Issue #24
Week 8 2021

Beepleโ€™s crazy fuckin week

This was another crazy motherfucking week for Beeple.

He has seemed to finally catch the attention of the mainstream media and non-crypto enthusiasts as his "First 5000 Days" piece is up for auction and his first 1/1 NFT re-sold this week for a fuck load.

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Beeple's first 1/1 piece, "CROSSROAD," sold for $6.6 million on the secondary market, which is about 100 times more than what it was originally auctioned for. The sale was made by an anonymous buyer and broke the record for a single NFT sale. Seems like this record is broken every week.

The piece was inspired by the United States presidential election and displays a dead Donald Trump as people pass by him in a park. This is the final form of the piece; it changed once the election results were known and became what we see today.

Mainstream media is starting to take notice.

Beeple has drawn media attention to himself as a New York Times article about him was published. Also, he was on a CNBC show where in the interview, he explained the purpose of an NFT well to the boomer interviewing him. Beeple is the absolute best figure to represent the NFT community with his brash style and innovative ways.

Christies update

Beeple's "The First 5000 Days" just went up for auction on Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021, and on the first day alone, the piece reached a bid of $1.8 million. At the time of writing, the highest bid is sitting at $3 million.

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The auction has also affected the $B20 as it has soared 75.7% since Wednesday. From its inception this coin has more than 20x in value, this is unheard of growth for a social coin. $B20 is the tokenized coin of the 20 Beeple's 2020 Collection of 1/1 NFT's. The token was started after Metakovan from Metapurse bought up all of Beeple's 2020 collection 1/1 NFT's and created the B.20 collection.

Beeple also announced his signature $1 drop to celebrate his auction. "THE 5000 DAY SELECTS" are a collection of 333 images hand-picked by Beeple. The drop was limited to 105 editions and was botted up the ass causing the website to crash.

The website's crashing brought backlash from Twitter as it was expected many people would be going after this drop. Another concern about this drop was how prevalent bots were and how many actual people bought the NFT. It will be interesting to look out if NFT markets start putting up bot protection for these kinds of drops in the future.

News update:

MakerPlace and Beeple announced they are going to redo the drop by making it a raffle. All registered people who attempted to buy the original drop are automatically entered into the raffle. This fixes the problem with bots and gives us buyers a hope that we can somehow get one.

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ChainFaces Resurrection

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In case you hadnโ€™t noticed, NFT art is on the move! From groundbreaking NFT projects like AutoGlyphs, to expansive new platforms like ArtBlocks. Amazing and diverse on-chain art projects continue to regularly push limits and break barriers.

Generative art seems to have found itโ€™s rightful home on the blockchain and many newcomers to the space are already eagerly curating and building their exciting new collections. Though not everyone knows it, there are a select few projects which found their way on-chain before much of the incredible generative art releases we now know and love...

In case you missed it, we had a chance to chat a little with developer @NateAlexNFT for last weekโ€™s RLE issue. This week we get to learn a bit more about this developerโ€™s unique NFT art projects, some of which have recently enjoyed a substantial boost in trading activity.

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Thank you for spending this time with us Nate. ChainFaces have a great background story!

โ€˜I launched ChainFaces, a generative ASCII text face project, in January 2020. I was still pretty new to solidity and also still working a full time 'real' job. The generative mechanic resided 100% on chain and the faces were assembled by selecting 1 part for each of the 5 sections (left face, left eye, mouth, right eye, right face). I considered it a hybrid of Punks/Glyphs, although with much lower design appeal. Still, all 10,000 sold out in roughly 4 days, at a time when you could buy the absolute best punks for 20-30 ETH. My friend GoWest bought the 7 trait punk for ~27 ETH around that time!โ€™

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Ha! These are great! ChainFaces certainly have design appeal :)

After the successful launch of ChainFaces there was no going back for Nate...

โ€˜I quit my job shortly after and went full time in the NFT space. I'd been deeply involved and invested in NFTs for years, but now I was 100% all in. I built the first version of InfiNFT platform which will very soon become the VC backed infinity tokens.โ€™

โ€˜โ€˜The next solo project I launched, SquigglyWTF, was heavily inspired by AutoGlyphs as well as Avastars. I knew that an ultra low edition of 100 would get bought up by degens immediately if I priced too low, so I created a unique auctioning mechanic to throttle the roll out. This allowed the creation of Squigglies to last for ~2 weeks. The demand was extremely high during the sale as most Squiggly cartridges sold out in less than a minute (followed by a 1,000 block countdown to the next auction). I cared about on-chain art deeply by this point, so I was careful to make sure 100% of the metadata was stored on chain, as well as the entire art piece, which is stored as an SVG like it is in the Avastars project.โ€™

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โ€˜All pieces were 100% generated by an on chain algorithm, which would be called at the end of an auction by an end auctioneer. mostly I just love that I have created something that will be around potentially for thousands of years!โ€™

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A very interesting way to think about it Nate. Congratulations on all of your success! Squigglys are beautiful and we canโ€™t wait to see your next project. Anything you can tell us?

