November 2021 as the 14th project ever deployed on the platform, the whimsical pixelated skulls were quickly embraced by the fledgling community as fxhash’s first-ever PFP project. While it helped that Knol already had a proven track record as a top-selling artist on Tezos platform hicetnunc, SMOLSKULL has shown impressive staying power and still ranks eighth in all-time sales volume.
Born in America and based in Saudi Arabia, Melissa Wiederrecht is an accomplished generative artist with two Art Blocks releases (Sudfah on Curated and Sandaliya on Presents) and eight fxhash collections under her belt. Combining vibrant colors and generative brush strokes, her latest series, Take Wing, is arguably her most definitive generative work to date. Be sure to also check out her more limited series entitled Zbageti.
Editor’s note: At time of publication, the author is a holder of fxhash NFTs by Zancan and teaboswell.