A few years before NFTs captured global attention, NFT marketplace SuperRare hosted pop-up art exhibits at major tech conferences like DevCon. People were mostly confused and uninterested.
We’re about to see how much times have changed.
SuperRare is planning to open a gallery at 417 West Broadway in SoHo, New York on May 19, the company said in a press release Thursday. The gallery’s theme is science-fiction and futurism, and will feature a curated selection of 15 SuperRare NFT artists. It will run through Aug. 28.
The gatekeeping involved in running galleries and museums might seem counter to the idea of an open and inclusive crypto ecosystem, but SuperRare CEO said this curation continues to be important in the NFT space.
“In a world that’s open and permissionless – which is part of the excitement – it’s still good to have tastemakers that can help tell these stories,” SuperRare CEO John Crain told The Defiant.
SuperRare has been doubling down on their community since launching their DAO based around their $RARE token. A cohort of five SuperRare artists was selected by DAO members to curate themed NFT collections known as SuperRare Spaces.
Although SuperRare has been hosting exhibits in the metaverse throughout COVID, curator An Rong said in an interview, “there’s a physical component missing in the metaverse” where one can have conversations with friends, artists, and collectors.
Rong describes this era of NFTs and crypto art as a “digital renaissance.” Her curatorial team chose sci-fi and futurism as the theme of the gallery because the traditional art world has historically been dismissive of technology in artwork.
The gallery will feature artworks by Alex Ness, Blake Kathryn, Botto, Dangiuz, David Bianchi, Federico Clapis, Fernando Magalhaes, Idil Dursun, lphacentaurikid, Krista Kim, Mari.K, Maskarade, Reuben Wu, Vintagemozart, Xsullo, and Zomax.
Out of the 1,000 sci-fi artists on SuperRare, Rong chose artists based on their art quality, market performance, and length of time on SuperRare. She said a physical gallery is a win for the artists, collectors, and community: artists will have their work seen by more people, collectors can understand the art and artist more thoroughly, and the community can come together to enjoy themselves and discuss art.
This is not the first time that NFTs could be found in real life. NFTs took Art Basel by storm in Dec. 2021 and ETH Denver in Feb. 2022. As for galleries, BrightMoments leads the space; they are an art organization owned and operated by CryptoCitizen NFT-holders that has galleries in Venice Beach, NYC, Berlin, and London.
NFT artist and educator Dame.eth told The Defiant that although NFT galleries have existed before, SuperRare’s gallery “means that more everyday people will be exposed to the concept as they walk by, so that could be a net positive.”