The worlds of traditional fine art and NFTs merge as one in an unprecedented showcase between legendary auction house Christie’s and nft now at Art Basel Miami on Dec. 2-3. The collaborative gallery, The Gateway, opens to the public Friday, and with it an exhibit of work from some of the most prolific animators, artists, technologists, and painters in the world.
With pieces ranging from the subversive to the pastoral, the nft now x Christie’s collaboration is a reflection of this moment in art history — of the seismic shift away from siloed thinking on how artwork is made, sold, and shared.
Meet the artists who are bringing this transition to life.
Andrea Oshea is a 3D animator and artist based in Atlanta. He’s worked with Snapchat, Adult Swim, Vogue, and Netflix, and has described his art as “inspired by aesthetic beauty, luxury, storytelling, the future and the feeling of limitless moments.” In May, Oshea released an updated tribute token to the late actor Chadwick Boseman titled A Young Boy’s Dream. Proceeds from the auction were donated in support of The Colon Cancer Foundation.
As the artist tells it, Alpha Centauri Kid (ACK) is simply a conduit for his muse, an instrument to bring her artistic visions to life. He doesn’t focus on one particular medium, instead conveying the story or vision he’s feeling in the moment. He recently made waves with the 165.29 ETH sale of “ctrl + alt + generate,” which set a new record for the highest genesis sale ever on SuperRare.
Ash Thorp’s work has been featured in a multitude of high-profile films throughout the past decade, spanning from Ender’s Game in 2014 to his most recent design work on the new Batmobile in the upcoming 2022 release of The Batman. The cinematic quality and artistry of his work that shared the big screen is now highlighted through a more personal lens with his visionary NFT explorations. He proficiently applies a wide range of skilled digital techniques in his NFTs to create the most surreal, hyper-realistic animations of art, leaving viewers in a captivated state of wonderment and unable to decipher whether it is physically real or computer-generated.
Blake Kathryn is a Los Angeles-based visual artist. Her work balances concept and commercial realms across music, fashion and tech, among others. Blake’s subject matter explores themes of the subconscious, nature and vices iterated into lighthearted, dreamlike compositions. Her work is recognized for its vibrant palettes and ethereal undertones, all with a surreal futurist aesthetic.
In his digital paintings, DotPigeon renders a balaclava-clad burglar, or “Balaclava/riot Guy,” in opulent mansions hung with blue-chip works by famous artists such as Damien Hirst, Kaws, Yoshitomo Nara, and Jean-Michel Basquiat.
The cinematic scenes are both darkly funny and deeply unsettling, and his work explores the inner conflict between what we show to others versus what we really feel. DotPigeon started making art in 2017 while he was working as an advertising executive. He has since found success in both galleries and the digital sphere, with physical group and solo shows in Italy, Germany and the U.S., as well as several drops on Nifty Gateway.
Originally created in February 2020, Burn Them Down in Balenciaga is one of the genesis artworks of the “Balaclava Guy” series. The piece has been remastered in order to be animated and included as part of The Gateway event.
FriendsWithYou is the collaboration between artists Samuel Borkson and Arturo Sandoval III. The duo is most known for their unique pop-positive visions taking form in a variety of mediums, pushing culture toward a more empathetic, compassionate world. Their work has materialized as immersive installations, sculptures, paintings, animation and entertainment, live performances, virtual reality, and now, deeper into digital and generative art, AR and AI.
FriendsWithYou created the hit animation series True and the Rainbow Kingdom on Netflix, participated in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in 2018, featuring their iconic Little Cloud character, and have exhibited their artwork in museums and public venues worldwide. Their vision is to greatly impact the world with positivity and connectivity, connecting us to ourselves, each other and our living planet.
FVCKRENDER is a digital surrealism artist living in Vancouver, B.C. His work is inspired by mental health and elements of spirituality. To learn more about him, read our interview.
Listen to FVCKRENDER’s discussion about building virtual worlds and the future of NFTs on our podcast.
