In 2021, a new creator economy was born on the blockchain. Since NFTs took center stage, artists have achieved NFT superstardom, billion-dollar brands have been forged in just a few months, and many lives have been utterly transformed time and again. Yet, the most inspiring thing about the NFT space is the number of artists of all creeds and mediums who have found community and support by embracing this technology.
In keeping with our mission to empower creators, we present Next Up — our monthly franchise dedicated to showcasing rising artists. Although the NFT space has changed significantly over the last few years, one thing has remained true: the sheer volume of creative talent in Web3 only continues to grow. In our January edition, we kick off 2023 with a curated list of five ascendant talents who have been making significant waves throughout Web3.
Almendra Bertoni, who affectionately refers to herself as “Almond,” is an Argentinian fine artist and NFT creator based in New York City. Her art combines surrealist with figurative styles and focuses on Christian theology and its indoctrination. Through her bright colors and physical-to-digital methodology, her works are intended to lead audiences through a process of questioning reality. As a major proponent of diversity and retaining individuality, Bertoni has slowly but surely found a foothold in the fine-art NFT space.
Mae, who exists online as Eniosta, is an Australian artist known in the NFT space for her unique, serene 3D landscapes. Having always used art as a means of escapism, she practiced a variety of artistic mediums — trying everything from knitting to clay sculpture — before ultimately finding her niche with 3D art. Her work communicates themes of peace and calm, enticing viewers to step outside the chaos that may live in their minds and experience her carefully crafted digital oases.
Goldcat is a German-born Kenya-raised figurative artist who explores the intersection between painting and digital art. Characterized by melancholy and captured through bold brushstrokes, her works draw on her background in illustration, manifesting through numerous mediums — from digital sculpture to generative art. From star-studded collaborations to recently being auctioned at Christie’s to even being showcased on board the International Space Station, goldcat’s influence throughout Web3 has grown exponentially.
Ripcache is an enigmatic, digitally-native artist who exploded in popularity in 2022. Although little to nothing is known about the artist, their art speaks volumes. Clad in black and white, their animated pieces center around a theme of surveillance, often depicting cameras in odd formations placed among abstract backgrounds. Through minting 1/1s, editions, and fully on-chain art, the anonymous creator has garnered a robust following comprised, in part, of top-tier artists and collectors.
Sean Mundy is a photographer, digital artist, and music producer based in Montréal, Canada. Through his unique, surreal multimedia works, he aims to create conceptual imagery through digitally manipulated photography. Riding the line between light and dark, his conceptual images often come across as eerie or even macabre but still serve to communicate his perceptions of symbolism while remaining rooted in reality.