Artists and their art have always been mirrors of society, not only shaped by the world that surrounds them, but also influencing it. After all, artists have long operated outside the mainstream of society, excited by revolutionary ideas, incorporating them into their art, and finding ways to change the world. And Bitcoin, with its aim to decentralize money, put the people in charge, and provide a currency for the unbanked of the world, is truly revolutionary. So it should come as no surprise that after a year marked by tumultuous ups and downs, crypto art—and specifically Bitcoin art—is everywhere. From variations on Bitcoin’s iconic “B” to interpretations of the blockchain, artists are turning the virtual currency into a visual reality. Even artists whose work isn’t directly influenced by Satoshi’s invention are capitalizing on the world’s fascination with Bitcoin by accepting it as payment. And many artists are turning to blockchain to register their artwork and establish provenance, utilizing the technology’s original purpose as a decentralized tamper-proof ledger.
Like with crypto itself, the best time to get crypto art is before it’s hot. That’s true whether you’re a long-time crypto enthusiast or are taking advantage of the dip in the market to buy for the first time; whether you want artwork that reflects our changing times, or simply something to adorn your walls and show that you’re a Bitcoin believer.
Five Crypto Artists We Love
In the spirit of “New Year, New You,” there’s no better time than now to redecorate and build your Bitcoin Art collection. And if you’re feeling inspired, here are a few of our favorite crypto artworks and artists.
The Canadian born, Scotland based artist has an entire series of crypto paintings and prints based on market disruption, featuring everything from bears and bulls to a giant crypto wave. But Jones’ most haunting work is a portrait of the pseudonymous Bitcoin founder, Satoshi Nakamoto (depicted here as Dorian Nakamoto), set against the background of Financial Times articles. Nakamoto blends perfectly into the pink paper, and his weary expression has an almost prescient quality to it. Limited edition prints of the original oil painting, complete with augmented reality elements, are available.
At first glance, there’s nothing obviously crypto about Danner’s blockchain art, but look at her paintings more closely and you’ll see the nodes and blocks that pile on top of each other to make the blockchain. Her abstracts feature different color palettes and while each stands on its own, taken together they—intentionally or not—show the volatility of the crypto market. Check out the full set on her website or at Krypto Studios.
As his name implies, there’s an edgy quality to Cryptograffiti’s work, which is often characterized by clean lines and backgrounds. Using multimedia, including repurposed credit cards and fiat currency on wood panels, Cryptograffiti’s art depicts everything from the blockchain to the Silk Road. Limited edition prints of his work are for sale on his website.
There’s no avoiding the blockchain connection in Andy Bauch’s “New Money” series, which is created from LEGO bricks and Lite-Brite pegs. Not only do his pieces clearly evoke blocks, they also have an added crypto element to them. Bauch has hidden the private keys to wallets containing cryptocurrency within the patterns of his work. Talk about a potentially great investment! You can purchase his pieces on Artsy, though anyone can (attempt to) decode the keys.
Artist Nicolas Lobo seeks to “represent the unrepresentable” and his 2017 Blockchain series does exactly that very well. Made of carbon fiber and terra cotta, the mixed media works interpret the blockchain in muted grays and earth tones, and while the blockchain connection isn’t immediately obvious, there’s no denying their magnetic beauty. Find his work at the Nina Johnson Gallery, or on Artsy.
Another exciting artist incorporating Bitcoin into his work is Pascal Boyart, whose tokenized street art graces several Parisian streets and facilitates deep audience interaction. For example, his mural to honour the Yellow Vest protest movement, inspired by the art of the French Revolution, contained a secret which allowed a viewer to claim a substantial amount of Bitcoin. His other murals are also linked to digital assets. Boyart’s art has been replicated in the virtual space too, with replicas of his artwork freely available for viewing in “the Underground Sistine Chapel” within Cryptovoxels.
Even More Crypto Art
Want even more crypto art? Get your fix of Bitcoin art on sites such as Etsy or its decentralized counterpart, OpenBazaar—where you can buy crypto art with cryptocurrency. Or check out Saatchi Art’s Bitcoin collection for a wide range of artists taking a crack at interpreting the currency.