Art Week – in review
All the highlights from this year’s 10-day cultural extravaganza.
After the success of the inaugural Art Week in 2020, the challenge was to create a bigger, broader and more immersive experience for the Decentraland community.
Not only did this year’s event attract global icons of the art world (many showing their first ever digital collections) but Art Week 2021 went deep, unearthing the very best contemporary artists from the world of digital art and more than a few superstars of the future.
In response, art lovers came out in their droves, with close to 12,000 POAPs claimed over the ten days and numerous satellite shows springing up alongside the main event to exhibit their own unique collection of artists.
Art Week 2021 got started with a block party that took over Vegas City Arts Village. At the centre of the organized chaos was Philip Colbert with his Lobster Land experience – a digital art world that featured performances from music legends Devo and the B-52s. Read the exclusive Art Week interview with Philip Colbert.
PLAYBOY X SUPERRARE
Continuing the oceanic theme, Playboy water skied into Decentraland on Day 3, teaming up with SuperRare for the Miami Beach Art Collection. The show featured works from Ayla El-Moussa, REK0DE, Jon Noorlander and MBSJQ and solidified Playboy’s reputation as a discerning and committed supporter of the digital arts.
KNOWNORIGIN GOES TO THE MOON
On Day 4, art district powerhouse KnownOrigin pulled out all the stops to host a music and arts festival called TO THE MOON. The event featured live performances from Ookay, SNBRN, Fred Thurst aka Dr. Fresch, Win and Woo and Autograf. There was also a special collection of NFTs designed specially for the show by BEAR NFT.
His work has graced the walls of East London’s streets and the White House, but never as an NFT show inside the metaverse. Teaming up with Moniker Projects, Ben Eine brought his signature neon text works to Day 5 and a space inspired by London’s Victorian-era warehouses in what was a landmark show for Decentraland.
Begoña Toledo is fast making a name for herself – or more accurately her alter ego, Boxhead – as a digital artist to watch. Launching her show on Day 7, she wowed visitors to Art Week with her colourful INSIDE Boxhead show – a collection of three colourful animations exploring concepts of mental health and representing stages of the creative process. Read Belogña’s Art Week profile.
AvantGarde is an upcoming generative art platform where users can mint unique NFTs based on their Ethereum address generated by deep-learning algorithms. The platform chose Day 8 of Art Week for its official launch, giving visitors the chance to use its NFT generator and get a taste of what could be the future of digital art. Read more about AvantGarde in this interview with founder Jules Goullee.
Continuing the theme of groundbreaking new art, Hackatao took centre stage in MOCA’s Sculpture Garden – the highlight of Day 9. A Da Vinci-inspired piece, ‘Hack of a Bear’ was created by the artist duo in collaboration with Christie’s auction house. Check out the special Art Week conversation with Hackatao.
And with the final days of Art Week focusing on new frontiers in digital art, it was fitting that the event closed with a cutting edge metaverse activation from NFTS.wtf and the 100x community. Offering visitors a sneak preview of the digital world to come, the show explored the future of spaces in the metaverse, wearable virtual fashion, music, NFTs and a film industry crypto discussion.
ART WEEK FRINGE – THE BEST OF THE REST
While not part of the ‘official’ calendar, a number of artists, galleries and community groups joined Art Week, adding even more diversity, light and color to festivities.
The life and music of the incomparable Amy Winehouse was celebrated at this exclusive exhibition of photographs from Charles Moriarty.
JONES v JONES
Valiant Gallery showcased the work of Violet and Trevor Jones. Featuring dancers, women noir, fighters, EthBoy, Bitcoin Angel and many more weird and wonderful experiences.
London based artist XCOPY explored death, dystopia and apathy through distorted visual loops at the Crash Site Gallery; launched especially for Art Week.
SPACE3 GALLERY x JAN FRANK
Dutch-born New York painter and visual artist Jan Frank’s work features in major private collections and museums throughout the US and Europe. In honor of Art Week, Frank released a collection of limited works as NFTs at the newly-opened Space3 Gallery.
A creative mysteriarch S1N3 makes natively cryptographic art filled w/ on-chain challenges for both artist and collectors that unlock secret content. S1N3’s teaser show at Art Week added a touch of darkness and mystery to the 10 days.
A massive thank you to all the artists, galleries, partners and visitors who took part in Art Week 2021. Until next year, see you in the metaverse!