โ€˜Currently my focus is building out the early versions of the Infinity tokens platform (previously InfiNFT). We have plans to make this the premiere NFT creation platform, with the short pitch being "The Shopify of NFTs". There's some big news behind this that Iโ€™m currently unable to share at the moment, but all will be announced before much longer. There will be more Atlantes projects in the future and you can be assured that they will be frustrating, exciting, and degen-y as hell. Lastly, I will say that my need to experiment is insatiable. I consider the Larva Labs guys to be the top "smart contract artists" in the NFT space, but I intend on challenging that position longer term.โ€™

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๐Ÿคฅ

Thatโ€™s a load
of Bunk

Bunks, the latest pathetic money-grab attempt to counterfeit CryptoPunks, isnโ€™t going to work out well.

 If not for one reason then for another. Some disappointed participants now seem to realize this โ€˜projectโ€™ was all but dead on arrival. The false promise of this fraudulent NFT seems to have briefly blinded some early entrants to itโ€™s fatally flawed logic. Very sorry for any mislead newcomers to the NFT space. Sometimes the best lessons are bought, not taught.

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Attempts to be rid of these already being made...

Not surprisingly, it is becoming more obvious to holders that Bunks arenโ€™t what many of them truly wanted, and everyone can tell. Not just that Bunks are literally a blatant knock-off, but that holders donโ€™t really care for what theyโ€™ve purchased...

Nobody sees OG. They see wannabe. How rewarding.

Imagine for a moment that you had no reservations in misrepresenting yourself. Would you have any interest in wearing a fake Rolex if everyone who saw it could quickly and easily identify it as a fake?


Perhaps some might actually prefer the appearance of a fake Rolex over any authentic watch brand within their budget, and it really isnโ€™t about flaunting the brand for them. Presumably these same people would always happily reveal โ€œitโ€™s not a real Rolex ;-)โ€ whenever prompted by an admirer. They went out looking to purchase an admittedly fake Rolex.


Unfortunately, much more often than not, people donโ€™t go looking for an authentic Rolex expecting an especially good deal, unless they plan to buy a stolen one. Suddenly there is much reason to suspect dishonesty on behalf of the seller. This buyer doesnโ€™t seem like that forthright nice guy either. What reservations would this seller have pawning off a fake Rolex as an authentic stolen one?

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Can you spot the fake?

What is key for everyone involved is that itโ€™s pretty tough to spot a fake Rolex, which is why there is, and probably always will be a market for them.

A Bunk, on the other hand, will always be spotted immediately.

At least SubstraPunks acknowledge they are not CryptoPunks. Though clearly not an original concept, they are considered to be the first Polkadot NFTs. A substrate-based remake of CryptoPunks which also features 10,000 unique character images, but with entirely new attributes and rarities used to compose the NFT art.

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SubtsraPunks have a bit of charm.

Bunks almost certainly arenโ€™t what you really wanted. You might consider burning them. Theyโ€™ll leave you, and anyone confused or tricked into buying them more emptied than fulfilled.

I wouldnโ€™t touch Bunks or any โ€˜communityโ€™ that formed around them with a ten foot pole.

Here is a link to the one and only true CryptoPunks project platform:

larvalabs.com/cryptopunks

Here is a link to the one and only true CryptoPunks Ethereum Smart Contract.

Here is a link to the one and only true LarvaLabs Discord.

Be safe out there!


Breaking:

Not to suggest the matters are related. Just bad timing I suspect.

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๐Ÿคฏ

NFT FOMO

The NFT market is exploding right now. It seems like another big-name celebrity joined the space, or the record for the highest NFT sale is being broken every day. 

We are continuing our coverage of big names joining the NFT space; check out Issue #22 to see other big names who have joined the NFT space.

The most interesting person to look at is Logan Paul. He released two collections of NFTs with Bondly these past two weeks. On his first drop alone, he made more than $5 million, selling a little less than 3000 editions for 1 ETH each. At the price and rarity Paul sold the NFTs, it seems like another Soulja Boy cash grab. Itโ€™s amazing that he could make that much, but I think his drops hurt the buyer thinking they can make money trying to flip his NFTs. The only difference between Logan Paul and Soulja Boy is Logan Paul can actually sell his NFT for listing price and doesnโ€™t accept bids.

Be on the lookout for more celebrities to join the space. The word is out that NFT is the future, especially because it seems like Gary Vaynerchuk and Mark Cuban keep on tweeting about the space.

