Woman #8327

Artist: World of Women

Like the Orions on Star Trek. But classier.

Dear Margaret,

2021 was an absolutely incredible year for your mother and I. We sold, then bought a house, moved over the span of just a few days, then you came rocking into our little world. We’re lucky for a lot of things, but mostly for the joy you bring into our hearts every morning with that first smile.

2021 was also notable as the year of the PFP (profile pic) dominating the crypto and NFT space. Every single day brought another bozo influencer team claiming that their particular icon would completely change the space and offer utility like no other and 1000x overnight, etc. etc. etc … and some of them honestly did! I missed out on a few that were incredibly successful. But for every Ape, Cool Cat or Penguin, there are tens of thousands more that will ultimately go nowhere.

Many of these are built on the ideals of community and organic growth, and some, such as Kenny Shachter’s CryptoMutts, move beyond this into their own artistic hemisphere and truly become their own thing (a post isforthcoming!) In reality, most PFP projects in 2021 were just looking for a quick way to make their creators as much money as they could, leaving swaths of people scrambling to find the next thing to ape into. And on and on.

Despite my many reservations toward PFP projects, I thought the idea behind World of Women was a good one: celebrating representation, inclusivity, equal opportunities and the power of women. Right on! 10,000 were to be made.

I managed to get a few at launch, and held onto them for about a month, before realizing they were jumping a bit in value. As is typical, I then stupidly sold two and have somehow held onto the above one till now, as she reminds me of the Orions from the original Star Trek TV series, a show we’ll be geeking out over soon enough. I kept her thinking that it was her skin color that made her more rare, but as it turns out, it’s the tux. There are only 100 of them!

Okay, it’s time to head out and pick you up from daycare. We miss you so much during the day.

Love, Pop

P.S. Please don’t get mad if you find out years from now that we sold her.
We might have needed it for diapers, daycare or clothes for you, after all.

Fog Over Gowanus

Artist: Kate Shifman

With the recent crash of all things crypto-related, I thought I’d revisit one of my first purchased NFTs. By May of 2018, the price of most crypto was falling from recent highs, into a lull that would continue for the next full year and a half.

Around then, I discovered Fog Over Gowanus on one of the first NFT marketplaces, the now-defunct RARE Art Labs, an early home to such OG crypto artists as XCOPY, Hackatao and others. I have a background in photography, and really loved the image of the morning fog over the Brooklyn skyline here, highlighting the since-removed Kentile Floors sign in it’s original, industrial splendor.

Although RARE Art Labs is gone, I still own the token to the artwork in my Ethereum wallet. While this token proves provenance, date of purchase and price, it does not link to any known image of the artwork. In 2018, there was no easy way to store items on-chain, and the cloud-based IPFS wasn’t heavily used.

Luckily, I saw the above photograph while scanning a 2018 blog entry in Artnome, Jason Bailey’s fantastic, long-running art blog. I have two other pieces of art from RARE that aren’t so lucky — I haven’t been able to track down any high-res images of them.

But perhaps a solution will be found. Jason has gathered with some friends and started ClubNFT, a service that will eventually allow users to download copies of their NFT collections to their own devices. I greatly look forward to its release! At long last, I will finally be able to store all of the images onto a few tried and true SyQuest drives for all eternity.


Artist: Lance Weiller

Gemini by Lance Weiller

Lance Weiler, known online as culturehacker, is an artist/storyteller who works with code to produce glitchy, striking images that often take you to unexpected places. Often working in portrait, his faces and figures are sometimes ghostly, and layered, sometimes striking or bemused. You can occasionally only identify a face by the lips, or nose. He was one of the earliest artists to release work on the Hic et Nunc platform in March of 2021, and remains active in the Tezos community via releases on Objkt.com.

Gemini is fairly typical of his lighter work, capturing a striking gaze in close duplicate, with a marked degree of distortion, melting and glitch. Gemini was a small edition of three. I noticed that another of the editions is owned by Ganbrood, a friend and artist who will appear in this blog soon.

