CryptoPunk enthusiasts and eager buyers gathered Wednesday night at Sotheby’s New York auction house for what turned out to be no event after the consignor of 104 CryptoPunks decided to pull out.
However, as a result of this announcement, occurred a live panel discussion on the history of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and the CryptoPunks. The panel consisted of Sherone Rabinovitz, a technologist and CryptoPunk expert, and Kenny Schachter, an art critic and curator. Colborn Bell, founder of the Crypto Art Museum, was the moderator.
“Should we just tell everyone that there are actually 100,000 Punks?”
— sherone.eth (@Sherone33) February 23, 2022
When asked about the early history of Larva Labs and CryptoPunks, Rabinovitzwhich produced a documentary about the team in 2018, he began by praising CryptoPunks as the first project “that got it all right.” From aesthetics to its market, Larva Labs “sprayed its magic” on an experiment to test digital property. He added that the beauty of CryptoPunks goes “beyond the pixels and the cultural load”, and that the code is “precious” enough to print, frame and hang on the wall.
In 2017, Larva Labs announced blockchain-based generative art on Ethereum with its algorithm that randomly generated pixelated punk characters. Since then, punks have gained mainstream recognition to become one of the most valuable NFTs in the world. It is currently the most traded collection in terms of volume of all time on OpenSea.
Schachter, for his part, discovered NFTs and CryptoPunks much later, in 2020, and admits he didn’t like them at first. “I think one of the most important things in life is to relate and try to understand why you don’t like what you don’t like,” he said, adding that he eventually learned to fall in love with CryptoPunks.. He explained:
“They have become a paradigm shift in the history of culture, something that is a hybrid between Fine Art and collecting. They have changed the history of art without even pretending to be a piece of art in the first place.”
Colborn then chimed in to point out that while Schachter may not have a Punk, he embodies the spirit of one. According to Colborn, punks represent people who are not afraid, who speak their minds, who make their values known, and who recognize that change is possible.
Rabinovitz pointed out that one element of CryptoPunks that goes “unnoticed” is that the collection is part of the pop art movement, alongside the work of Andy Warhol:
“If you focus too much on weirdness, you’re missing the point. Don’t forget what punks are. They’re ambassadors of a whole new era, and a new movement.”
Schachter, who launched his own parody collection of NFTs called CryptoMutts, left audiences hopeful for a future where all digital works are projected into real space and NFT communities continue to inspire more artists.
Last year, Sotheby’s set a world record with a sale of $11.8 million for a single CryptoPunk. And Bored Apes Yacht Club, the second most traded NFT collection, flipped the CryptoPunks price floor. At press time, Punk’s lowest price is 59.95 ETH, or $148,223, while Bored Ape’s lowest price is 80 ETH, or $201,549.
CryptoPunks got the job #20 on Cointelegraph’s 2022 Top 100 List cryptocurrency and blockchain influencers.
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