Courtesy of Blake Kathryn

With its reintroduction, the LA Art Show comes with new tricks and trades. This year’s showstopper is CryptoArt.

Teaghan Skulszki  – July 28, 2021

If you turn on the news, you’re bound to hear the echoes of Dogecoin and cryptocurrency. For some, the crypto world has become a playground of investing, creating new opportunities in finance and technology. Today, the global phenomenon is finding its foothold in Los Angeles through the LA Art Show. We’d like to introduce you to a new kind of fine art: CryptoArt.

Let’s start with the basics: NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, are digital assets to show someone’s ownership of a unique digital item. In simple terms, buying a digital NFT is like owning the original version of a piece of art rather than the print.

(If you’re still confused, the LA Art Show has provided a handy guide that further explains NFTs and how to purchase them at the show.)

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“With so much buzz and uncertainty around NFTs as a concept, we decided it was our duty to provide our loyal patrons with a comprehensive art experience, and that includes digital art,” said Heidi Johnson, publicist at the LA Art Show, which starts Thursday and runs through Sunday.

The LA Art Show will be the first major show to have NFTs on the floor for purchase by attendees.

Water Projections on Man
The LA Art Show will feature the work of Los Angeles artist Luciana Abait, who takes viewers into the depths of the ocean through larger-than-life abstract projections.

Courtesy of Luciana Abait

One exhibition to see is “Sea Change,” which will feature a dozen new media artists whose work embraces our inevitable technological immersion and explores the new language, materiality, and logic of the meta-verse, which is a collection of virtual realities.

Hosted by Vellum LA in partnership with SuperRare, a marketplace to collect digital art with the goal of bringing it to a wider audience, the exhibit will include the mesmerizing work of Los Angeles-based artist Blake Kathryn, whose other-worldly dreamscapes takes viewers to a different dimension.

Vellum LA curator Sinziana Velicescu is “an instrumental part of bringing NFTs to the LA Art Show and Los Angeles art scene,” Johnson said. If you can’t make it this week, experience the exhibition at the gallery in September.

Also be on the lookout for work by Tex Hammond, a 14-year-old Los Angeles-based artist who is taking the contemporary art world by storm. The teenager transforms discarded items like used cardboard, wood, glass, and styrofoam. One man’s trash is Hammond’s treasure.

Tex Hammond Art
Tex Hammond, a 14-year-old Los Angeles-based artist, is taking the contemporary art world by storm.

Courtesy of Tex Hammond

CryptoArt was bound to start permeating the West Coast. “We’re seeing a flood of Silicon Valley and tech investors making investments in the NFT and CryptoArt spaces,” said Zack Yanger, senior vice president of SuperRare. Some of these investors include big names like Mark Cuban, Ashton Kutcher, SamsungNext, and more. “There is a massive amount of documented interest from Silicon Valley, both in terms of funding and in terms of the actual technology that makes this possible,” Yanger said.

It’s no surprise the LA Art Show wanted to tap into this global phenomenon, particularly after a year of uncertainty. In past years, the show pulled from European and Asian galleries, but organizers this year wanted to showcase domestic art. Ninety galleries will be showcased to create a more intimate experience, instead of the usual 140.

But it’s not just the smaller setting disrupting the traditional art world. The year’s focus on NFTs is bound to offer a new look at art and technology.

The LA Art Show will be the first major show to have NFTs on the floor for purchase by attendees.

Courtesy of LA Art Show


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