Recently I found out that, like myself, Lance studied film in college, and that he had the opportunity to meet and shoot with the legendary art-film director, Stan Brakhage. This is really wonderful as I can see a bit of Brakhage’s reflections and influence scattered throughout some of Lance’s work. Lance also attempted to release a work a day in 2021, a creative exercise that is very admirable — and also exhausting! And he also recently wrote a nice piece about the demise and rebirth of the HEN community in November of last year. On top of all of this, he’s also the director of the Columbia University School of the Arts’ Digital Storytelling Lab.

See more of Lance’s work as culturehacker on Objkt.com. For his amazing series of 1/1 glitch portraits, go here. Follow him on twitter, Instagram or his own website!


Artist: Perry Cooper

Above: a still image from Gas #6/48 by Perry Cooper. Click to view the full, hilarious animation.

Perry Cooper is a British 3D motion graphics designer who now lives in the USA. I found his work in 2020 on Maker’s Place, where he brought an amazing eye to commonplace items like milk cartons, juice containers and even game cartridges.

Above: a still from Condiment Collection / Cheese Sauce. Click image to view full 3D animation.

Milk Monitor Open Editions was a part of Perry’s second Nifty Gateway drop. There were three milk bottles in this time-limited drop: FOMO (Fear of Milk Outage), 24/7 and Gas, and Perry describes the collection brilliantly:

This collection is a time capsule for the joy, stresses, anxieties and fun we’ve had over the last few months. I liked the idea of turning a common baby bottle into something rare and valuable, like a Fabergé egg. I’ve also found great pleasure in finding the crossover terms for baby related things and crypto. I’m a dad now, so I can officially do dad jokes!

As a then-expecting father, these pieces spoke to me. What can I say? I had to own one, knowing that at a future date I’d be able to pass this one along to my own daughter (now at three months) and get a big laugh out of it. I finally settled on Gas, as I laughed when I read further. Perry’s description of this piece is amazing in itself, as it goes from the cost of crypto transactions, to farting, to embarrassing your offspring well into the future:

We pay the price for minting our NFTs in Gas, and all of that milk leads to an equal amount of Gas. My daughter used to sound like a trumpet, but that seems to have calmed down now. This is forever on the blockchain right? So I can embarrass my daughter 20 years from now? Hello! This is your dad from the past, you passed gas a lot! You’re welcome.

The piece is hysterical, enjoyable, playful and fun, and I can totally sympathize with the artist, now that I know just how much my own tiny tot can toot like a tugboat. The mildly explosive (and musical) sound design was done by Guilt Free in Soho, London. Perry has a very helpful YouTube channel here, and can be found on Twitter here.

Between Stations #95

Artist: Lisa Orth

“Please stand by…”

Lisa Orth is an artist from Seattle, who has worked in the past with the incredible Sub Pop Records, designing, among other things, an iconic logo for a somewhat popular band on the label. I discovered her work on the Tezos-based generative art site (fx)hash, and I’m so glad I did.

So far she has released eight projects on the platform, all of which carry a striking contrast; so far, three are in black and white and five are in color. The color pieces are bright, the pallet conveying a vintage, cool vibe. Here’s the artist from the description of Between Stations:

Blue Note jazz albums. Imaginary television color bar test patterns. It’s 1962 and anything’s possible.

I definitely get the retro feel for these. They remind me a little bit of the analog feel of Spectron by Simon de Mai from earlier this year, but with a much warmer vibe. I also love the consistency of the variation of color throughout her projects. Check out another favorite of mine by her, from another fxhash project, Hex Flex #197:

Cool quilt vibe!

Lisa’s work continues to impress me, and it’s getting harder and harder to acquire one of her drops as they are released. Her last project, Angular Variations (Holding Space), sold out in minutes, and I had to acquire one on the secondary market for about 3x the mint price. Despite this, it was well worth it. I don’t plan on selling anytime soon, but her work continues to gain value among the fxhash ecosystem. Needless to say, I look forward to attempting to mint more of these as they are released!

For more of Lisa’s work, follow her on Twitter or find links to her work here.

The House of Bluebeard

artist: Yakudoo

Karim Maaloul, known on Twitter as Yakudoo, is a Belgian artist and an incredible storyteller and illustrator in his various works. In The House of Bluebeard, he takes the 17th century French folk tale by Charles Perrault as inspiration, and combines the story into an NFT that you can navigate and discover, interactively, by moving and zooming and panning around each of the 12 static scenes.

