A new series of artworks to celebrate the essence of crypto speculation, and ’stellar’ price discovery…
The most popular of my artworks of 2019 was the ‘Republica De Los Deplorables’ — a group of five banknote designs that featured celebrated whistleblowers and avatars of information dissemination, with the context of our unravelling social and political narratives. The series struck a chord in the crypto community, which motivated me to keep making work, and helped create the physical versions of these artworks — five ‘banknotes’ that represent something totally new in the field of art.
The theme of The Deplorables focused on a very specific time and place —
the chaos of the 2016 presidential election, the surveillance state,
the irreconcilable social differences of our age, all in the backdrop of
the rise in cryptocurrency and the drive to self-determination that
continues to propel its adoption.
The subtitle of the The Deplorables was much more broad: The Avatars Of The Great Awakening. In the months after completing Los Deplorables, I’ve found a lot more fuel for this broad phrase. Being the zeitgeist, I’ve found endless material. And so, I was inspired to return to The Avatars format, because I felt there were new avenues to explore.
For the 2020 Avatars series, I’ve decided to return to the crypto-sphere, as a way of paying homage a facet of the crypto-moment. The world of 2020 is entering a period of vertical chaos — its difficult for artists to capture the ever-changing now in the hopes of remaining relevant, so I prefer to make art who’s relevance will last long into the future. I felt it was important to anchor a series in themes that are consistent, recognisable, but also throw in a few atypical surprises. In this way, I hope to honour the crypto space with a set of artworks that just had to be made!
My starting point for this series was the Parabola — a mathematically defined curve that is epitomised by the crypto markets. No other markets in history have displayed consistent parabolic tendencies like cryptocurrencies. The parabola defines crypto, and hodlers of crypto.
Republica De Las Parabolas (btw Parabolas in Spanish = stories/parable) features advocates, story tellers, pundits, colourful personalities, endorsers and pre-imaginers, who are in some way associated with the meme of the crypto parabola, speculation, bold price calls — sometimes literally ‘to the moon.’
It is impossible capture the totality of an idea with just a handful of portraits. I went through many potential choices before arriving at the selection that makes the series. If the series was simply about parabolic price increases, why not feature prominent investors, billionaires, with their lambos? — too obvious. The people selected are non-exhaustive mix of obvious and non-obvious choices, that I felt — when placed side-by-side — created a distinct story of crypto, and our world.
Bigger, Bolder, Better
I’m proud of the 2019 series. It tested me an an artist, but I’m never satisfied. In the months that passed, as I made new works and learnt new techniques along the way, I was honing my technical abilities and adding new methods into the mix. These new designs represent all that I’ve learnt. I also put a new level of focus into the creating the works — they’ve been made in total secrecy, in a non-stop, night-and-day month-long sprint/marathon. This will also be a series of SIX designs, one more than the 2019 series.
The designs feature deeper colours, bolder portraits, and new details. Like the 2019 series, they resemble the familiar format of the Venezuelan Bolivar, but are now one step removed. The layout is the same, but rather than Bolivar imitations, they now belong to a country of their own! Three reasons for this choice — 1) familiarity was the aim 2) so its easy to see my own artistic progression with a familiar comparison 3) the Bolivar is the currency of the Parabola, since it achieved hyperinflation!
First Release! — Sunday 15th March!
The first TWO designs in the series get released THIS SUNDAY 15TH MARCH! They will be in the form of NFTs — the ‘core artworks’ will be individually serial numbered designs, released on the Blockchain Art Exchange. I will release associated NFTs on KnownOrigin and SuperRare!
Ethereum Or Bitcoin Or Both?
A point of confusion for the 2019 series was that the NFTs were ‘denominated’ in Ethereum, whilst the physical prints were designed with Bitcoin in mind. This is resolved in the 2020 series.
The ‘core artworks’ will most resemble a printed note, and will have a Bitcoin theme — no mention of Ethereum. But for ease of purchase, anyone can buy them with either Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dai, or even fiat.
I then plan to release a limited edition Ethereum version, and associated artworks.
I did this because I like to work with both the brand of Bitcoin and Ethereum. As an artist, I’m neutral — I love the distinct brand of both, and want to incorporate them in my work. Also important: edition numbers will not exceed that of the previous series, so collectors can be assured that these series will be just as rare — in fact, they may even be rarer!
More updates coming… stay tuned for Sunday announcements.
So, this was a lot longer than intended!
In short, and as always, I hope people enjoy the work as much as I enjoyed creating it.
– Tom Badley