When it comes to crypto art, there’s XCOPY, and there’s everyone else.
As one of the first artists to mint on SuperRare in 2018, the pseudonymous artist has charted an unparalleled trajectory from Tumblr GIF wizard to the blue-chip standard bearer of the crypto art movement. With multiple seven-figure 1/1 sales, XCOPY has reached rarified air without compromising his credibility.
Today (Nov. 3), XCOPY revealed his new “Remnants” project, a variant edition of 250 pieces created for holders of SuperRare’s RarePass. Featuring curated variations, the project introduces a new creative dynamic for the artist who first experimented with generative art in his popular “Grifters” series.
We caught up with the enigmatic artist for a rare and exclusive interview to learn more about “Remnants” and his thoughts on the state of digital art.
Matt Medved: What was your inspiration for the Remnants project?
XCOPY: Humans, technology, existential dread, the usual stuff.
What can you tell us about the project’s artwork and dynamics?
The artwork follows a familiar formula; we have shared traits like color ways and textures. The difference from something like Grifters is that the ‘outputs’ are not random. They’re choices I made. Curating the outputs was one step in the process, not the final step. The works were ‘degenerated’ beyond that. This allowed me to take more risks with the compositions and go beyond the safety of a template.
SuperRare is home to many of your earliest works dating back to 2018. What drew you to participating in the RarePass project?
I saw it as an opportunity to support the platform that took a chance on me in 2018. Up until that point, nobody had taken my work seriously. I had a decent following on Tumblr, but most people didn’t consider what I did to be ‘real’ art. SuperRare has been integral to the rise of NFTs; they built on what came before with projects like Rare Pepes and CryptoPunks. They gave us a home to experiment and collect digital art. It sounds common now, but that’s because new platforms have iterated on their template. SuperRare has always been a crypto-native platform and is among the few that still enforce creator royalties. I wanted to do what I could to ensure SuperRare made it through the bear market. This platform didn’t just change my life; it’s changed the lives of many artists. I want more artists to experience that.
What are your thoughts on the current state of digital art?
For me, as an artist, there has never been a better time to be making digital art. Crypto changed everything, not only by giving us a meaningful way to collect digital art but also by creating a new medium. Creative tools are developing so fast that it’s impossible to keep up. We have more eyes on our work than ever before with social media. It’s easier than ever to connect with other artists, builders and collectors. When I first minted on SuperRare in 2018, NFTs were still a radical idea. Now you can get them at Starbucks. Unless you knew how to code, the tooling didn’t exist then to mint your own NFTs; now, we have much more variety and permission-less access to these tools.
What would you improve about the web3 space if you could?
I’d change the name back to “crypto,” which makes it what it is. We can’t have the nice jpegs and the freedom to transact without it. Apart from that, we need more monkey PFPs to ignite the next bull run!