Flow has been up to a lot recently with NBA Top Shot and their announcement of bringing MotoGP to the blockchain. 

NBA Top Shot keeps on exploding and seems like it will never stop. TS has generated more than $230 million in sales, but most of these sales come from the secondary market. A Lebron James TS just sold for more than $200,000. TS has made it mainstream; all I see on my Twitter feed is #NBATopShotThis with video of NBA moments people want to have. ESPN, one of the biggest sports media companies, has been covering TS like crazy. They have made multiple articles and videos trying to explain to boomers why people are buying TS.

Flow announced another huge project coming to their blockchain. Developer, Animoca Brands, will create a competitive management and collectible game called MotoGP Ignition. The first sales for this new game will be on March 26, 2021. This is another big-name company coming to Flowโ€™s blockchain, and it is looking like more will follow.

The NFT record keeps on breaking with each passing week.

This week Beepleโ€™s โ€œCROSSROADโ€ just smashed the NFT sales record after selling for $6 million to an anonymous buyer. The previous record-holder, cryptopunk APE #6965, could only hold the record for less than a week. People are starting to use big money to buy up valuable NFTs.

Another art institute has adopted crypto as a form of payment. Artist Damien Hirst and printmaker HENI Leviathan announced that they will be accepting BTC and ETH as a form of currency for the upcoming sale of Hirstโ€™s eight cherry blossom prints.

Some people are more skeptical about these big sales of NFTs and are expecting this bubble to pop. It is important to collect NFTs that have real value and meaning. Just be careful and try not to buy any Soulja Boy NFTs.

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Pepe Art manifesto

Memetics

The term meme was coined in Richard Dawkins' 1976 book The Selfish Gene, but Dawkins later distanced himself from the resulting field of study.[4] Analogous to a gene, the meme was conceived as a "unit of culture" (an idea, belief, pattern of behavior, etc.) which is "hosted" in the minds of one or more individuals, and which can reproduce itself in the sense of jumping from the mind of one person to the mind of another. Thus what would otherwise be regarded as one individual influencing another to adopt a belief is seen as an idea-replicator reproducing itself in a new host. As with genetics, particularly under a Dawkinsian interpretation, a meme's success may be due to its contribution to the effectiveness of its host. - from Wikipedia

It would be advised to watch the content provided in order to have better context reading this article.

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REALISM

Realism is a genre of art that started in France after the French Revolution of 1848.  The Realist movement began in the mid-19th century as a reaction to Romanticism and History painting. In favor of depictions of 'real' life, the Realist painters used common laborers, and ordinary people in ordinary surroundings engaged in real activities as subjects for their works.

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IMPRESSIONISM

It may be hard to believe, but this now beloved art genre was once an outcast visual movement. Breaking from Realism, Impressionist painters moved away from realistic representations to use visible brushstrokes, vivid colours with little mixing, and open compositions to capture the emotion of light and movement.

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CUBISM

A truly revolutionary style of art, Cubism is one of the most important art movements of the 20th century. Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque developed Cubism in the early 1900s, with the term being coined by art critic Louis Vauxcelles in 1907 to describe the artists. Throughout the 1910s and 1920s, the two menโ€”joined by other artistsโ€”would use geometric forms to build up the final representation. Completely breaking with any previous art movement, objects were analysed and broken apart, only to be reassembled into an abstracted form.

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POP ART

The Pop Art movement presented a challenge to traditions of fine art by including imagery from popular and mass culture, such as advertising, comic books and mundane mass-produced objects. One of its aims is to use images of popular (as opposed to elitist) culture in art, emphasizing the banal or kitschy elements of any culture, most often through the use of irony.

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STREET ART

โ€˜โ€™Long considered marginal, street art today represents a major trend that democratizes access to art and infuses urban spaces with a new social and economic dynamic.โ€™โ€™ - From unesco website.

Art has always been evolving faster than what the artworld is willing to accept labeled as art. We can view certain resistance historically on all new disruptive art styles, until they were widely recognised and accepted. The most recent example that we all can refer to of course being Street Art. There was a time that a Banksy artwork selling for millions would be considered a joke. The same evolution we see today with cryptoart in general. The latest developments have for sure spearheaded a wave of new interest by traditional players in the space, but the artform is not yet โ€˜โ€™recognisedโ€™โ€™ widely.

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A more obscure subgenre of cryptoart that goes relatively unnoticed, is Pepe Art.

If i was to describe Pepe Art in 2 words, that would be "Internet Graffiti". Not only was it a catalyst to the birth of the cryptoart movement, but as an artform is decentralised in its nature. Probably the first example of a decentralised art brand, even.

