Australian NFT artists

Dominic Harper // June 1 // 0 Comments

The NFT market is booming, and no one would have predicted this. Last year, NFT sales generated $41 billion, and the data include NFTs created only on Ethereum. It’s nearly as much as the conventional art market sales. Artists jumped on the bandwagon to create their digital art on a blockchain capable of protecting their intellectual property rights and generating passive income. Not every NFT artist saw success though. The NFT elite has already been created and today we go to see who are the best Australian NFT artists.

Why the NFT craze?

On May 2, 2014, Kevin McCoy created “Quantum” - the first NFT on the Namecoin blockchain. The goal was to allow digital artists to own, sell, and track their works. First, his audience at the New Museum in New York City laughed, in 2021 it sold at Sotheby’s for $1.4 million and was described as a “seismic genesis work” comparable to Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d’Avignon (1907) or Kazimir Malevich’s “Black Square” (1915).

Kevin McCoy, “Quantum” (2014-21), NFT (image courtesy of Sotheby’s)

Then there came CryptoKitties, a game where you can trade and breed NFT cats. CryptoKitties got the crypto community into NFTs to the point of causing high spikes in the Ethereum gas fees and clogging the blockchain. 

The industry went a bit silent after that, probably due to the long downtrend after the 2017/2018 price hike. In the meantime, LarvaLabs launched CryptoPunks in 2017, but it was only in 2020 that the price of the Punks exceeded 1 ETH and slowly started the NFT craze. CryptoPunks is a collection of 10,000 unique NFTs featuring pixelated characters. The lowest price of a CryptoPunk is currently 45.3 ETH ($121,782.888) and the most expensive one was sold for 8,000 ETH ($23.7M). 

And then there came Bored Ape Yacht Club to bring NFT avatars to the masses and an era of the most expensive NFT artworks like PAK’s The Merge which sold for $91.8 million or Beeple’s Everydays: The First 5000 Days sold for $69.3 million. 

But it doesn’t stop there because Nifty Gateway has Iris/{ NFT priced at $69 billion, Practice Just Practice at $6.9 billion, and No Justice No Peace of Alex Manrique at $100 million.

There are new NFTs being dropped every week, but why the whole craze about jpeg images you ask? It’s complicated. Primarily, an NFT is an authenticity certificate of your digital art. The jpeg file is registered permanently on an immutable blockchain so the creator, the ownership, and all buy and sell transactions are traceable. Everyone can copy or screenshot your digital art, but no one else can have that NFT’s authenticity certificate besides the owner of the keys to that address who created it. If that’s not enough, now the creators can generate perpetual royalties from their works for their whole life and even after their death. The whole beauty of NFT art is that it gives creators direct access to very rich collectors and that it unlocks the artistic world from gatekeeping and greedy middlemen. 

Does it justify the prices we’ve seen above? Hardly so, but art is art and it gains traction when someone is willing to pay lots of money for it. Once an artist sells a piece for a high price, all his pieces go up in value. 

There are some X factors contributing to NFTs value:

  • Natural scarcity 
  • Vanity - people like showing off their NFT avatars and flexing their crypto status
  • NFT is a warranty of access to exclusive groups, events, or content
  • NFT holders get free airdrops of other tokens
  • NFTs are digital art and it’s priced subjectively
  • Large community
  • The controversy around the piece or the creator

Who are the best NFT artists in Australia?

Lushsux is the most successful Australian NFT creator and one of the top in the world. He started as a street artist where he was very popular. He sold 1,318 works for a total of $3,957,342.77 (2,003.282 ETH). His best-selling piece is The 8 sold for $175,418.18 (88.8 ETH). Lushsux’s art is funny, often political, and incites a reaction. It features famous people from around the world and treats real-life events. Despite his success, he remains anonymous but this doesn’t stop his pieces from being exhibited in the biggest cities around the world. His works received good critique from rapper 50 cents, Beeple, and Banksy. In 2021, Lushsux made a giveaway of 33 artworks worth $250,000 to his top NFT members. He also added to his multimillion heritage by selling NFTs of his Instagram posts. 

Kode Abdo from Melbourne is the creator under alias Bosslogic and one of the top NFT artists in the world. He created official posters for some of the biggest movies of 2019, including Marvel's Avengers. He got into favours of Dwayne Johnson 'The Rock' who requested from him a customised digital graphic artwork. He collaborated also with Disney on Aladdin. He has 2.2 million followers on Instagram, and is one of the most accomplished digital artists today. He partnered with the Ethernity chain to deliver a 2500-piece collection of unique art and on the day of his drop, the affluence of users to OpenSea crashed the platform. He started minting NFTs only in January 2021 but his first NiftyGateway drop sold for over $600k. His art features Star Wars, Marvel, DC Comics, and Koby Bryant Tribute that sold for $824 and minted over 400 copies.

Serwah Artafu is an ‘afro-futuristic’ NFT style artist from Sydney. It came as a surprise to many when she sold her first-ever NFT for $30,000 at a digital art showcase. The second NFT was sold for $70,000. In 2021 Paris Hilton wrote her a message on Instagram asking for a commissioned piece. The art named ‘Aether: Galaxy Goddess’ is a representation of a woman controlling five planets. It was sold at a Sotheby’s digital auction. 

David Porte Beckefeld is an artist from Sydney specialising in 3D still and motion design and CGI art. He sculpts his pieces within the realm of virtual reality and sells them as NFTs. His distinctive characteristics are the use of bright colours, a mix of textures, and the addition of music in some of his pieces.

Serwah Artafu is an ‘afro-futuristic’ NFT style artist from Sydney. It came as a surprise to many when she sold her first-ever NFT for $30,000 at a digital art showcase. The second NFT was sold for $70,000. In 2021 Paris Hilton wrote her a message on Instagram asking for a commissioned piece. The art named ‘Aether: Galaxy Goddess’ is a representation of a woman controlling five planets. It was sold at a Sotheby’s digital auction. 

David Porte Beckefeld is an artist from Sydney specialising in 3D still and motion design and CGI art. He sculpts his pieces within the realm of virtual reality and sells them as NFTs. His distinctive characteristics are the use of bright colours, a mix of textures, and the addition of music in some of his pieces.

Mikaela Stafford from Melbourne. She specialises in installation art, 3D printing, sculpture, digital painting and AI design. The artist collaborated with Metagolden to embed their real jewellery in her NFT. She featured a golden chain valued at $3,650 in her art. She appeared with her works on VOGUE, ELLE, and other art publications. Despite her mediatic success, Metagolden hasn’t been sold yet. Her large-scale real-life artistic installations can be found in public spaces around Melbourne.

David McLeod is an Aussie artist creating 3D still and motion art pieces. He uses rainbow colours and unusual forms to form his virtual images. His work is appreciated by many international brands and he collaborated with: Apple, Nike, Dropbox, Toyota, Adobe, Wacom, Diesel, Calvin Klein, Omega, Mastercard, Canon, Greenpeace, and Wired. He launched collections called Memory Recall and Growth Cycles.

About the Author: Dominic Harper

Dominic has a background in finance and is passionate about cryptocurrency, blockchain technology and NFTs. He has been investing in crypto since 2017, and is excited about the potential for innovation and creative uses for NFTs in the near future.

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