If 2020 was the year of global pandemics and Defi, then 2021 will most certainly be remembered as the year that belongs to NFTs and the artists behind them.
The idea of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) first started circulating among the crypto community back in 2015 but it wasn’t until 2017 when we started to see the likes of Dapperlabs’ CryptoKitties and Larvalabs’ CryptoPunks launch, that we started to see any meaningful traction among projects.
Since 2017, the NFT market has evolved greatly and with sale of a single Cryptopunk for 650ETH ($1.2 million USD) occurring earlier this year many individuals among the crypto and art worlds have little doubt the NFT space is set to explode!
Leading the movement is a mix of celebrities looking to cash in on the trend and a growing movement of genuinely talented artists who are creating works and pushing the boundaries of art forward.
We list five of the most influential NFT artists making art on the blockchain and why you should pay attention to them.
5. Giant Swan
Travis Van Zanen aka Gian Swan creates surrealist dreamscapes from his VR headset and is a prime example of what NFT art can be beyond static images. The beauty of NFT and digital art is its flexibility and near-endless possibilities something that Gian Swan definitely seems to enjoy playing with.
Van Zanen is 33 years old and hails from Melbourne, Australia. Check out how he makes his VR art on Instagram here.
Unlike other artists on this list, Pranksy’s influence is not solely based around the merits of their art but is in part due to how they have embraced the NFT ecosystem, meme culture, and NFT flipping.
Pranksy has been referred to as the Walmart of NFTs which maybe just or in just depending on your perspective but one thing is for sure is that they have successfully influenced the lower-priced end of the NFT art world through their consistent success and transaction volume on marketplaces like Rarible.
3. Vini Naso
Vini Naso, the Winner of the 2020 Beautiful Bizarre Digital Art Award for Kodama -San is rapidly making a name for themselves mixing influences from past mythology, folk art, and sci-fi to create time-agnostic pieces that aren’t constrained by the limitations of the physical world.
Vini is a Toronto-based artist who works as an art director and 3D designer. You can buy their artworks on SuperRare
Alotta_Money has been making quite a lot of money from the NFT crypto art movement. In fact, at the time of writing Trevor Jones, the artist’s real name,
has sold over $9.7 million USD of digital art to be precise. That’s not bad considering he started selling his works on SuperRare approximately 12 months ago.
Mike Winkelmann aka Beeple is a graphic designer from Charleston, South Carolina, who is arguably one of the most influential early NFT artists.
A VJ, as well as a VR/AR and digital artist, Beeple, has worked on concert visuals for Justin Bieber, One Direction, Katy Perry, Nicki Minaj, Eminem, Zedd, deadmau5 and more.
Beeple is one of the early “everyday” movement artists and has been creating new digital art from start to finish and posting it online for over 10 years. A feat that is made even more impressive given that he hasn’t missed a single day in the process!
Beeple’s NFT artwork of a defeated, collapsed and vandalized Donald Trump famously sold for $6.6 million USD recently making it one of the most notable sales to date in the space.