Joshua Davis is an artist, technologist, and author in algorithmic image making and animation. He is acclaimed for his role in designing the visualization of IBM’s Watson, and was the winner of the 2001 Prix Ars Electronica Golden Nica. His work has been exhibited at the Tate Modern, the Design Museum London, le Centre Pompidou, the ICA London, the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, MoMA PS1 New York, the Whitney, the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, and Christie’s, among others.
KESH is a British multidisciplinary artist whose work stretches the boundaries between visual art, music and design. She masterfully blends creative technology and experimental sonic art with the more traditional methods of photography, film, sculpture and illustration to produce large-scale digital works, campaigns and installations. KESH’s work has been featured in Vogue, Elle, i-D, Ars Electronica and The New York Times, among others.
Krista Kim is a contemporary artist and founder of the Techism movement (2014), whose work explores the concept of the digital consciousness. Her interest in digital technology and its revolutionary effects on human perception, media, social structures, and communication led her to work in both digital and physical realms. Having developed her signature language of shifting gradients using digital software since 2012, her works on glass and plexi hypnotize viewers into a trance of tranquility while her video works provide meditative experiences of color and light.
In 2020, Kim continued to explore the creative potential to utilize screens as digital instruments of well-being by creating Mars House, a completely virtual environment using her digital zen philosophy, as the first “Metaverse home” for sale as an NFT in history. The piece received global acclaim, and in March 2021, sold for $512,712 on SuperRare.
Listen to Krista Kim discuss the future of metaverse real estate on the nft now podcast.
Mad Dog Jones, also known as Micah Dowbak, is a multidisciplinary artist from Thunder Bay, Ontario. His works interweave cyberpunk, dystopian imagery, and themes of beauty, nature and technology. In April, Phillips auction house announced the sale of Dowbak’s NFT Replicator — the first NFT to be sold in the company’s history.
In the last two years, Dowbak has created artworks for Run the Jewels, Deadmau5, Jabbawockeez, Conor McGregor, Maroon 5 and other artists. He has also designed watches and phone accessories for Diesel.
Olive Allen is a New York-based visual artist. She draws on her background in both fine arts and technology to create new media art that captures the internet culture of the new age and exposes systems of value. She is a cryptocurrency early adopter and one of the pioneers of the NFT space.
Allen uses token-based digital works to create social commentary. Her approach gamifies digital art objects to engender performative, interactive relationships with her audience. She has exhibited with König Galerie (Berlin), Postmasters (New York), Nagel Draxler Gallery (Cologne), and Save Art Space (London), among others. Her work has received attention in publications such as The New York Times, FAD Magazine, TheArtGorgeous Magazine, and CoinDesk.
Listen to Olive Allen discuss the evolution of NFTs on the nft now podcast.
At age 18, L.A.-born artist Tristan Eaton designed his first toy for Fisher-Price, and quickly became a driving force in the world of art toys. Upon graduating from the School of Visual Arts in New York, Eaton revolutionized art toy works as the founding creative director of the legendary KidRobot. Shortly after, he founded Thunderdog Studios, where he amassed a roster of high-profile clients including Nike and Universal.
In the years since, Eaton has become one of the most prominent international muralists. He earned the coveted job of rendering the classic Universal Monsters at Universal Studios, and an elusive licensing deal with Marvel.
Eaton’s work can be seen in the Museum of Modern Art’s (MoMA) permanent collection, the Cooper Hewitt Museum, and the Long Beach Museum of Art, which hosted a retrospective of his art career.
Victor Mosquera is a concept artist in Vancouver, B.C. He comes from a traditional painting background and with NFTs, is able to integrate 3D animation and audio into his art. His work is inspired by spirituality and the human psyche — by the relationships that we have as humans to the things that we can’t touch, but which dictate everything in our lives. To learn more about him, read our interview.
Listen to Victor Mosquera discuss crafting an authentic style on the nft now podcast.
Contemporary artist WhIsBe has established a formidable reputation in both the renegade world of street art, and the mainstream art world encompassing the museum, gallery and arena of public installations. Regardless of where he works, the artist remains anonymous. His moniker, shorthand for “What Is Beauty,” is at once innocuous and sweet, and introduces more substantive themes of cultural examination and subversion that underline much of his body of work.