If you don’t know the story of Bluebeard, I recommend reading it or a variation of it before viewing this NFT. You don’t want to spoil the ending, do you? Keep in mind that, like most folk tales, it can get a little gory.

The wonder of tiny details abound in each frame. Notice the details from inside the house — the upstairs dining hall, walls and grandfather clock — all of which you can zoom into — to see ever-clearer details:

Note the key on the floor!

The piece never ceases to amaze me. In writing this up I discovered that detail exists even inside the paintings on the walls.

Detail from a painting in the house.

It’s an incredible work, and has a dark sense of foreboding in every frame. Maaloul is no stranger to folk tales. He’s also done an interpretation of Little Red Riding Hood, another interactive work that, as with Bluebeard, lets you pan around the scene and zoom in and out for detail, some of which you won’t notice till your fifth or sixth viewing. It’s amazing.

The interactive zoom/pan “trick” (I’m at a loss for what to call it) that is used in both works is subtle, and adds to the wonder and sense of mystery of the original folk tale. It’s a style that is clearly Maaloul’s own, and I hope he continues to produce more of these little gems soon.

Day 4 abstract event

Artist: rio_p

Today’s post features the 4th installment in a fun, abstract advent collection by rio_p, available as an NFT on Tezos. rio_p is an artist/facilitator who works with mixed media, and whose Twitter profile says that they are “dipping my toe in the NFT waters…” I love seeing these new works each day — they are bright, colorful and totally abstract, almost dreamlike at times. Also, they are based on something relatively new to me: Art Pedagogy, which is defined as follows from their website:

ArtPedagogy aims to promote reflective, authentic art and design teaching and learning, delivered with a spirit of ‘serious mischief’. 

Looks like I have a bunch of more research to do on this, but it seems like a very cool concept to learn, and maybe pass on to my daughter. Each NFT has been extremely inexpensive at around ten cents $USD. I missed out on the first couple of drops, but intend to get one of each remaining day. Here is day ten, released today:

Above: Day 10 abstract event

There are plenty of rio_p’s works available via Objkt.com here and be sure to keep an eye out for each new one in this series, dropping daily till the 25th. Enjoy!

Psychedelic chicken à la mode

Artist: Iskra Velitchkova

Iskra Velitchkova is a Spanish-based generative artist whose creations run from incredibly colorful and wild, to hazier, darker and somber in tone. Almost all of her creations have elements of mystery and wonder, as the above clearly shows. I remember seeing Psychedelic Chicken in a random tweet a few months back, and rushing to see if it was available on Hic Et Nunc1, only to find that all 15 editions had sold out quickly. She has a number of pieces that showcase the above bird theme, including a larger edition that shows iterations of the figure, and even a few that contain motion, as seen here:

Above: Birth ii – Alive by Iskra Velitchkova

I continue to love all of her work, but Psychedelic Chicken was an absolute favorite when I first saw it. I bookmarked the page, hoping to return and find it available, sometime, somehow. And after a month or so, I randomly checked back and there it was — for the then-low price of 20tz (about USD$46 at the time). The image just makes me happy, and I’m still overjoyed to have it in my collection. It remains one of my all-time favorite pieces of this year, and I hope you enjoy it as well.

1 Now defunct, Hic Et Nunc was one of the ‘original’ NFT marketplaces on the Tezos blockchain..

Once in a Lifetime

Artist: Juki

A randomly selected piece for my first post comes from a Turkish artist name Juki, who uses bright pallets and imagery to create an incredible mood. What I love about this piece is the strong contrast of saturated colors, mixed with the more cloudy, muted tones in the distance, the rays of light coming down from above, the towering stalks, and of course, the golden-yellow buck peering (cautiously?) at the side. In the foreground rests a felled tree, the only one down.

It’s slightly haunting, slightly bewildering, and also amazing. You want to jump in, and walk around, and get lost in this place. Juki’s other pieces carry the same contrast and pallets. Check out more of the artists work here!