“A Strange World” may be an apt way to describe the newly emerged crypto art space that has taken the art world by storm. For believers and nonbelievers alike, there is agreement that we are, in fact, experiencing a strange and exciting phenomenon. But, in this newfangled moment, how it will all pan out is anyone’s guess.
However, early players in the NFT art space do nonetheless deserve recognition. Danil Pan is one such tastemaker and curator who has been playing in the NFT sandbox since the early days — 2019 to be specific. He is the mastermind behind 1stDibs’ latest exhibition, “A Strange World,” which includes ethereal landscapes, moody palettes, unexpected collages and much more by artists including Karisma, Cosmozach, Daïm Aggott-Hönsch, Chant, WGMeets, Sempy, Yebu-Tonu, eyedesyn, Cat Russell and SurrealSerpentine.
The Mint sat down with Danil to hear his takes on the industry, the exhibition and his predictions for the year.
How did you go about picking the artists for “A Strange World”?
Each artist I picked perfectly embodies the broadness of the “Strange World” theme but brings their own very unique aesthetic and visual style to set themselves apart. When you bring all these styles together, you get a truly strange and beautiful collection of worlds.
What does it mean to be a curator in the crypto art space?
To be a curator means to understand what separates particular genres, elements and styles in art. In some essence, we are all curators, especially as we collect artworks. There is always some factor that separates what is collected and what is not, and when we apply constructive filters to create experiences we can create something breathtaking.
How would you recommend someone starting off in collecting to go about finding art and artists?
I recommend starting with artists and styles you know you like and begin exploring on Twitter. You can curate your experience by following more and more artists. Eventually your feed will be full of promising artists to collect from. I also fully advocate communicating directly with artists and establishing relationships, as they can be truly game-changing.
Tell us how you first got involved with the NFT and crypto art world.
My first experience with NFTs was in January 2019 with gaming assets. NFTs instantly clicked with me, and I knew it would become something huge. But it wasn’t until early 2020 that I became interested in crypto art, which is when I discovered the art of JayDelay, ROBNESS, Max Osiris, Spaced Painter and more.
There was a huge emphasis on creating art regardless of skill level, and it inspired me, someone with historically zero art skills, to begin creating my own art. Shout-out to Reland, Peter Bock, Will, Hopper and Stevey for advising and supporting my art early!
How are you thinking about this next year in the crypto art space? Any predictions?
Personally, I’ve been waiting for the absurd money in generatives and PFPs [photo for profile projects, such as Bored Ape Yacht Club, in which collectors change their social media profile pictures to images of their NFT avatar] to flow back into 1/1s [one of one works, or unique creations that are singular and not part of an edition] and emerging artists, and I’m hoping this year will be the year we see this flow of capital.
I’m predicting that these road-map-based projects will end up overpromising much like ICOs [initial coin offering, a process whereby a company attempts to raise capital by selling a new cryptocurrency, which investors may purchase, akin to an IPO, or initial public offering] and [wondering] how many of those will still be standing.