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 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 June edition, we’ve curated a list of five ascendant talents who have been making significant waves throughout Web3.
The Nine pic.twitter.com/LDAUsIEO6p
— batz (@batzdu) March 30, 2023
Batzdu, known simply as Batz, is an artist, creator, and generalist known for his Modern Memeism style. Having first gained traction in the NFT space with GeoMetric Pepes (a.k.a GM Pepes), the enigmatic artist has since capitalized on his growing success by minting a variety of meme-inspired and fine art projects. His journey to notoriety thus far has culminated in landmark sales of collections like Pepedenza and The Nine and cosigns from Jack Butcher, Vincent Van Dough, and other prominent Web3 figures.
gmMama’s art sold out!
My debut of AI photography “Neural Fad” was featured in the Japan contemporary section at Bright Moments gallery. The sale started at 5 PM yesterday, and I’m thrilled to say that all 100 pieces were sold out by 2:30pm the next day for 0.1 ETH each! … pic.twitter.com/T4NXjQ7rXi
— Emi Kusano (@emikusano) May 7, 2023
Emi Kusano is a Japanese multidisciplinary artist, entrepreneur, and singer/songwriter based in Tokyo. Although in some circles, Kusano is known as the lead singer of the ’80s synthwave group Satellite Young, in Web3, she is most revered as the Co-Founder of the Shinsei Galverse NFT project and her nostalgia and retro-futurism-based creations. Most recently. Kusano made a splash with the release of her Bright Moments collaborative Neural Fad collection, which examines the relationship between AI and memory.
‘Living in LaGuardia’ is available via @AOTMgallery.
‘Living in LaGuardia expresses the excitement but also quiet moments of solitude, the memories made as the airport echoed with whispers of our farewells and reunions.’
feel free to dm! pic.twitter.com/N8gnx8c1kQ
— Gelo (@gelo_arch) June 1, 2023
Gelo is a New York-based creator who brings his more than 20 years of experience in architecture and art to the blockchain through a variety of different endeavors. With the self-dictated mission to reinterpret architectural forms as art in a different time and space, Gelo uses light and shade to imbue his pieces with deep emotion. From his 1/1s to editions and collaborative ventures, Gelo’s work tells humanistic stories using architecture as the protagonist.
The Late Memories of the Algorithm, the Beauty of Forgetting
On view at @bitforms gallery in NYC.
The work liberates decaying states of memory through algorithmic recollection. In this work, Ivona Tau pulls from previous AI and GAN models that have been trained on a dataset of… pic.twitter.com/GzTSJ1uCJQ
— Ivona Tau (@ivonatau) March 16, 2023
Ivona Tau is an award-winning generative AI artist from Lithuania. Operating from a Ph.D. in AI and 15 years of combined experience in professional photography and AI, Tau has been exhibited widely, including at Art Basel, SCOPE, The House of Fine Art, Bright Moments Berlin, and Sotheby’s. In Web3, she often works with neural networks and code as a medium in experimental photography and motion painting with the goal of evoking emotions through artificially intelligent tools.
Photos I took on the ferry pic.twitter.com/qJ8zhdXMEd
— kristopher (@kristophershinn) June 15, 2022
Kristopher Shinn is a Pacific Northwest-based photographer who primarily shoots on film. Having found a knack for himself capturing moments both domestically and abroad, over the years, he’s released a variety of works both physically and digitally, with his claim to fame in Web3 coming from coveted collections like By Way of Water, Outer, and his numerous collaborative ventures with artists like fellow Next Up/NFT100 honorees Batzdu, Postwook, Efdot, and more.