The Nouveau Pop Art NFT Movement

In November 1961, he began his breakout masterpiece, using a projector, and tracing images before painting. It took him until March of 1962 to complete the project. His now iconic 32-canvas set of Campbell’s Soup Cans hangs in the Museum of Modern Art in New York (MoMA).

Yes, that’s not technically a Non-Fungible Token, but it’s certainly in the spirit of Crypto Punks NFT artwork, which came out in June 2017.

At the time, few knew who Andy Warhol was, and at 34-years-old, it’s unlikely he could imagine his first solo exhibit changing his life the way it did. The “Pop” art style was beginning, and he meant to capitalize on it.

This revolution in the art world used popular imagery to craft a message of irony or humor.

His first show was a disappointment.

One cartoon in the Los Angeles Times mocked the paintings with, “Frankly, the cream of asparagus does nothing for me, but the terrifying intensity of the chicken noodles gives me a real Zen feeling.” This Pop Art wasn’t the Hudson River School of landscapes or the impressionists. The old money collectors didn’t appreciate the work.

Does any of this sound familiar?

In a bar in Las Vegas, I tried to explain the Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs to a couple from Indiana who were in town to meet their favorite painter. They collected “Real” art. My stories of the price growth and how people sell digital artwork had them shaking their heads. When I explained what a digital wallet was, their eyes glazed over.

They didn’t get it.

Generative NFT art, written on a smart contract, where a digital artist creates the parts that are melded together by a computer, may be mocked by the masses, but like the soup cans, they’re fun. It’s art for a new generation, those who grew up as sneakerheads or video game junkies. These pieces of digital artwork speak to a tech world who can appreciate the art and the method.

When digital artist Beeple had his work, Everydays: the First 5000 Days, a collage of Mike Winkelmann’s daily works he started on May 1, 2007, sold at Christie’s auction house for 69.3 million, it changed the art world forever.

Purchased by a programmer from Singapore, Gibnesh Sundaresan–he used 42,329 Ether for the transaction–it wasn’t just the NFT sale, but the fact that payment was made using cryptocurrency, that caught everyone’s attention.

To see how much the market is exploding, one only needs to go to the NFT marketplace– Opensea.com, Rarible.com, Solanart.io–and see what is selling. Crypto art is here to stay. On the day this piece was written, Solanart had 7066 sales. The total lifetime volume for Crypto Punks was 775,319.65 ETH, which is 2.7 Billion when converted to USD.

Even in the Decentralized Social Media world of $DeSo, built on blockchain technology (DiamondApp), the community is populated by artists minting their works every day for people to add to their NFT collection.

Where will the NFT market go from here?

There are plenty of pessimists saying it’s a bubble, and maybe they’re right, but I would argue that NFTs are an extension of the Pop Art revolution that started nearly 60-years-ago. They are the perfect investment for the digital economy.

Welcome to the Nouveau Pop Art movement.

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