Pepe art has transcended meme status and created its own decentralised crowd, consisting of people who love and identify with Pepe art in all online communities. We all know why we buy Discord nitro, Pepe emojis!

It can be said that it is a movement, most definitely an art expression, but surely, even more than thisโ€ฆ Perhaps, an art form in its own right.

The current state of Pepe Art is great, many wonderful and charismatic consistent creators and some early big brain collectors that are accumulating. Looking back at art history again , we see a shift in trends as the wealth transfers over from generation to generation.

We have all read the odd article here and there about the upcoming largest wealth transfer in human history, from the boomer generation to the millennials, Gen Z etc.
(Although the article was written in Boomer language, they do see the incoming wealth transfer)

This has already started. All this newly accumulated wealth will buy Art that they can identify with, and will value art differently than their ancestors.

The same concept we can see in some cases on sports memorabilia, where the most sought-after collectibles are not the oldest but usually 80โ€™s and 90โ€™s era collectibles. Or back to the street art analogy, once the teenagers of the โ€™80s grew up, they started buying everything Street Art, because it was the dominant guerilla art form of their times, a guilty pleasure if you may. Nostalgia is a hell of a drug.

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Pepe Art is currently undervalued, there are hoards of Redditors experimenting with crypto now, as Reddit is actively building their ETH based system, 4chan users are all hackers (lmao) so they probably already know how to use crypto, they just need to get into NFTs which I m sure many of them are already into.

We will soon have some pepe connoisseurs, and once there is a big artist to front the movement which will open the gates or some record-breaking sale, or even some famous person that sees value in it, that might be the kick that is needed to get the ball rolling, and see Pepe Art get the recognition and attention it deserves.

As an attempt to raise awareness, I am going to try and become the #1 Pepe Art collector slowly, by accumulating affordable great Pepe Art, as an open friendly challenge to anyone to overtake me.

The main idea is to inspire anyone to consider a Pepe collection for the love of honoring this artform, appreciating it and collecting it. Pepe Art might also bring nice financial returns, but you should not look at this as an investment.

So buy Pepe Art, support Pepe Artists and HODL, be the guy who we write an article about: โ€œ Degen with Pepe Art Buying addiction, now a Billionaire'โ€™, join the hunt to find the next Beeple like superstar Pepe Artist!

Would be great to see Pepe Artists stick together and create a movement that later generations will refer to with admiration and honestly funny af.

The Pepe character has been used in so many different ways, from a hate symbol in the USA, to a freedom symbol in Hong Kong.

The character itself goes beyond the notion of a trendy meme that dies out. Pepe art has truly been infused in the DNA of the internet user.

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Anybody remember Groyper?

A variation of Pepe known as "Groyper" or โ€œEaster Toadโ€ was used as early as 2015 and became popular in 2017. Groyper is depicted as a rotund green, frog-like creature with its chin resting on interlocked fingers. There is some disagreement around the specifics of Groyper: it is alternatively said to be a depiction of the Pepe character, a different character from Pepe but of the same species, or a toad. The Groyper meme is the namesake for Groyper, a loose group of white nationalist activists and followers of Nick Fuentes.

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Pepe in Hong Kong

In August 2019, it was reported that various demonstrators at the 2019โ€“20 Hong Kong protests were using Pepe as a "resistance symbol".

Hong Kong protestors began to use depictions of Pepe the Frog as a symbol of liberty and resistance against the extradition bill and police brutality in the 2019โ€“20 Hong Kong protests. New images of Pepe the Frog surfaced showing Pepe with an injured eye after a young female first aider got her eye gouged by a projectile thrown by police and spurred a new protest campaign called "An eye for an eye". A sign with Pepe with an injured eye held by a young nurse with one eye covered gained international media attention. Furie responded in an email with a protester, stating "This is great news! Pepe for the people!" In the Hong Kong context, Pepe the Frog is not perceived as being connected with far-right ideology. Hong Kongers were generally unaware that Pepe the Frog had been appropriated by the alt-right and white supremacists in the United States.

Despite Groyper was being associated with far right nationalists, it might be the first example of another character in a Pepe universe. As the artform evolves more specific pepes are coming to life, a universe of commonly created pepes, all original in their own right. The idea is mind boggling.
After knowing all that and going through your own personal research on the Pepe rabbit hole, just ask yourself, how is it possible that Pepe Art is still undervalued and overlooked?
Anywhere you go on the internet, there is always a pepe around, all you have to do is actively notice it!

We also recommend the documentary โ€˜โ€™Feels Good Manโ€™โ€™

Great watch!

This green frog has somehow hacked his way into our hearts and minds

Maybe, then, the question before us is not What Pepe Art is, but rather Why has it come to be, and more importantly โ€“ where can it go from here?

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