Meet the leading figures in the world of crypto art.
What is cryptoart?
Cryptoart is a way of creating, distributing, and collecting digital works, supported by the decentralization inherent in blockchain technology. In this article, you’ll learn about the main players in this scene.
Before that, let’s talk about NFTs (non-fungible tokens), which are essential to cryptographic art. They are certificates of authenticity for unique digital pieces that can be traded or hoarded.
In other words, an NFT guarantees the authenticity, uniqueness, and ownership of a digital piece. It is a certificate and also an asset. This way, cryptoart combines creativity and investment.
Keep in mind that cryptoart requires NFTs for its new mode of circulation, but not all non-fungible tokens are cryptoart. Examples of cryptographic art include digital illustrations, videos, collages of photographs, and songs, among other variations.
With NFTs, digital works can be sold as unique objects, just like “tangible art”. Although the files can be easily duplicated, the token ensures authenticity and ownership thanks to the blockchain.
The certificate indicates the identity of the artist, who is the current owner, the value of the work, and the transactions made (usually with the cryptocurrency Ether), among other data.
Who are the most important NFT artists?
In the cryptoart arena, there are notable players who are commonly referred to as “NFT artists”. The fame of these creators is explained by various qualities:
- The quality of the works.
- The trajectory in the digital art scene.
- The creative abilities.
- The eccentricity, in some cases.
- The amounts involved in sales and/or auctions.
Below are the 15 most famous NFT artists, whose works have captivated collectors and those interested in this field where creativity, digital tools, and cryptography intersect.
Beeple, the digital artist who launched the NFT boom
Mike Winkelmann – this is his real name – has all the conditions to be considered one of the most famous NFT artists, if not the most famous.
He is an emblem of digital art and also the creator of Everydays: The First 5000 Days, which in March 2021 was sold for $69 million and launched the NFT boom.
It should be noted that non-fungible tokens existed prior to this work, although the auction amount was a key boost for the growth of the sector.
Pak, the “cubist” of cryptoart
The works of the digital artist formerly known as Murat Pak do not resemble those of the initiator of cubism, Pablo Picasso. We define him this way due to one of his most famous NFT collections, Complexity, composed of many cubes linked to tokens.
Another of his NFT works, Merge, generated over $91 million in sales at the end of 2021.
One detail: the real identity of Pak is unknown, and it is even speculated that a team of professionals may be behind that figure.
Slimesunday, the eroticism of NFTs
He is a digital artist specializing in collages. He is also known for the eroticism and transgression of his works.
His works for publications such as The New York Times and Playboy have been complemented in recent years with NFT collections, such as Banned From the Internet, which criticizes the way in which major social networks censor images with nudity.
On the official website of Slimesunday, not only is it possible to see his works, but there are also episodes of his podcast (in English).
Markus Magnusson and his Moving Vectors
This illustrator and animator has gained a space among NFT artists. His trademark is moving vectors, capable of telling stories in just a few seconds.
His cheerful and carefree art has caught global attention, with an evident link to the GIF format.
His most famous NFT tokens form a collection of invisible friends, Unique characters characterized by their casual outfits and bodies.
In this link you can read an interview with Magnusson specifically talking about his NFT collection.
Trevor Jones Art, a painter who moved to the crypto world
This artist from the classical school (painted oil paintings) entered into cryptocurrency investments in 2017 and since then has explored the links between art and decentralized platforms.
He is currently one of the best-selling NFT artists, appealing to his own style that consists of creating digital works that then undergo an animation process.
“I consider myself a traditional painter but also fascinated with art and technological collaboration. I enjoy exploring how new technology can be used in my work to actively involve the viewer,” reads the official Trevor Jones Art website.
Hackatao, an NFT artist duo that raises millions
“Hackatao’s works of art are often related to society’s major issues, the environment, humanity, and cryptocurrencies, as well as references to art history, symbolism and psychology,” reads OpenSea, one of the leading NFT marketplaces.
This Milan, Italy-based artist duo has raised millions of dollars through the sale of NFT tokens, with the Queens + Kings collection standing out.
XCOPY, the Rebel of NFTs
Like other artists on the NFT scene, the real identity of this creator is unknown. It is known that they are of British origin and that the themes they tackle are as sensitive as death, apathy, and reality distortion.
XCOPY’s works typically include nods to the crypto community. In addition to being recognized today, they are a pioneer in this field, with the sale of their first NFT in 2018.
One of their most famous NFT collections is Grifters, which contains a number of certainly suggestive works: 666, the devil’s number.
Mad Dog Jones, a Versatile Artist Who Also Stands Out for His NFTs
Digital Illustrator, musician, stained glass creator, photographer and DJ. These are some of the activities in which Canadian Michah Dowbak, better known as Mad Dog Jones or simply MDJ, excels. He is also one of the figures among NFT artists.
His non-fungible token Replicator sold for $4.1 million in an auction that started at $100 and lasted two weeks.
Fewociuos, Representative of Youth in NFT Art
This young digital artist (born in 2002) accumulates around $50 million in sales for his art and consolidates himself as one of the most popular NFT creators currently.
His real name is Victor Langlois. His most well-known series are Hello, I’m Victor and This is My Life, which not only sold after intense bidding, but also placed him as one of the main references of the new generation of artists.
In “Meet Fewocius, the Teen Who Revolutionized Christie’s Auction House,” an article published in Esquire magazine, you can delve into the life and work of this exponent of the NFT movement.
Boss Logic, the NFT artist moving between comics
Kobe Abdo, the real name behind Boss Logic, is a site-originated artist who currently resides in Australia. His works place him on the selective list of the most popular NFT creators.
“Boss Logic is a giant in the entertainment industry, from his humble beginnings creating fan art and posting on social media, now Marvel and DC Comics regularly commission him to create art for their movies,” the artist’s description on OpenSea reads.
At the beginning of 2021, at the height of NFTs, the Ethernity Chain platform partnered with Boss Logic to launch an exclusive line of tokenized art works, as reported by CoinTelegraph.
5 Art Exponents who joined NFTs
To close this list of the most famous NFT artists, we will include five personalities from different fields than cryptography, who have decided to launch their own works as non-fungible tokens.
One of the cases is Madonna. The pop queen launched in 2022 a collection she created with Beeple. Always provocative, one of the singer’s NFTs showed a three-dimensional version of her vagina.
Earlier, in 2021, Quentin Tarantino made available a collection of non-fungible tokens related to one of his most famous films, Pulp Fiction. The filmmaker jumped on the NFT wave with tokenized scripts and some gems for fans of the film that starred Uma Thurman, Samuel L. Jackson, and John Travolta.
Further from art and closer to technology, the code of the World Wide Web written by Tim Berners-Lee was also auctioned as an NFT in 2021. Can we call it an “artist”? Although there is much engineering there, it is one of the great works of contemporary society. By the way, the non-fungible token was sold for $5.4 million, according to The New York Times.
A representative of Latin America among NFT artists is Alberto Echegaray Guevara, who is the nephew of Ernesto “Che” Guevara. Among his most famous tokenized works is El tiempo de las quimeras, a unique hologram that shows the evolution of a virtual wallet, and that was exhibited in 2022 at the Venice Biennale, according to the Argentine publication Clarín.
We close this account with Grimes, a versatile artist who is not only known for her relationship with the billionaire Elon Musk, with whom she has two children. In 2021, she sold her NFTs for $6 million, a collection that was composed of a dozen pieces. According to The Verge, a percentage of the sales was destined to a non-profit organization focused on eliminating carbon from the atmosphere.