Checks Elements, a 152-piece, generative art collection of physical hand-drawn monoprints paired to an NFT has made rounds through New York this past week. Curated by visionary artist Jack Butcher in collaboration with legendary master printmaker Jean Milant, Cirrus Editions, and Beyond Art Creative, the elemental themed project is going up for auction at none other than historic auction house Christie’s Art Gallery.
The 7 day auction would be the art house’s fourth digital fine art exhibition as Christie’s 3.0, a web3 initiative facilitating and highlighting socially impactful works that exist specifically in digital ecosystems. The minimalist collection displays a unique twist on intellectual property, prominent internet culture and technological advancement. Digital art has come a long way from its inception in the 1980’s, where the medium had long been denied acceptance in the world of fine art for decades. With an increasing consumerism demand for innovative tech-tied projects, blockchain backed collections have risen to the forefront of many collectors' minds. Leading auction houses such as Christies, Sothebys, and Bonhams have taken the lead on building high-caliber communities of meritorious creators looking to change the mold of modern art.
A private reception at Christie's Art Gallery, located on 20 Rockefeller Plaza brought together a curated selection of traditional art gallery owners, Web3 community members, collectors and creatives to celebrate Jack’s contribution to the space. A panel of project contributors shared their wealth of information and inspiration on the subjects of intellectual property, governance, consensus, interpretation and the future of NFTs.
Jack’s genesis collection, Checks - VV Originals has traded over 21K Ethereum over the course of 3 months and currently holds a floor price of .54 ETH, cementing Visualize Value as a staple project amongst NFT collectors. With its signature phrase, “This artwork may or may not be notable” rooted in irony, the visual draws inspiration from Twitter’s controversial blue check mark subscription escapade during Elon Musk’s takeover. An $8 subscription model quickly flattened the hierarchy-like reality that public figures held onto so tightly.
Checks VV Elements takes the brand further by merging modern blockchain technology with physical 32 x 40 in. lithographs and exploring experiential territories unfamiliar to most traditional artists. The elements of Earth, wind and water represent the genesis of decentralized consensus among humans.
Cultural relevance has been one of the igniting points for iconic pieces for centuries. In a modern society driven by the internet, these checks aren’t afraid to tear down the illusion of authenticity lingering amongst humanity. Jack’s use of color and texture creates a unique and masterful composition that stands out from the rest. Paired with master printmaker Jean Milant’s physical companions, Checks Elements was always primed for a high profile debut. The growing acceptance and realization of digital art, especially within the fine art world is a major pivot for creators interested in alt-mediums and hybrid ways of making.
VV Checks - Elements displayed at Christie’s New York from May 20-23 before closing the auction with a total of 50.10 ETH. Amid a declining cryptocurrency economy referred to as the “bear market”, this sale proves that an interest in this technology is still very present. Powered by MoonPay, interested buyers connected their Ethereum wallets to the Christie’s website to place their bids.
The future of art is reshaping itself right now and Jack Butcher’s Checks are an example of culturally progressive art with ties to controversial societal perspectives. Christies 3.0 continues to push the boundaries as an incubator for next-generational artistry, which brings us to the burning question – what’s next?