The Dream Hollywood + Crypt Gallery Launch Groundbreaking NFT Art Exhibit
Let’s be right up front here: we’re good with anything that puts more money directly into the pockets of artists, especially those who are still in the midst of the daunting process of finding the audience that will at last bestow upon them the level of adoration they surely deserve. So the concept of the NFT (non fungible token) seems a generally good one: create one-of-a-kind digital works / versions of your existing works, and sell them to art lovers / collectors to own in that digital form. In other words, it’s an artwork that exists entirely in the virtual realm, and the buyer is the only one with access to it.
As we now know, alas, it all went a bit mad in the last ten months or so, and a work by the artist Beeple ultimately sold for an eye-popping $69 million at Christie’s in March. It all sounds very exciting, until one stops to consider the downsides to this new medium, one of which is actually quite serious. First, the wildly fluctuating market: weekly NFT sales plunged from more than $170 million in May, to about $8 million in June. But more worryingly, just as the hype was peaking in May, Wired published an article titled, NFTs Are Hot. So Is Their Effect on the Earth’s Climate – which expressed urgent concern about the tremendous amount of energy that it takes to produce them.
Such matters tend to sort themselves out – and a less-energy intensive version will surely be conceived, just as surely as smartphones replaced flip phones. And 2021 will likely continue to be the year of the NFT – especially as it’s begun its crossover into other areas of our lives. To wit, the great cultural galvanizer that is the Dream Hollywood hotel has just partnered with the New York based Crypt Gallery to launch a first-of-its-kind NFT art exhibition, pithily titled The Crypt Gallery at Dream Hollywood (admittedly we might have gone with a more “life altering event” title).
For those not familiar, Crypt has become one of the most ardent cultivators of digital art culture, acting as a veritable incubator for burgeoning and more established talent. And since it debuted to considerable fanfare in 2017, the first West Coast Dream hotel has sought to partner up with just such zeitgeist defining entities, and established itself as a place where new ideas are nurtured and cultivated.
The show is curated by the still somewhat mysterious King of Midtown – now one of the more notable champions of digital art – and draws from his private collection, as well as that of 33, who remains an entirely anonymous collector. The works included are by artists both known – Brendan North, Chad Knight, Nessgraphics, Jason Seife, Robbie Trevino – and less known, including Yo Brilly, Lana Denina, Tillavision, and Lefty Out There. But perhaps most importantly, the subject matter and stylistic diversity confirms that digital art boasts and ever widening purview…which is surely essential to its ascension and retention within the ongoing evolution of contemporary art.
“The collaboration between Dream Hollywood and The Crypt Gallery is anchored in the same qualities that drive both our brands to be so unique and inspiring,” observes Dream GM Vaughn Davis, “a shared love, respect and genuine curiosity for innovation, creativity and self-expression. For NFT connoisseurs, avid art collectors, and even the newest fans of the medium, this exhibition is both provocative and informative. When a tech-forward physical gallery space merges with powerhouse digital collectors like King of Midtown and 33, magic happens.”
That magic will be on exhibit at the hotel through the end of November, before traveling on to the Dream Downtown NYC – where it will take us into a 2022 that surely holds any number of surprises for the NFT art market. Stay tuned.