6 NFT Artists And Experimental Studios To Watch In 2023

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When it comes to digital art, we have seen spectacular growth in the nonfungible token space over the past three years, and even more spectacular crashes with regards to the market value of collectible NFTs. While the collectibles category allowed collectors to gain decent investment returns at first, lately it feels like the overproduction of PFP collectibles (NFTs that can be used as social media profile pictures) led to a downward spiral of NFT price volatility. And yet, according to the data aggregator CryptoSlam, people are still making millions of dollars worth of NFT trades every day, roughly $118 million in the last week of June.

Clearly, the NFT art scene is far from over. The question is what digital art aficionados will value most in 2023.

NFTs are still a fantastic way to create global communities around artists and genres. NFTs are not only certificates of authenticity to certify a particular PFP belongs to someone. They are also a fantastic artistic medium, extremely versatile by design, and allowing for ambitious concepts and narratives. While there are many innovative artists creating NFTs, here are a few that have been experimenting with cutting edge technology to create unique styles that push the envelope:

Sara Ludy

The California-born Sara Ludy explores nature in uncanny ways that highlight its mysticism. Featured in exhibitions at leading institutions such as the Whitney Museum of American Art, Ludy combines a wide range of media like painting, AI, VR, video and websites to create her work. Her latest work Daance Dange Daice, a collaboration with Refraction, a DAO
DAO
focused on cultural production, and for the benefit of non-profit organization Rhizome, that has been at the forefront of digital art for almost three decades, is Sara’s first foray with AI.

Entangled Others Studio

The Argentinian artist Sofia Crespo and the Norwegian artist Feileacan McCormick form Entangled Others, a duo that uses cutting edge technology such as neural networks, AI image generation, 3D modeling and quantum computing to bring their ideas to life. Entangled Others explores different forms of life and makes poetry with technology. The duo’s work took center stage during a fundraiser for the Buffalo AKG Art Museum in 2022, resulting in a museum acquisition that bridged the NFT world to this more traditional artistic space.

Stevie P

Brooklyn-based Stevie P has a background in economics, and his artwork explores common internet scams and imaginary investment schemes, immersing his audience into a hilarious performance like no other. An extremely savvy coder, Stevie builds his projects from start to finish, investigating and utilizing smart contracts (blockchain native immutable programs) as part of the artwork. This prolific artist releases work on almost a monthly basis, keeping his audience (who he calls “his business associates”) asking for more. His latest project with the generative art powerhouse Art Blocks is Dopamine Machines (2023) and explores the language of internet advertising.

Keiken

Everyone admires the beauty in the worlds proposed by video games, but very few people know that some artists utilize them as artistic mediums. Keiken (Japanese for “experience”) is a collective based between Berlin and London that works across performance, video games, digital art and is famed for spending most of its time “working inside a gaming engine” where they make most of their artworks. Keiken creates speculative worlds that invite us to immerse ourselves in thinking about better futures. Their latest NFT work, Wisdoms for Neknel, which I had the pleasure to help lureleased alongside digital art publishers Daata and aided by AI, proposes people to experience a world where wisdom is a currency.

Jonas Lund

The Swedish born, Berlin-based artist Jonas Lund has been experimenting with blockchain technology for at least half a decade. A relentless innovator, Lund works across different media like sculpture, painting, AI, smart contracts and even tapestry-making. Always injecting a very healthy dose of humor into his work, the artist allows the audience to explore emerging technologies together with him. Lund launched a token, called JLT, in 2018 that allows its token holders to vote on decisions that affect his personal artistic practice. Currently, Jonas is set to launch the first Signature project of the up and coming platform Wild.xyz, called Most Accidents Happen at Home (2023).

Disclosure: I am part of the curation board at wild.xyz.

Felt Zine

This artist collective from New York City and Brooklyn have been portraying internet counter-culture since 2011. From music and parties, to digital art, and even launching their own marketplace, the always-in-motion iconoclasts are constantly innovating and creating new ways to perceive reality. Founded by Mark Sabb, and led by Dev Moore and Jawn Reyes, Felt Zine is a well-oiled machine. Most notably, their latest collaboration was with none other than Givenchy. Matthew Williams, the Creative Director at the luxury powerhouse, in conversation with Complex, said that the collaboration was strategic to create streetwear akin to contemporary art in web3.


NFTs have allowed for better pricing and discoverability of digital art as a whole, and created a flourishing market over the past five years. The above-mentioned artists and collectives show that there’s much more to NFTs than goofy jpegs. And they show that, in the metaverse, experimentation holds real value.

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