Jon Burgerman has spent the last 12 months deep-diving into the world of NFTs — and now he's bringing his trademark, googly-eyed characters to Nifty Gateway. The new NFT art platform has helped propel spending on crypto artworks to over $100 million and Burgerman is the latest artist to get in on the action.
NFTs — the transferrable digital certificates secured by blockchain technology — have taken the art world by storm, with everyone from Grimes to Beeple making millions auctioning off a non-fungible token (NFT) artwork.
Burgerman is well-positioned to ride the current wave. Throughout his 20-year-long career, his instantly recognizable art has been exhibited everywhere from DIY spaces to the White House while his works are held in the permanent collections of institutions including the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.
He's collaborated with Apple, Samsung, Pepsi, Lotte, Snapchat, Nike, and even Instagram, where his following is 117,000-strong. And now he's selling his cacophonous works on Nifty, currently, the market-leading blockchain-based platform for buying fine art and collectibles.
In a recent interview with Ocula, Nifty co-founder Griffin Cock Foster revealed "I see NFTs as the internet's digitally native art, the same way Bitcoin is the internet's digitally native currency." Aesthetics such as the "digital grotesque" tend to thrive on these platforms and Burgerman's latest collection looks poised to meet the emerging market's appetite for the abnormal.
Works such as "The Nightmare Before Ketmas" sees a shapeless mass of Burgerman's signature characters warping and fading as their various facial expressions remain frozen in creepy frowns and maniacal grins. He explains, the "Uncut Gummies" that populate the series reflect, "the isolation, anxiety and, in a strange way, freedom the pandemic has brought me."
"I have been locked away making art almost every single day, and whilst feeling remote I’ve also connected with more people, albeit online, than ever before. I’ve had dark moments but also weird euphoric periods with creative breakthroughs that might not have been possible in the distracting ‘before time’.'"
Each piece features music by Todayidance, "Truly they are the audio embodiment of my fuzzy rainbow-hued aesthetic. It’s my hope that the pieces will one day be displayed large and loud.”
The auction includes the 1/1 piece "Decentralised Mass" which comes with the 30x22” physical painting. Meanwhile, each limited edition (except Hue and Butter) comes with the physical print which will take 3-4 weeks to ship. Buyers must hold the NFT exactly 3 weeks after the drop date (March 25th at 7 pm ET) to receive the physical offering.
While it's an exciting time for digital artists and a new generation of collectors, we're still learning about the environmental impact of cryptoart. Numbers vary, but according to some studies, minting artwork on the blockchain can use weeks, months, years, (and occasionally decades) of an average EU or US citizen’s energy consumption. Find out more about the environmental cost of the NFT art boom here.