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NFT Shopping

Museum Link:

Source Link:

Date Minted:  July 24, 2020

Artist Description: Know your market 

CohentheWriter’s Commentary:

Generally speaking, when I come upon works that I are could very clearly be labeled “Trash Art” or otherwise “Low-effort,” I expect to find an artist’s collected works full of similarly-inspired pieces. Trash Artists tend to stay within their lane; but who can blame them? When you’ve been freed of aesthetic or conceptual boundaries by the shared ethos of the Trash Art movement, I can understand how that’d be addicting, how one would want to continue creating in that style, for that audience, with that spirit. So I was surprised, to be honest, when I came upon NFT Shopping by Cryptoyuna and found that low-effort artworks like this one are not just rare in the artist’s oeuvre but stand in direct opposition to the bulk of their output. And it’s not just the vast array of styles that Cryptoyuna creates, it’s the technical specificity of what they produce. Cubist studies of the human form, and mesmerizing collages. Evocations of color that span the rainbow, and abstractions as well. There is, of course, the requisite low-effort art as well, but even still, NFT Shopping feels silly and light-hearted even by low-effort standards. Which, admittedly, I love. Because the artist isn’t veiled behind their artistry, isn’t trying to communicate some high-minded ideal, or trying, in some deeper way, to connect with us (Not that there’s anything wrong with that!). Here, Cryptoyuna is telling us a story, and in the comfortable, unpretentious way that friends do. Hard not to feel a newfound kindliness towards the artist. Hard not to feel their friendship.

I was somewhat surprised to find that NFT Shopping is only a 6-second long video loop. Something about it felt longer, but perhaps that owes to the amount of narrative information contained here. It’s not a gluttonous and overstuffed piece, but it takes its time moving between individual set-pieces, and each one kind of requires us to readjust to the new information on the screen. The conceit of the piece is that it’s drawn in stick-figure style, as a central character moves throughout the conceptual world of “NFT shopping” itself. The title of the piece, NFT Shopping, physically appears within the piece at its outset, along with the stick figure itself. They push a shopping cart in front of them, while three empty, crudely-drawn squares float in the air in the center of the image. The piece progresses like a flipbook. Now the stick figure has moved forward a bit, the title vanished, and the leftmost of the three boxes bearing a new title above it, “white,” and contains the word “15k.” To that, the stick figure says “LOL” as it moves away, denoted by a text bubble. Forward! Onto the second square!, which is not only filled in with red color but titled as such in the same manner as the first box; the new one bears the filling “7k.” “HA” the stick figure says. The last box, now full while the others stand empty, elicits a “<3” from the stick figure. Its title is “Priceless,” and the Rarible platform symbol sits within it. Now the stick figure jumps back back to the left of the image, but only two squares hang in the air. The Rarible symbol is tucked neatly in the stick figure’s shopping cart. Despite the slightly changed surroundings, the formula remains. The left-most square is filled in totally black, bearing the title “Black.” And the stick figure “giggles.” Now the two squares are empty again, and the stick figure moves on. Two new squares now, side-by-side the left one filled with —what else— a trash can! And the stick figure saying “Wow!” Now, with the Rarible symbol and the trash can in their shopping cart, the figure takes up a larger portion of the screen, says “All set,” and proceeds to walk away.

That’s it! NFT Shopping proves short, silly, and deeply earnest. It’s how Cryptoyuna has assumedly decided to talk about their experiences within the NFT world. It’s not exactly coded messaging, even I’m making some assumptions. Turned off by 15k NFT projects or 7k NFT projects —or perhaps some other facet of the crypto world I’m not attuned to— the artist eventually finds a home, and a symbol worthwhile of their time, in Rarible. And once again in the Trash Art community. And we can see from both Cryptoyuna’s oeuvre on Rarible and the vast amount of pieces minted on the platform —567— that once their loyalties are earned, the artist proves stalwart with them. It’s a path not so dissimilar from many Trash Artists, certainly, but also crypto artists in general, finding themselves in this world for one weird reason or another, eventually becoming put-off by the greed and opportunism of the wider NFT landscape, but stumbling upon the crypto art subculture and community, and being met —at long last— with good intentions, truthfulness, mutual support. These are very basic human needs, low on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs; a child’s needs, as well. What could be a better way to explore them than with a child’s art style? Some things don’t need a fine art degree to decipher. Some things we understand inherently. NFT Shopping, in both artwork and subject matter, seems to be one of them. 

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