© 25 Jul 2024 3:30:59 am
Nina Chanel Abney


The Punk in Residence program is a series of on-chain collaborations designed to encourage creative experimentation and leverage next generation technology. Concluding her tenure as the inaugural Resident, Nina Chanel Abney presents a limited-series of digital collectibles incorporating her distinctively bold style and perspective into a playful reimagining of the CryptoPunk traits.

Abney’s work captures the frenetic pace of contemporary culture, eschewing linear storytelling in lieu of disjointed narratives. The effect is information overload, balanced with a kind of spontaneous order, where time and space are compressed and identity is interchangeable. Her distinctively bold style harnesses the flux and simultaneity that has come to define life in the 21st century. Through a bracing use of color and unapologetic scale, Abney’s canvases propose a new type of history painting, one grounded in the barrage of everyday events and funneled through the velocity of the internet.

Having previously released a digital art collection titled Super Cool World through the Gallery of Digital Assets, Abney is no stranger to expanding her art practice into new mediums. Out of more than 10,000 outputs, Abney hand-selected each of the 500 avatars - curating a collection that answers the Punk in Residence brief: “What does Punk mean to you?” Super Punk World is inspired by decentralized themes of concealment, self fashioning, and the complex interplay between virtual and physical identities.

Super Punk World is a 500 piece avatar collection randomly generated then hand-curated by Abney. Inspired by iconic CryptoPunks traits in conversation with Super Cool World attributes – Abney has reimagined the viewing experience of her art, inviting collectors to become a part of her work for the first time. Fueled by an interest in digital realities and the future of art technologies, Abney utilizes the 3D medium to allow collectors the opportunity for motion design and metaverse gameplay.

Browse the collection here.

Crafting works that are as playful as they are profound, her digital worldview reflects on virtual versus real world identities. In direct confrontation of the pricing differences evident between digital avatars based on gender and skin tone (in which white, male avatars tend to generate a higher retail than their darker skinned or female counterparts) - Abney has created hybridized figures that fuse racial components and blur the lines between masculine and feminine. Through these amalgamations of external signifiers, Abney challenges the notion of an inherent societal “value” and pushes the viewer to engage with their own implicit biases. Each uniquely generated avatar shines a lens on a tendency to stay hidden, to remain silent, and to avoid confrontation via deliberate concealment and the opaque self-fashioning prevalent in digital spaces and in-person interactions.

Inspired by CryptoPunk traits such as Hoodie, Pink with Hat, Crazy Hair, Police Cap, 3D Glasses, and more…Abney’s full-bodied characters juxtapose the 8-bit analog aesthetic with the abstract forms and strong proportions of her sculptures and collages. Each trait was hand-cut by Abney and digitized to create 195 unique 3D sculpted attributes, based on 25 personas. Placed on a sampling of colorful backgrounds informed by her previous bodies of work and printmaking techniques, the characters embody Abney’s earnest aesthetic and pay homage to the irreverent, early-internet roots of the CryptoPunks project. Collectors of the NFTs will be able to download the artwork in high resolution (4K), as well as a 3D model of the character for future digital worlds. The collection is currently on exhibition at The School | Jack Shainman Gallery until October 2024, with future plans to partner with Abney at fine art institutions.

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